Digging the wine cellar

by Chris Newson on May 9, 2010

There are many bits of doing up this house that make me feel too lucky…guilty lucky…our new wine cellar is definitely top of the list.

Under our dining room, for reasons best known to the victorian builders, we had a half dug out room, and couldn’t resist the temptation of turning into a wine cellar.

So having knocked through into it, it transpires that it’s perhaps only a quarter dug already – not a half. Oops. Well we’ve started, so we’ll finish.

So a bit of underpinning later, we now have a reinforced concrete floor and breeze block walls, forming a room about 2.5m square.


We’ve been recommended Wineware – a wine racking company in Rustington, West Sussex, so I dropped them a line to see what they could help us come up with.

Chris, at Wineware, has been incredibly helpful (and patient!) as we worked up what i’m hoping will be a really useful space in which we can develop a new hobby. Yes – we know very little about wine at the moment – other than we like it a lot – so this is very much the beginning of a new journey. I can’t wait!

So we’ve gone with a mix of Magnum bottle racks, double depth criss cross racks (to maximise the amount of bottles we can get in), and case racks (which i’m told are a very handy way to keep the Bordeaux). We’ve also got some worksurface with space underneath and above so we can stack up cases of beer, mixers etc… and have somewhere to lean and pontificate.

We’ve also gone for a Wine Corner C18 IN air conditioning unit, and 10cm of Celotex insulation in the roof to keep the room at the right temperature and humidity.

With a last minute steer from David H – we’ve also kept a good chunk of space free for stacking up cases of stuff that’s going to be in store for the fairly long term. His words of wisdom are echoing round my ears still – maybe if I write them down, I’ll remember to take heed… “50% of all wine put in cellars ends up being thrown away as people buy too much that just doesn’t keep – so be patient, and take it slowly”. We’re going to do our damnedest not to make that mistake.

All that’s left now is for the racks and air conditioning to be installed and for the drinking to commence. I’m really excited about it all…Bring on that first weekend in the Loire valley – yes David I’m going to take you up on the offer – it sounds like an awesome way to spend a couple of days and begin this exciting new journey. Happy days 🙂


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