Location – Where to put the Cellar
Location is your most important consideration. You’re going to want to find a corner of your home that has no direct sunlight — basements are perfect.
Choosing a location for your wine collection involves understanding the fundamentals of building a wine cellar. If a wine cellar is built properly, it will do a few tasks consistently and efficiently.
Your cellar should maintain a temperature of about 12 Celsius. As long as you stay within 1 to 2 degrees of that, your wine will be fine. Any warmer and your wine will age faster; any cooler and your wine will age slower.
Your cellar must control humidity — the ideal level is 57 percent. Humidity levels above 70 percent can actually cause mold to grow in the cork, and your wine can be ruined. On the other hand, a humidity level below 50 percent can cause a cork to dry out, spoiling the wine.
Everything about building a wine cellar is about how efficiently it controls temperature and humidity. If it does that well, your maintenance costs will be far lower.
Space size versus the amount of wine
You may be surprised that a wine cellar can take up less room than you thought. Collections with 200 to 250 bottles can be housed in as little as 30 square feet. But don’t forget that you’ll need to have an adjacent room (also known as the exhaust room) that’s larger than your cellar space. I’ll explain this later.