Frequently Asked Questions

The decision to build a wine cellar requires thoughtful consideration. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to assist in your planning.
Revel - Cellar Designs for Fine Wines

Wine cellars can be sited in many different areas in the home. We have installed cellars in basements, kitchens, dining rooms, stairwells and even in a re-purposed pool house. That said, wine requires several conditions to be met for ideal aging and the location of your cellar will help you to select appropriate features that will work for you. Some of the most important factors in creating an ideal environment for your wines include having adequate ventilation, no direct exposure to sunlight or to heat, and limited vibration.

You can view our Wine Cellar Construction Guide that will provide you with a very comprehensive overview of the construction requirements for your wine cellar space.

Due to it’s complexity, setting up a wine cellar is not for the novice do-it-yourselfer. A wine cellar is a temperature and humidity controlled space that requires special attention to proper insulation, cooling systems, and lighting.

We have provided a wine cellar construction guide to walk you through the basic elements involved in preparing the wine cellar space. Every cellar presents a unique set of demands, circumstances and challenges, making it impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all how-to manual.  Some of the content is technical in nature and consultation with qualified professionals within the various disciplines involved is strongly recommended.

Please view our Wine Cellar Construction Guide here.

While variations within a certain range can be acceptable, the consensus is that something on the order of a constant 55 degrees, and 70 percent humidity is optimal. All wine should be stored away from light, heat, vibration and temperature fluctuation.

Unless you have a passive wine cellar environment able to keep the temperature and humidity at a consistent level, then including a cooling unit in your cellar is essential. There are several different systems, but they fall into one of the following categories:

Through-the-wall design: A self-contained air conditioning unit is mounted literally through the wall. These units are best for smaller cellars as they have a limited cooling capacity (100-2000 cubic ft.). The placement of the unit is important as to not interfere with the wine cabinets and racks. The condenser side of the unit is outside of the cellar, and generates some heat and noise, which is another factor to be considered when determining the location.

Split Air Handler (Ducted System): This style of cooling unit is a versatile, self-contained ducted unit which offers maximum flexibility in design and installation. It has the cooling capacity to be used in any size cellar. A grille on the inside wall is connected by insulated flexible ductwork to a self-contained unit outside of the cellar. This unit contains the evaporator, fan and condenser and can be placed in any indoor location outside of the cellar. This results in a quiet cellar with no obtrusive equipment taking up space and is ideal for private or larger cellars, as well as for commercial use, as it can be sized for any cellar capacity.

-Ductless Split System: A split system is comprised of two separate mechanical elements (a condenser and an evaporator) that can be used when ducting is not possible, in such cases as when the condenser must be installed outdoors or in an unheated space, such as a garage. The split systems have the evaporator fan mounted inside the wine cellar with the condenser located outside the room and connected to the cellar by refrigeration tubing. This type of system can be sized for any size cellar. However, unlike the first two styles of cooling units, the split system must be installed by a licensed electrical and refrigeration technician

No, we do not provide and install wine cooling systems. We suggest that you purchase your cooling system through a local qualified HVAC contractor that can provide warranty and maintenance services. If your cooling system malfunctions, you need to be able to call a local company that can get a technician over quickly. We can recommend systems that our clients have had positive experiences with.

Wine ages best when left undisturbed. Constant shifting and movement disturbs the natural settling process in the wine. Offending odors can come from the off-gassing of certain wood species and from vapors of finishing materials and stains. Nearly all of our wine cellars are built from raw, unfinished wood to protect the integrity of the wine room atmosphere. Should you decide to apply finishes, the use of VOC-free or water-based stains and lacquers is highly recommended.

While lighting the cellar is important, natural and bright light can cause excess heat and may require the cooling equipment to operate excessively. Wine is photo-sensitive and causes pigments to fade in red wines and darken in white wines. Therefore, low voltage fixtures should be used as well as dimmer switches to control brightness.

We are experienced in working collaboratively with design professionals and contractors who are already working with a client to design and build a wine cellar. We are accustomed to working at a distance with professionals all across the US, Europe and Australia.

Hardwoods are the optimum choice for use in wine cellars. The best cellar cabinetry is crafted from wood, like mahogany, walnut, or cherry that retains its integrity and beauty in a cool damp environment without needing an artificial finish. Mahogany, walnut, cherry, white oak, maple and hickory are all excellent choices.

Every cellar needs an exterior grade door capable of keeping the conditioned air inside from escaping. We can design and fabricate beautiful wood framed doors that will provide a tight, protective seal for your wine cellar.

Yes. Our intelligently engineered storage systems can store many bottle types and sizes, even within the same drawer or wine wheel. We can also create custom wine storage that will fit large trophy bottles such as Jeroboams and more.

Yes, we can provide installation services for your wine cellar, especially if you are located near Michigan. If you happen to be located outside of Michigan, we can provide installation estimates upon request.