Backyard Wine Cellar or Wine Shed
Have you always wanted a wine cellar or a wine shed of your own? Just because you don’t have a true “cellar” in your home doesn’t mean you can’t have a wine cellar! It is feasible to remodel a room in your home into a wine cellar, but many people don’t have the extra space. If you have an unused garden or hobby shed or small barn structure on your property though, you have an opportunity to create your own wine cellar or wine shed that is separate from your house. Maybe you just started bottling your own wine and would like a place to store it, or perhaps you are an avid collector of vintages and would like a nice space to show them off. Either way, you can easily turn your backyard shed into your very own wine cellar or wine bar.
Don’t just toss all of your wine bottles into your shed and call it a cellar! To store your wine properly and make it stay delicious for as long as possible and drinking great wine is the point of having a wine cellar, you will likely need to do some modifications to your shed.
There are three main principles of proper wine storage: temperature, light, and humidity. The temperature must be consistently cool, the light low, especially natural UV light from the sun, and the humidity moderate. Think of a cool, dark cellar, with walls lined with stone or concrete. You want to emulate this experience for your wine!
Temperature, Light & Humidity
As with many DIY projects, there are two routes: less expensive and more expensive. If you are looking for the less expensive route, and you don’t have that many bottles to store, you can buy a cooled wine cabinet. These can get pricey, but they will likely be cheaper and less time consuming than renovating your shed space to become a wine cellar or wine shed. If you are more interested in completely transforming your shed into a wine cellar, read on!
Heat Fluctuations & Wine
Likely the most damaging thing to your wine collection is large fluctuations in heat. Too much heat can speed up chemical reactions that will cause your wines to taste too tangy or acidic. Fluctuations in heat can cause the wine to expand in its bottle, which can cause the cork seal to fail leading to the wine being exposed to too much oxygen, which we all know is bad. Heat is also probably the most difficult thing to manage in a shed.
Of course, much of it depends on your climate. If you live in a very moderate climate that hardly fluctuates throughout the year, you will have a much easier time monitoring and moderating the temperature in your shed. It is entirely possible that you will need to establish a heating and/or cooling system for your shed, depending on how cold or hot it gets in your area. Wine cooling systems are available, but can be expensive. The ideal temperature for wine storage is 45 F through 65 F. The average, 55 F, is considered to be close to the perfect temperature for your wine. The location of your shed in your yard can also affect the temperature. Shaded areas of your property will be ideal for your wine cellar, versus areas exposed to lots of sunlight.
Blocking Light to Your Wine Shed
Blocking out sunlight is the next most important task for your wine cellar. The UV light will destroy the tannins in your wine and make it age prematurely. If you don’t have windows in your shed already, then you’re in luck! However, most likely you do have windows. In this case, you will have to invest in some effective window coverings. Some stylish blackout curtains or plantation shutters should do the trick.
Layer window coverings for maximum UV blockage and decorative potential! Since you will be blocking all, or most, natural light, you should install electrical lights in your new wine cellar shed. It’s a good idea to have install lights with a dimmer, as it will be better for your wines and help create a very “cellar” mood. Installing lights underneath cabinetry goes a great distance towards creating that tasting room vibe, and also makes your wine cellar more safe for your guests who might trip on a wine rack on the way out!
Another thing you will need to consider if you have windows is insulation. If you spend money maintaining the temperature and humidity in your DIY wine cellar, you ought to make sure you’re not losing that energy out of any doors or windows! Make sure your windows and door frames are properly sealed to avoid this. If you don’t have them already, it might also be worth investing in double pane windows rather than single pane.
Humidity Control in Wine Sheds
Humidity will most likely not be as big of an issue as temperature and sunlight. As long as you have good insulation in your shed and you don’t live in a terribly dry or humid climate, it will probably take care of itself. You might want to monitor the humidity, however, at least to be sure that you are not ruining your wine. Too much moisture can cause mold, while too little moisture can dry out and damage corks. Optimum humidity is 70%, but the safe range is 50%-80%.
DIY Wine Cellar & Wine Shed Design
Now that you have the technical specifications of your wine cellar shed down, it is time to think visually about your wine shed. Is this a place that you would like to use for entertainment, or just storage? If your shed is large enough, you can install a bar and create a mini tasting room. This setup is ideal for guests and parties. It can also be a fantastic getaway for you! Consider adding a small dishwasher, or at least a bar sink, to deal with dirty wine glasses. You won’t want to transport wine glasses in and out of your house via the yard to wash them.
Time to think seating, whether you want a formal bar or not, or just a table. What do you want your flooring to be? Tile floors are easy to clean from wine spills and also help with keeping your DIY wine cellar cool. There are as many design questions as different opinions and ideas of wine cellar design, most important is to make your space inviting and relaxing. Have fun with the whole DIY wine cellar or wine shed project and be sure to send us pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org