Rack Advice

posted 15 August, 2012 07:32 PM
At my in laws house where our wine now resides a new cellar is about to be put into use. It will be passive, all underground, with decent ventilation.

It is around 8m by 6m.

The wines are mostly in less than case quantities, say 1/4 cases, the rest less than 5 of each (or 11), as it will not be used for immature wines (kept in bond).

This will be for the family and we were hoping to house around 2k-3k bottles.

The main consideration seems to be the racking.

There will be a carpenter on site doing other works, so I think designing from scratch is a better option than using ‘off the peg’ solutions.

Any thoughts on what works well? Both interns of materials and design, I was thinking a mix of x shaped bins, and normal shelves, but generally double depth.

We don’t want to spend a fortune on it, but equally want a decent finish.

Any tips welcomed.

Don’t just assume this - you may be able to find a rack-maker who can use prefab pieces to get very close to what you want. Having the carpenter may allow you to do some customization at the end.

Any other thoughts?

I like one like this …

On the serious side, avoid diamond bins. It is difficult to get bottles out and if you have Burgundy bottles or Champagne, they don’t work in them.

Also, I would do some larger racking for Champagne, other over-sized bottles.

You should also have some space for mags and the like.

I have the Swedish Shelving Unit wine racks. If you don’t blow out your brains in frustration, when putting them together, you’ll be happy with the finished product. I like that you can build them as double-wides, if you so choose. I kind of walked mine along the basement wall (which has a few angles). Comparatively cheap, too.

I also have a few of these odd things that are slide-out “racks” on which one sits a case. I believe they are (basically) four cases high. A handy way to use OWC’s to help store your wine.

Another thought . . . if you have a room that is 8m x 6m (which is quite large), then you will not need double deep racking to get to 2-3k bottles. I just bought some racking, and you can get ~160 bottles (regular size) per meter of wall using single deep racks, going 2m high (approximate, because I was going by feet). You would get to 2500 lining both sides of the room, and even more if you also lined one of the 6m walls (you’d lose a bit of space in the corners), close to 3500 bottles.

Double deep is fine, but it does make access to rear bottles more difficult.

Double deep kind of sucks. Are you serious that it’s 8m x 6m or do you mean feet? You’re talking like 25 x 17 feet or so, which is a huge cellar, in which case you can put racks along the walls and put to extra down the center with plenty of room. You’ll be able to store thousands of bottles! Awesome room.

Diamond bins suck if you don’t have Bordeaux-shaped bottles. The others wobble and don’t stack well.

My suggestion is to use shelves. Space them like 3.5-4 inches and you can lay down lots of bottles w/out stacking them on top of each other. Just make sure they’re dead level. That’s what I did anyhow. Didn’t buy them and didn’t hire someone - just ripped a bunch of plywood and put in 10 ft shelves along the wall. It’s a little crazy to worry too much about finishes, etc., because once the place is filled, you’re not going to see the wood anyhow. I put on a few coats of water-based polyurethane and that was that.

Good luck!

I think double deep is good (see above!)

Start here:


We’ve used several racking systems for our store and found 3.5 inch spacing works for most bottles, 4 inch for champagne. As everybody said, diamond bins are problematic. The Vigilant web site will give you a pretty good idea of how to set up/measure and utilize the space, including corner racking. If you have earthquakes there, the angle of the bottle slides needs to be changed or leashes put on the bottles.

I have a carpenter friend who collected about 400 original wood wine boxes, mostly 6 bottle and some 12 bottle. He built two by four framing and mounted the boxes using heavy duty drawer slides. It looks a little funny because the rows have different widths but it works very well. It would look better with some finishing touches. He calculated that the drawer slides equaled the cost of prefab racking system, (1995 prices).

That’s a pretty nice solution Randy. I’d be a little leery of the strength of those boxes - the bottoms are simply stapled on or tacked and they’re not made to support the weight for long periods, rather, they’re to be stacked. But it shouldn’t be hard to reinforce or better, glue the bottoms on if needed. The place would sure look unique.

Steve - I see your point about double deep. You make a compelling argument. Convinced me anyway! [thumbs-up.gif]

Use bottom slides instead of side slides.

What do you mean by Swedish racks? Right now, I can only picture the image in Steve’s post.

I may be speaking out of turn, but I assume Swedish racks are Ikea or other similar products, such as this:


Ah yes, I own a couple of those, but I did not know they were Swedish. Perhaps the blond finish should have clued me in. :wink:

Clearly I need to teach you something about blondes Dr!

That’s them. All I remember is that they were “Swedish shelving units” though I have no recollection of where I’ve ordered the things. “Swedish racks” are indeed a different thing!

NICE RACK… [wow.gif]