4 Questions to Consider Before You Build a Wine Cellar

It can start innocently enough: you take a great tip to a wine region and have a case, or two sent home to remember the trip. Before you know it, you’re studying like a sommelier and collecting bottles to drink and share. Wine is a uniquely enjoyable hobby and can become a huge part of your life and the way you share time with friends and family. As you get serious about wine, you should think about how you’d like to display and store it in your home.

There are a few things to think about if your collection is beginning to take over your basement bar. As a remodeling project, custom wine storage and home wine cellars almost always add value to a home. In certain price ranges, luxury touches like wine cellars are often on buyers’ lists. More importantly, if you enjoy wine and your collection is growing, do it for yourself. As you think about adding a home wine cellar, think about these things before you get started.

Consider Your Space

To build custom wine storage into your house, you need to figure out where it will work within your home. The wine cellar doesn’t technically have to be in the cellar at all. A custom installation can create the perfect cellar-like wine storage environment, including climate control and racks anywhere in your home. Where do you want your wine storage to be? Do you want to feature it as a part of your decor? Would you like to keep the wine cellar near the dining room where you do most of your entertaining?

Consider how many bottles you want to keep on hand and where you can spare square footage to make that happen. Smaller custom wine cellars can be tucked under the stairs in a seemingly dead space in many houses. An underused closet in the main living space can be transformed into wine storage, or you can create a show-stopping wine cellar complete with entertaining space and a tasting room in an unfinished basement. 

Consider Your Budget

You may want to turn the entire lower level into a wine cellar dedicated to your favorite hobby, but it’s worth finding out whether that will be realistic before you get started buying cases of wine. 

Talk to a professional with experience building home wine cellars from design to installation right from the start. Things like climate and humidity control need to be considered, and that’s not something most people know enough about to make an educated budgeting guess. Walk through your home and your vision with a professional who can give you a great idea if the space under your stairs will hold all 300 bottles of wine you’d like to store.

Consider Your Style

Wine cellars used to be almost exclusively modeled on wine caves and tasting rooms in vineyards: think stone and rough, warm wood. Home wine cellars these days can be anything you want them to be. The ideal conditions for storing your wine can be created within a glass-enclosed room with cool lighting and stainless steel finishes or designed to match the existing entertaining space in your home with an English pub feel or the traditional Tuscan warmth. There are no perfect wine cellars, only your perfect wine cellar. 

With your budget and space in mind, envision the custom wine cellar you want. Do you want a reach-in space with racks for all your wine to keep your collection safe and at your fingertips? Do you want to host wine tastings at a communal table surrounded by all of your wine? Gather inspiration for the tone and the scope of the project.

Consider Your Collection

Be realistic about your wine collection and what you’re hoping to achieve. If you have a financially valuable collection which includes bottles you hope to age, make sure to consider the ideal climate conditions for the types of wine you intend to store. Different zones of climate control can be a part of the overall plan. 

How many bottles of wine do you currently have, or do you project you’d like to keep on hand? Consider the future and leave a little room to grow either by adding additional racks or building in more storage than you currently need right from the start. This is where a professional with experience building custom wine storage is invaluable: they will know how many bottles it’s possible to store in the space you have in mind.

Consider Working with the Storage Experts

Harkraft has become the largest locally-owned provider of wine cellar design and installation services in the Twin Cities. We will work with you from design to completion including installation of storage, enclosure, and climate control. You bring the vision and leave the details to us. Contact us today to find out more.