A wine cellar is essentially a storage space for wine bottles and wine in barrels. It is often specifically created underground. Having these cellars around is a must for both wine enthusiasts and collectors from around the globe. If you are an avid wine collector, it is crucial that you only have a quality wine cellar with you. A quality wine cellar is characterized by having the ability to offer a favorable environment for all your wine bottles, so your wines remain fresh even after several years of being inside the cellar. Two important factors that you should consider in building a wine cellar are humidity and temperature. As much as possible, you have to properly regulate these two factors at levels that will allow all of your wines to develop complexity while aging slowly.
There are certain features that you need to look out for if you are after ensuring the quality of your wines inside your cellar. If you plan to build your wine cellar above the ground, it is best called a wine room. Now, if you have one above ground with less than 500 bottles of wine, then you can call it a wine closet instead. The whole point of creating a wine cellar is to protect all of your wine bottles from outside factors that will compromise their quality. Factors that could adversely affect your wine include low humidity, high temperature, and light. If you are a wine enthusiast, you must protect your wine as if it is something living. In short, you have to keep them all way from fluctuating light, vibrations, heat, and temperatures. By storing your wine properly, you get to not only maintain its freshness but also improve the quality of its flavor, aroma, and complexity.
One of the features that your wine cellar must have is having the ability to maintain the vibrancy of your wine. If possible, your wine cellar should even improve its vibrancy. The temperature levels of your wine cellar should be between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius. Again, it should be free from vibrations. When there are seasonal changes in temperature, it should only vary by less than 10 degrees Celsius. For many years, the French have kept their wines in underground caves using these temperatures. This is the basis for how people choose the desired temperature levels for storing their wine. For the final wine product to bear the qualities of a well-matured wine, the temperature of the cellar should not exceed 18 degrees Celsius. If the temperature for your cellar goes above this, your wine will mature too fast. If wines mature too fast, the result will be something that tastes more like vinegar. They will never have the delightful and refined flavor that you get from a fine wine bottle.
Passive and active are the terms that you use to describe the wine cellar in terms of its cooling system. If a wine cellar has an active cooling system, this means that it needs to have a vapor barrier and insulation installed. The installation of a special wine cooling unit in the wall is a must to ensure that proper humidity and temperature levels are maintained. The majority of wine cellars installed above ground need this kind of cooling unit for the constant temperature levels. The use of a wine cellar with a passive cooling system, on the other hand, is more common for naturally cool geographic areas. Most wine cellars constructed underground are passively cooled.