How to set up a Wine cellar

So you’re thinking of starting a cellar? Nice one, that’s a brilliant idea. Popping a few wines away for later down the track not only means you will increase the pleasure of your drinking experience, but it also arms you with wines that aren't easily accessible at your local.

Plus, it’s not nearly as complicated as you think! So we’ve put together a few basic guidelines to follow to set you up for success.


homemade wine cellar in basement


Where to start?

We've compiled some helpful tips and information about how to set up a wine cellar in your own home, and age wines for years to come.


Store wine in a dark, quiet and cool place

The ideal spot is somewhere where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate in great highs and lows, think of under the stairs, in the basement, the bottom of the pantry.

Try to keep the bottles away from sunlight and fluorescent lighting which can harm the juice through the bottle and store them lying down so that the liquid is touching the cork or seal.


Avoid vibrations

It also helps to store away from constant movement like vibrations from the fridge, washing machine or rattling headboards (yikes). Just like us, your favourite bottle of wine likes a peaceful place to rest. Unsteady movements can prematurely age the wines.


Humidity is your friend

When it comes to humidity the general rule of thumb is finding a sweet spot between 50 and 80 percent (50-80%). Too low and you run the risk of the cork going dry. And when the humidity is too high you start to create a damp environment where mould can grow. Luckily having a dehumidifier can solve that issue.


Make thoughtful selections on which bottles to cellar

This is where we can really help you out. To start, go for wines that are proven to stand the test of time.

These wines carry good structure including a balance of weighted fruit, elevated acidity, moderate alcohol and solid tannin structure. Like a brick-and-mortar building, these are the wines that can withstand the test of time.

Here are some go-to varietals that you cannot go wrong with.

White wines:

Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc. Sweet wines and Champagne

Red wines:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Aglianico

Other wines:

Fortifieds like Sherry, Muscats and Ports


How to organise your wine cellar?

For wine lovers just starting to build their collection, the best organisation tip for a wine cellar is to sort your wines by style.

Grouping wines by whites, sparkling, reds and rosé, is ideal if you only have a handful of wines from each category.

For those who have a larger collection, a good option is to sort your wine by country and go one step further and organise by region.


How to cool a wine cellar?

The most important component of a wine cellar is the cooling unit. In order to properly store and maintain your wine collection, a wine cellar cooler helps keep the temperature constant. Your collection doesn’t just need a cool, dark place, it requires a static temperature, no fluctuations.

Wine cellar coolers help with two critical components of your wine collections’ proper ageing, which are temperature and humidity. That's why it's important to research which cooling unit type is best for the kind of cellar you will have.

This is the start of a beautiful friendship between you and your cellar!