Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 12:46:24 PM. . By Davina Barkley.
Climate control: Many people wrongly assume that an underground wine cellar will be naturally cool. In fact, for underground wine cellars in Australia, the opposite is true. This enclosed space can result in cooked wine in the summer months, and as the temperature varies again in winter, cherished and rare wine varieties can become completely ruined. It’s therefore vital to install the correct climate control equipment to keep temperature and humidity levels just right. The idea temperature for wine cellars is 14 degrees, give or take a degree, whilst humidity levels need to be kept between 65% and 75%. In low humidity, corks dry out, which lets in air and oxidises the wine. In extremely high humidity, label mould can occur. Make sure your wine cellar climate is properly maintained.
For flooring, cover the insulation panels with plain wood (plywood), preferably overlaid with a thick synthetic carpet which can cushion dropped bottles and minimise breakage. The optimum cooling equipment is not domestic air conditioners but industrial refrigerating compressors, situated outside the houseapartment and connected to evaporators in the cellar, which are best mounted on the ceiling to save wall space for the racking. It is better to provide over rather than under capacity of cooling because it imposes less strain on the compressor. And insist on high quality equipment, especially the controlling thermostat. A faulty thermostat could cause the compressor to operate non-stop, leading to temperatures of 50 degrees fahrenheit or more below zero, with absolutely disastrous and irretrievable consequences to your wine. Provision of an alarm set to go off if the temperature goes beyond preset minimum and maximum temperatures is essential.
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