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Is there anything finer in life than a perfectly aged bottle of wine?  Only when it comes from your own private wine cellar! If you are an oenophile anxious to have a personal shrine to wine in your home, it’s important to make sure it has the proper design and construction to store your treasures.  Here’s an overview of what you need to know.

The Basics

A wine cellar should be designed and constructed like a refrigerator, which means installing a cooling system.  Basement areas work well for wine cellar conversion due to their naturally cooler temperatures.  It is important to properly install a cooling system in order to control the environmental factors that will affect the storing and aging of your wine collection.

Cooling Systems

In order to have a climate-controlled wine cellar a cooling system must be installed.  Wine cellars should be kept at a temperature between 55-58 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity between 50-70%.  Different types of cooling systems are available, including self-contained units or units that can be split which allow placement of the noisy parts outside the cellar.  Since we live in a relatively dry environment here in Southern California, you may want to consider installing a humidification system.

Wine Racks

There are many choices when it comes to racks for storing your wine collection, and much of your decisions will be based on personal taste and how the cellar blends into the existing design of your home.  Common woods used for wine racks include mahogany and redwood, which both resist rotting.  Wire lattice is another popular choice for housing wine.  Modular designs are available and allow you to reconfigure your cellar as your collection grows and changes.


Wine cellars are places where you can fully enjoy your passion, so good lighting is key.  Consider installing lighting on a dimmer system in order to control its brightness.  Display lights on racks can highlight bottles that are particularly important or be used to help accent any art or pictures you may have on display.  You may also want to install a timer for your lighting system so that lights aren’t left on for a long period of time, which could affect the cooling system.

Cellar Doors

If your wine cellar is climate controlled with a cooling system, then it must have an exterior grade door.  Weather stripping should be attached along the entirety of the door jamb.  Keeping a good seal on the door is essential to properly maintaining the temperature and humidity of the room.  Common door materials include solid wood or glass.  Glass doors should be double-pane insulated tempered glass.


There are many options when it comes to flooring for your wine cellar, and your choices will be largely dictated by the overall design of your cellar.  However, it is important to never use carpet in a wine cellar.  Carpet will often mold in the cool, humid atmosphere.

Taking time to properly install a wine cellar in your Laguna home will insure that your valued collection stays in peak condition.  Wine cellars are marvelous additions to any home and will certainly add to the overall value as well as increase your own personal enjoyment of your home.