How to build wine cellar structures that are problem free can be tricky if you’re learning as you go, but if you keep a few key things in mind, you can have everything running without a hitch. The fact is, there are a few things to consider which can be very easily overlooked, even though they can be very simple common sense things. Without watching out for these simple mistakes however, you will be courting disaster, truly – so in understanding how to build wine cellars correctly, what are these things we need to watch out for?
First up is moisture and condensation. It isn’t as though it isn’t obvious, but you see, this holds true even whether you are using electrical refrigeration units in your cellar (the fact that these are insulated in and of themselves isn’t enough), or if you are building a wooden structure to hold and age all of your wines in your cellar, using the coldness of the cellar as passive refrigeration. Condensation can damage your walls and ceiling and flooring either way, so in understanding how to build wine cellar spaces, it’s best to use a vapor barrier using the correct type of sheet rock as well as plastic sheeting to separate what holds your wines and the surrounding area, dampness-wise.
You should also remember that to make a wine cellar with flooring left simply as sealed concrete, ceramic or tile, is best – you should never ever lay down rugs or carpeting of any kind, as this is where moisture will be attracted to, and held within. This is the perfect way to start a mold farm. Mold will damage wood, ruin walls floors and your ceiling, and poses a very serious health hazard to anyone… oh, and it will completely destroy your wine as well, corked or not – be well warned, and take heed.
Using the proper woods to make wine cellar cabinetry is also something to consider here… oak and maple are nice, but there are particularly moisture resistant woods such as teak and purpleheart as well. This can be quite expensive, but the silica content in these woods allow them to be even left outdoors in any weather without ever rotting. Redwood is another type which is popular. But you must always steer quite clear away from aromatic woods (all cedar types, for example), as the aroma from these, detectable by you or not, will taint your wines and ruin them, no matter how well corked, make no mistake.