Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

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Jeff Johannsmeyer
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Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#1 Post by Jeff Johannsmeyer » April 16th, 2019, 8:22 pm

We're getting ready to finish the rec room in our basement, part of which will be a passive cellar room. The goal is capacity over aesthetics, so it will be almost exclusively individual bottle slots, single deep, floor to ceiling. Single deep is because I simply don't want to go digging in the back row. No diamond bins since I find them impractical for my "no more than 3 of a kind" buying habits. If my arm is twisted hard enough I might do a display row, but I wasn't planning on it.

Is there a consensus on the "ideal" dimensions L/R, up/down for these single bottle slots? When it comes to "not a standard bdx bottle", I'll need to store red burgundy, riesling, rhone, and champagne. No giant Turley bottles here, and essentially zero magnum or larger bottles. I'm ok with doing two sizes if necessary (maybe one size for champagne and red burg, and another for the rest?). The racks are being custom built by our contractor (a cabinet maker by trade), so he'll happily build whatever sizes I ask him to.

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GregT
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#2 Post by GregT » April 16th, 2019, 9:29 pm

The most common bottle sizes are between 3 and 3 1/2 inches diameter. You can build to fit both Bordeaux bottles and Rhone bottles. You have troubles with some Turleys, some Beaujolais, and a few other big fat types. Depends on the size of your rails.

Here are your bottle sizes:

http://www.wineracksamerica.com/Content ... sizes.html
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#3 Post by Mark Y » April 16th, 2019, 9:38 pm

When you're a winery but you get singled out as a shitty wine size.. it's telling you something..
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#4 Post by Sh@n A » April 17th, 2019, 4:12 am

Curious, why must the cellar be made out of wood? If one went for a composite material (to the extreme, metal shelving), wouldn’t capacity increase as the shelving width would come down dramatically? I don’t have a cellar, more a question/observation.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#5 Post by T. Williams » April 17th, 2019, 4:24 am

Sh@n A wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 4:12 am
Curious, why must the cellar be made out of wood? If one went for a composite material (to the extreme, metal shelving), wouldn’t capacity increase as the shelving width would come down dramatically? I don’t have a cellar, more a question/observation.
Not necessarily. The racking fills the void space in a matrix of circles (bottles). The limiting factor is where you place the racking members to have the bottles end up as close to touching as possible. But whether the rack pieces are 3/4” or 1/8” won’t matter, it will just effect overall spacing.

I found that 2-3/4” spacing with 3/4” rack members is close to perfect for fitting everything from Riesling to Pinot. Oversized (turley and some champs) bottles won’t fit and sometimes two Pinots stack on top of each other touch. If I get some time during the work day I will sketch out a dimensioned picture to better show what I mean. It’s difficult to articulate in words
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#6 Post by Bruce Rudman » April 17th, 2019, 5:32 am

When I built my cellar, which has since been expanded, I put in wood racks which were 3 5/8 openings which fit most bottles. I put in one 36 bottle magnum rack which has been very handy for Champagne and oversized bottles.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#7 Post by John S » April 17th, 2019, 5:45 am

The easiest but somewhat less capacity is to rack all champagne sized. Then you can fit pretty much anything in and not worry about what type of bottle goes where. I am guessing since you are not going with double deep racking max capacity is not a big issue as if it was, double deep despite a bit of inconvenience, is the way to really max out storage much more than the bottle size options. One can also do some Bordeaux and some champagne but you'll need to carefully plan the mix in the design and as you load. Err on more champagne sized so you have some flexibility if things change. I have always gone double deep for storage. I have done cellars all champagne sized and currently use mix of the two sizes. I am on my third build out. My cellar is pretty static a mix works fine for me now but would have been a PITA many years ago when I was starting. Good luck!
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#8 Post by David Glasser » April 17th, 2019, 8:04 am

Will a standard 375 fall through a Champagne-sized rack?
If so, I guess cardboard tubes solves that problem.

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#9 Post by GregT » April 17th, 2019, 8:21 am

It might fall through but you can solve that by putting in a thin shelf, then you can put in two 375s.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#10 Post by Jeff Johannsmeyer » April 17th, 2019, 8:37 am

Interesting thoughts - thanks!

Regarding capacity, the space in question will be roughly 8x11 with ceilings just under 8 ft. Door on one of the short walls, and racking around the other 3. I think that will give me a capacity of 1100-1200 bottles, plus my full size Eurocave. I'm currently sitting at roughly 700 bottles in inventory and based on our consumption rate really don't need to expand. So I suppose me saying that capacity is a primary concern really means maximizing the available space while keeping everything readily accessible, and not having any niches or cabinets or "furniture" features.

A mix of standard and magnum racking sounds like a reasonable plan. I'll measure some of my bigger bottles tonight to see how large they really are. I think it's primarily the champagnes (CdC is an awkward shape, for example), and some of the red burg bottles are bigger than others. I currently have everything on wire racks with individual divots for each bottle, and some bottles fit these better than others. The nice thing about them is 375s still fit, since there's a solid rung of wire for the bottle to nestle into. We don't have many, so the solution of a thin shelf insert in a standard bottle slot where needed sounds like an easy solution.

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#11 Post by Ron Erickson » April 17th, 2019, 11:15 am

I built my racking tiers horizontal rather that vertical, and I space 1x2's on 3.5 inch centers. After milling, a 1x2 is only 1.5 inches, so in essence, I have 3/4'" of wood(half of the 1x2) , a 2 inch space and the another 3/4" wood (half of the next 1x2) for each bottle. Works for all but the oversized, and the larger champagne bottles(which I do not buy).

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#12 Post by dsimmons » April 17th, 2019, 12:28 pm

As someone who constantly struggles with racking that is too narrow I would agree with those who suggest the wider racking.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#13 Post by BrettLaurvick » April 17th, 2019, 12:36 pm

I have a customer that purchased a double-deep wine rack from The Wine Rack Shop. http://winerackshop.com/
Quality is great and easily fits larger base bottles

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#14 Post by Pat Esposito » April 17th, 2019, 12:37 pm

Just went through this today, Dom P, Salon, and Cristal fit in my standard racks, Krug doesn't....annoying.

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#15 Post by AndrewH » April 17th, 2019, 1:58 pm

GregT wrote:
April 16th, 2019, 9:29 pm
The most common bottle sizes are between 3 and 3 1/2 inches diameter. You can build to fit both Bordeaux bottles and Rhone bottles. You have troubles with some Turleys, some Beaujolais, and a few other big fat types. Depends on the size of your rails.

Here are your bottle sizes:

http://www.wineracksamerica.com/Content ... sizes.html
At one point Wine Racks America also had "Turley/Pinot" shelving or something similar, which was about 1/4 or 3/8" wider per unit, but the same height. That's one approach, a magnum rack is another approach.

I would look at your current cellar contents to see what percentage of bottles need larger racking and design racking that's approximately that percentage for "oversize" bottles, whether mags, champagne, or just obnoxiously oversized bottles.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#16 Post by lleichtman » April 17th, 2019, 3:40 pm

BrettLaurvick wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:36 pm
I have a customer that purchased a double-deep wine rack from The Wine Rack Shop. http://winerackshop.com/
Quality is great and easily fits larger base bottles
I used these guys and the racks turned out great.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#17 Post by Jeff Johannsmeyer » April 17th, 2019, 8:18 pm

Did a quick inventory tonight, or at least a semi-random sample, as all of my bottles are currently stacked cordwood-style in boxes awaiting construction of the new cellar... The dimensions suggested on the Wine Racks America link don't match my own bottles very well. Here's a sampling of what I found amongst bottles near the top of a box:
  • Bordeaux: 3.0 typical, and none smaller. Pavie and Haut Brion were 3.21 at the shoulder.
  • Champagne: 3.45-3.6 typical. Krug 3.91, Comtes 3.96, with Dom Ruinart BdB the largest at 3.99. Krug halves are 3.17, and Deutz Cuvee William halves are 2.9.
  • Red Burgs: 3.21 typical, so spot-on. Ponsot, Lamarche, and Jadot Domaine bottles are 3.45. The largest I found was an Amiot-Servelle at 3.51.
  • White Burgs: 3.21 typical. PYCM largest at 3.48.
  • Beaujolais: 3.22 typical. Follard and others 3.49
  • Red Loire: 3.25 typical. Guion and Baudry Croix Boisee 3.45
  • Rhone: 3.25 typical. Beaucastel and other CdP 3.46.
  • Italy Red 3.0 to 3.17 (mostly Barolo and Brunello)
  • German Riesling: 3.0 typical. Halves were 2.375
  • Sauternes halves 2.56
  • Alban: 3.46
  • Maybach and other CA Cab: 3.2
  • Rioja: 3.0 typical. LdH Bosconia 3.21
  • Modern red Spain: 3.45 (such as Alto Moncayo)
Based on all of this, it seems a "normal" slot should be 3.6-3.75" wide clear opening with .75" supports on each side, and maybe 3.0 vertically between supports to fit the majority of items. And then a smaller number of 4.1-4.2 wide x 3.5-3.75 tall for Champagne and Mags. Half bottles would likely need a thin filler shelf to fit in the normal slots, but everything else i measured today would nestle in quite well.

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#18 Post by Randy Bowman » April 17th, 2019, 8:39 pm

There are several companies selling wine racking that offer both suggested racking and finished racking options. You enter the room dimensions and their program, sales person will provide suggested layout and pricing.

Issues are what percentage of each size bottle you intend to store. Champagne is one tenth of our displays. Syrah is a similar number and Chardonnay is slightly more, so all those require larger sized racking. Having your Champagne, Chardonnay and Syrah close together allows similar sized racking. There is racking available for all sized bottles. Your needs are different than mine as a retailer displaying wine. I doubt you can come up with the perfect solution initially so I would suggest you be "flexible" with you initial installation, allowing for some change/alteration as needed.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#19 Post by Bruce Rudman » April 24th, 2019, 7:32 am

This photo shows a magnum rack next to regular racking. As you can see, I have champagne, a few magnums, and oversized Pinot bottles in it.
B6DC43C4-5A31-4CA6-BEE4-EAC5CD3EA630.jpeg
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#20 Post by maureen nelson » April 24th, 2019, 5:33 pm

A passive cellar in Wichita?

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#21 Post by Kris Patten » April 25th, 2019, 6:08 am

[flash=][/flash]
Pat Esposito wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:37 pm
Just went through this today, Dom P, Salon, and Cristal fit in my standard racks, Krug doesn't....annoying.
Hmmm...new world problem or humble brag?
ITB

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#22 Post by Jeff Johannsmeyer » April 25th, 2019, 1:37 pm

maureen nelson wrote:
April 24th, 2019, 5:33 pm
A passive cellar in Wichita?
A fair question. The basement in general is climate controlled, of course, and the area we're using is 8ft deep on both exterior walls, east facing. It's been our "not pretty" cellar space for 10+ years, and we haven't seen any detrimental effects. Temperatures are admittedly slightly warmer than ideal, ranging from 62-67F over the course of the year. But my wife was adamant that she doesn't want a compressor running in the basement or right outside our bedroom's exterior wall (bedroom is directly above the cellar space). So passive it is. We'll insulate the walls and ceiling, and let the concrete floor continue to act as a cool heat sink.

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#23 Post by Pat Esposito » May 2nd, 2019, 8:00 am

Kris Patten wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 6:08 am
[flash=][/flash]
Pat Esposito wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:37 pm
Just went through this today, Dom P, Salon, and Cristal fit in my standard racks, Krug doesn't....annoying.
Hmmm...new world problem or humble brag?
Both? Didn't mean to sound like a d-bag, but it is also legit issue with the racking.

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#24 Post by Jason T » May 2nd, 2019, 7:27 pm

Pat Esposito wrote:
May 2nd, 2019, 8:00 am
Kris Patten wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 6:08 am
[flash=][/flash]
Pat Esposito wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:37 pm
Just went through this today, Dom P, Salon, and Cristal fit in my standard racks, Krug doesn't....annoying.
Hmmm...new world problem or humble brag?
Both? Didn't mean to sound like a d-bag, but it is also legit issue with the racking.
I admit, those sound like problems I’d like to have. Though, holy crap, I just realized I tasted all 4 of those last year. First year that’s ever happened for me. I’m drinking better than I realized.
J@son Tr@ughber

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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#25 Post by GregT » May 2nd, 2019, 7:44 pm

But my wife was adamant that she doesn't want a compressor running in the basement or right outside our bedroom's exterior wall
Honestly it's not so bad. With the temps you say you have, you don't need really serious cooling equipment so the smallest room air conditioner will be more than adequate for your space, and it's not going to keep her awake at night. You can just vent it to the rest of the basement. The noise is mostly in the cellar because that's where the fan is blowing. I did it in my house and upstairs you couldn't hear anything at all. And if it's cold enough in the winter, you can just shut it off. Lucky you have those temps. I would go passive if I had something approaching that.
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Re: Cellar rack individual bottle slot sizes?

#26 Post by AndrewH » May 3rd, 2019, 9:07 am

GregT wrote:
May 2nd, 2019, 7:44 pm
But my wife was adamant that she doesn't want a compressor running in the basement or right outside our bedroom's exterior wall
Honestly it's not so bad. With the temps you say you have, you don't need really serious cooling equipment so the smallest room air conditioner will be more than adequate for your space, and it's not going to keep her awake at night. You can just vent it to the rest of the basement. The noise is mostly in the cellar because that's where the fan is blowing. I did it in my house and upstairs you couldn't hear anything at all. And if it's cold enough in the winter, you can just shut it off. Lucky you have those temps. I would go passive if I had something approaching that.
Different experience for me - I can hear the window unit AC I have in my cellar in the family room/kitchen above. It's quiet, and not noticeable when talking, eating, etc. But if I were sleeping I could hear it, especially when the compressor (not just fan) is running. Can't hear it on second floor, though. (And, note, there is no measure of insulation between basement and first floor (other than in cellar) - it's an old house with just wood flooring exposed in basement ceiling. Probably would be a different matter if we had drywall ceiling.
Andrew H e i m e r t

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