How do I build a Wine Cellar

Proper Wine Cellar construction will ensure many years of trouble free operation. Cutting corners can often lead to trouble later on or wine that does not live up to its full potential. Proper wine cellar construction is not difficult, but there are a few errors to avoid.

INSULATION: It is most important to ensure is that your cellar is properly insulated. That means an average of R-20 for exterior walls and R-14 for internal walls. For exterior walls, frame with 2 x 6 studs while interior walls with 2 x 4‘s and insulate with Roxul. Blue spray foam- This is a great, though pricey alternative if space is limited. 2lb polystyrene is a vapour barrier and will give R-20 with about 3 inch thickness. Should be installed by a professional only.

VAPOR BARRIER: Use 6mil polyethylene vapour sheeting properly tuck taped. Install this on the warm side of the studs. If you have a cooling unit, inside the cellar is the cold side.

WALLS AND FLOOR: Walls should be covered using green-board (water resistant drywall) and low odor paints. Floors should be sealed with water based, low odor products.

CEILING AND LIGHTING: Ceilings should be insulated and vapor sealed like the rest of the cellar. Be sure to use the properly rated lighting fixtures, ie: canisters rated for insulated ceilings. It is a good idea to keep the lighting in your cellar to a minimum. The light can harm your wine and warm the room up quite quickly.

COOLING UNIT: These are usually rated per cubic foot (L’ x W’ x H’ = Cellar Volume in Cubic Feet). Ensure that you choose the correct unit for you room. A higher volume (cu. ft.) is better; a lower capacity will overwork the unit. Sometimes in our climate cold rather than heat can be a factor. There are units available with built-in heaters.

• Please use the above information as a guide. If you have specific questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Village Wine Cellars (905) 257-9463


Wine Storage Tips

Wine should be stored in a stable environment that is; Cool, Dark, Moist and Vibration-free. (I.e.: Not next to the freezer in your basement)

The ideal storage Temperature is 12-15C. (Average household temperature is 20-22C) Ideal Humidity is between 55%-75%. (Average household humidity is approximately 30%)

Household temperatures may “harm” wine as warmth tends to accelerate the ageing process, shortening the life of your wine. The important factor is to keep the temperature constant and avoid extremes. Fluctuations in temperature will affect the taste and quality of your wine.

Avoid strong smelling substances like paint, lubricants and aromatic woods, they can all be absorbed through the cork over time changing the taste of your wine.

Light, especially UV, can accelerate chemical reactions in the bottle causing the deterioration of the wine.

Consider a bottle of wine to be a living thing that requires nuturing to achieve it full potential.