Your Next Cellar?

So, what would you do different next time? What lessons have you learned from your current cellar?

I assume the most common response will be larger… which I would certainly like.

Otherwise, I’d like more space for magnums and 3L bottles. Currently I have all single bottle storage, I might want some bin storage or at least case storage next go 'round.

I think a computer might be nice, or at least a scanner setup, though I’ve only really thought about that while trying to reconcile the inventory.

I don’t have, or really like the idea of, a window into the cellar, though I do see this as a common feature. In some ways I like that people can walk by without knowing what’s in that space. What do you think about windows?

What else would you change or think about if and when you made another space?

Totally agree on the more space for mags. Would also have like a single bottle slots that held some of the giant bottles used today (like SQN, Turley, etc.) this ended up in the spots for mags.

With 3 different stand up units, and 2 different storage spaces, consolidation is the answer to your question. And yes, getting the inventory on my laptop is essential.

Agree with the more mags theme, noting that I find it to be a challenge to balance quantity considerations with a non-pretentious “look.” My mag rows wound up being too obscured for my taste. Case storage is very cool, though a space-eater. Bins make me nervous here in earthquake country. I have a sink in mine but find I don’t use it too much as there’s breakage risk when leaving glasses in the basin, plus one or more cleaning or drying elements is always somewhere else outside of the cellar – any thoughts on how to optimize in-cellar sink usage? Lastly, windows = light, may not be worth the risk unless you can black it out and still achieve the visual wow you would be seeking through a display feature like that.

We built our dream cellar in our new house.

–Space around the top for large bottles - 3Ls and 5Ls
–Separate racking for 375s and mags, individual bottle spaces that can hold larger size bottles as well as cube/shelf space for case storage
–Built out at twice current holdings – I still have room :slight_smile: and can’t see ever running out of space
–Back wall has double racking on the bottom and single racking at top with granite ledge – really nice to have the ledge to stand up bottles, etc.
–Intercom from wine cellar to kitchen :slight_smile:
–Internet hookup- but honestly I never take the computer in there
–Display shelf w LED lighting
–Wood door w/ windows (to see in)
–Room to add old champage racking (two sided) – helps with the larger or odd size champagne bottles

We considered adding a table or island in the cellar, but am happy we went with the back ledge instead. It gets really cold in the cellar.

Larger cellar, more double deep racking, other than that no changes.

I would have measured my two tallest bottles (two Germans) and made sure all my double deep racking could support them.

I have a windowed door which allows me to look into my cellar. The door is not in direct sunlight which would be my main concern.

Thanks for the pointers. I am just starting to design my new cellar and will incorporate a lot of your thoughts.

I have built several cellars over the years and, certainly, enjoyed them.
But I am reducing inventory at this stage of my life so stand-alone cabinetry will do just fine.
The days of a thousand or more bottles are behind me.
Aside from the bottles I will leave my daughter, I aspire to drink my last bottle on my last day alive.
Best, Jim

I built a great cellar in my home 5 years ago and took to heart many of the comments made by members of the online wine community. They were invaluable. The most important decision that I made from this input that has worked out well for me was to build for more bottles than I thought possible for me to collect. At the time of planning/construction I had roughly 1300 bottles and I built the room to accomodate 5700 in racking. I have just over 3200 now and I don’t believe I will go much over 4000 so I avoided the biggest mistake that I have seen my friends get into - running out of space. The second best piece of advice I used was to look at oversized bottles and plan for mag, 3L, 5L 9L space. I have found that I really like buying and drinking larger format wines and I am quite happy that I have nice racking to hold and show off these beauties. Finally, the only miss I made was to underestimate the amount of wood box/cases I would want to keep intact and store. I wish I had made more space for simple bulk storage. Overall I could not be happier but if I ever have to build another dream cellar I would fix that issue.

Would love to see some pics of your cellar.

I’m thoroughly pissed off at the unreliability and the repair and maintenance cost and hassle of owning cabinets. For reasons I cannot comprehend, unlike a cheap refrigerator which will work fine with little or no maintenance or repair for decades, you can spend 5 figures on a wine cabinet that just has to maintain a temperature in the 50s and it will cost you hundreds or thousands every year in repairs.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d give a lot more consideration to the idea of digging a cellar under our house, or maybe to doing most of it with offsite storage.

Am I bitter? Hell yes.

Not sure what your plan is, but, I have heard this come up so many times with other cellars. I changed a bedroom into a cellar and kept the closet. You would have no idea.

The shelving is removable leaving the closet behind for all sorts of bulk storage. Sure, its a little bit of a crawl for me, but, if your plans allow it, leaving some open space for “misc” would probably be helpful.

Am I reading you correctly, you can remove those lower shelves and access a temp controlled closet behind that wall of racking? This might be among the coolest ideas I’ve ever heard! I would love to work in more hidden elements in whatever future remodels I undertake, and think this sounds like fun.

Yep! Its open space. I ripped out the doors. Part of my racking feeds into the closet, but, I can actually stand and wander around back there. Granted, it is a quick wander.

Here is my contractor working in there during the install.

When I built my cellar I put in 42 spaces for magnums. Which was a great idea… It seems to be fine, I have enough OWC magnums on the shelves where I think it will be some time before I run out of space for non-cased magnums

My biggest regret? Not building the shelves big enough to fit OWCs for 6 liters. I never thought that would be a problem. Well, it is.

Double deep would’ve been a good idea too. Next time.

I would prefer to leave my cellar as is and have less producers make big obnoxious bottles that won’t fit in normal racking. However as that seems unlikely, I guess I would need more champagne size racking in the next iteration, as well as more Mag Storage.

Has anybody used or seen non traditional rack materials? I am kind of bored with the whole wood pigeon hole design and was starting to think about other options.

Wouldn’t change anything really but to make it bigger…

I made metal racking and display shelves for my current cellar, and couldn’t be happier with the result.