Have you ever dreamed of having your own wine cellar? If your home has a basement, this dream could easily become a reality. With the help of a skilled mason, you can convert your Westford, MA, basement into a wine lover’s haven. A stone wine cellar will provide optimal storage conditions and will increase your home’s value.
Plan Your Space
Any good remodel or renovation should start with a well thought out design plan. Will you be using the whole basement or are you just converting a room? Do you want seating and tasting areas or will you only be storing wine? Once you have determined these factors, you can plan a wine cellar that will meet your needs now and in the future.
There are two types of wine cellars. Active wine cellars use specialized cooling and humidity systems to maintain proper temperatures and humidity levels. These often include a fridge or small area rather than a large room. Traditional wine cellars are passive and must be located in a cool, damp area to achieve optimal conditions. A basement is an ideal location for a passive wine cellar. Stone floors and walls will help maintain the necessary conditions for wine storage in a passive cellar.
Size and Location
The most important factor in planning your wine cellar is knowing how much wine you intend to store. This will help you decide on the type and amount of racking required. Many wine cellars also feature a tasting area. A tasting area can range from a small counter to a comfortable seating area. Use these factors to help plan how much space you need.
After you have settled on the size of the room, you can select the location. Basements make ideal spaces for wine storage since they are already cool and dark. Wine should not be exposed to sunlight, so if possible you should choose a location without windows.
Temperature and Humidity
Precise temperature and humidity control are paramount to proper wine storage. The optimal temperature for a wine cellar is around 55°F and humidity levels should remain at about 57%. Any significant variations in these conditions could result in spoiled or improperly aged wine. Solid construction with good insulation will result in a more stable environment.
Flooring in a wine cellar must be able to withstand higher than normal humidity levels. Wood flooring could possibly buckle or warp due to moisture. Wine cellar flooring must also be durable enough to withstand the weight of your wine collection. Ceramic tile or stone flooring are ideal for wine cellars since they aren’t affected by humidity and can support heavy loads. Some popular materials for wine cellar flooring include slate, limestone, and brick.
Stone walls provide an optimal environment for wine storage. Stone also changes the look of a wine cellar dramatically. There are many options available when it comes to the type of stone used in your wine cellar. Natural stone such as fieldstone creates a traditional rustic look reminiscent of a medieval castle. For a more modern look, stone veneer is available in a variety of colors and styles. Classic brick provides an old-world feel and can be used on walls and floors throughout the cellar. Authentic Mediterranean cellars often feature stone archways and ceilings. Rough-hewn brick and natural stone like limestone will help create the feel of an authentic Mediterranean wine cellar.