Wine Cellar Ideas

Designing and building a wine cellar can be an intimidating task. A wine cellar is a multifaceted project that involves a large investment of time and money, and will affect the quality of all your stored wine. There is a daunting amount of information that must be assimilated, dozens of decisions to be made, and that's just the design phase. But it's all worthwhile in the end--a wine cellar can become your favorite room in the house, create a useful space where there was an unused room and garner the admiration of guests. It might even raise the value of your home.

Beautiful La Jolla modern mahogany custom wine cellar

This beautiful La Jolla modern mahogany custom wine cellar features diamond bins, wine drawers, full reveal horizontal display, a marble countertop, a rolling ladder, and more.

Here at Vintage Cellars, we try to make wine storage understandable. We want to help you through all the phases of your wine storage needs, from your first real wine refrigerator to the full custom wine cellar you construct. Our goal is to bring together good information, quality products, and knowledgeable professionals who can help you with every part of your wine cellar. We can design it, build it and outfit it with all the equipment it needs.

If you are considering building a wine cellar of your own, there are plenty of customizable options to suit your aesthetic tastes and your home. Wine cellars can be nearly any size, and with modern cooling technology they can be located almost anywhere. The most basic requirements are simple: insulation, vapor barrier, cooling system. Beyond that are all the unique features, where your tastes can really shine.

Racking for your wine cellar is one of the first major decisions you are likely to make. Wine racks are available in wood and metal, in dozens of styles and sizes. When choosing, you should consider ease of cleaning, airflow, the sizes and number of bottles you plan to store, and ease of locating bottles as well as aesthetics. If you choose wood, do not choose a strongly scented wood like cedar. Redwood is a common choice for strength and beauty.

Newport Beach Ultra Modern Wine Cellar with Metal and Acrylic Racking

Flooring and wall coverings have slightly different considerations in a wine cellar. The walls and floor must be able to withstand moisture. While there are many flooring options available, one unusual choice that is available for wine cellars is reclaimed wine barrel wood. Since it retains some aroma of wine, wine cellars are an ideal location for reclaimed wine barrel flooring. Other flooring choices include stone such as marble or slate, sealed concrete (which can be colored) and tile.

Wine barrel doors are also available if you want to match that flooring with a truly one of a kind door. Other door choices include glass and wrought iron or wood doors. The door to a wine cellar is the first thing anyone who enters will see, so it's a great place to make a statement or set the tone for the rest of the project. Door must be exterior grade, however, to maintain temperature control. Double-pane glass must be used in doors with windows.

Beyond those basics, wine cellars often include furniture, tasting centers, storage for glassware, and wine storage accessories such as humidifier fountains. If you are creating a custom wine racking system, why not build in a tasting center? The Vintage Cellars build team has added features like humidors to wine cellars as well. If you can dream it, and it will work in a humid 55-degree room, you can probably add it to your wine cellar. Don't overlook paint and lighting as areas ripe for personalization. Think about the ways you would personalize any other room you renovated; many of them can be applied to a wine cellar as well.

For more great ideas, explore other custom wine cellar projects from Vintage Cellars:


Further information on wine cellar design and construction can be found in our article "How to Build a Wine Cellar". You may also be interested in reading more about wine cooling systems, wine cellar doors, wine racks, tasting rooms, or decorating a wine cellar in the Education Center. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call or email--we are, after all, the wine storage specialists.

Written by

Gene Walder

Former President and co-owner of Vintage Cellars and Vintage Wine Cellars, Gene started Vintage Cellars in 1990 and stepped down in 2020. Under new ownership, Vintage Cellars continues thriving 31 years later with over 2,500 gorgeous custom wine cellars designed and built. Gene is an expert in all aspects of building and designing custom wine cellars and wine storage.