Fine wine is a perishable investment and its protection should be a paramount concern, especially when you consider that you may be investing as much in wine (or likely more) as you are on your wine cellar.
When properly stored, age-worthy fine wine not only maintains its quality for a longer duration (i.e., you extend its drinking window), but as it matures it also improves in aroma, flavor, and complexity.
Proper wine cellaring principles all follow the same logic: shield the wine from harmful influences. Climate control (regulating the internal temperature and humidity) plays the most important role, and is the aspect most likely to provide challenges to the uninitiated and inexperienced.
A wine cellar cooling unit is a specialized mechanical device designed and engineered to regulate the temperature and humidity within a wine cellar. A dedicated wine cellar cooling unit differs from a conventional air conditioner in two primary ways:
- Wine cellar cooling units are designed to maintain a consistent temperature of 55F-58F (13C-15C), whereas conventional air conditioners are generally not designed or rated to cool that aggressively;
- Wine cellar cooling units are designed to leave an optimal level of humidity in the cellar, and will only partially take away moisture as required. Contrast this to conventional air conditioners that will strip too much humidity from the space, creating a potential drying hazard for corks.
Ultimately, a wine cellar cooling unit employs the same basic elements of a conventional air conditioner—both employ a pairing of an evaporator unit and a condenser unit.
An HVAC professional tasked to cool your space to 58F will perform heating- and cooling-load calculations as required, and then likely custom build a cooling unit selecting a readily-available evaporator and then pairing it with a readily-available condenser. In theory, this will work, but there are two main pitfalls to creating a wine cellar cooling unit in this manner:
- This specific evaporator/condenser pairing will not have undergone testing to determine whether it will be able to maintain 58F in the space over the long term; and
- This specific evaporator/condenser pairing will not be designed to regulate humidity in any manner and will likely strip more humidity out of the air than is required.
Genuwine Cellars offers a wide range of cooling units to accommodate wine cellars of varying sizes, as well as those with specific restrictions such as impenetrable walls.
In preparing your room for climate control, your cellar’s location, its adjacent spaces, your ambient climate and your proposed construction materials will be analyzed and a cooling-load calculation performed. With this information, we will provide you with a formal Climate Control Plan outlining the specifications of a recommended unit, its ideal placement, and the accompanying duct design (if required).