Vista Wine Cellars
Wine Cellar Preparation

Having a wine cellar in your home should be a wonderful experience. A wine cellar can be a focal point of the house. Most of all your wine cellar should be a safe and proper place for you to store your wines in a cool, humidity controlled environment where your wines can age properly.

Fluctuating temperatures, low humidity, and high lighting can be harmful to a wine collection.
A quality wine cellar starts with what you can not see. Hidden in the walls of the wine cellar should be proper insulation and vapor barriers or there is risk of mold and mildew infestation, water log, not to mention high energy bills.

A wine cellar can be an expensive investment, and you will need to protect that investment by making sure that the walls are properly vapor barrier and insulated.

The average home is heated to 70 degrees with the humidity at about 50 percent. While a wine cellar is kept at about 55 to 57 degrees and the humidity at about 70 percent.

The vapor barrier and insulation are used to maintain this unique environment. The vapor barrier lines the worm side of the cellar walls to prevent the build-up of moisture, while the insulation keeps the cool air in the cellar and the worm air out. The industry standard for insulating your cellar walls is a minimum of R-13, and R-19 in the ceiling ( the R factor refers to how well the insulation resist the flow of heat). Fiberglass insulation has a R-value of 3.5 per inch, R-Max by Johns Mansville has a R-value of 6.5 per inch, giving R-19.5 for a 3” thick sheet of R-Max. In other situations where there is a higher potential of mold in the wall due to extreme temperature outside of the cellar. Foamular by Dow Corning is a mold and mildew resistant insulation with a R value of 5.0 per inch.

It is important to make sure there are no air leaks in the vapor barrier, taking in to consideration electrical outlets, sealing around fire sprinklers an I.C. can lights.

To take every precaution to prevent mold and mildew in the Cellars walls, Vista Wine Cellars will coat the wall's interiors with ForSite-Pro mold and mildew preventative.

“R Value” is a measure of thermal resistances to heat flow, either in or out of the wall assembly. Heat energy flows from areas of higher temperature to areas of lower temperature. Higher “R” means higher resistance to heat flow.
“Relative Humidity (RH)” is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air at a given temperature compared to the maximum amount of water vapor possible. Water vapor flows from areas of higher RH to areas of lower HR. As moisture migrates in to a wall assembly, and temperature decreases if the amount of moisture is not reduced by a vapor retarder RH increases ultimately to 100%, at which point condensation occurs.
“The Vapor Barrier” is the most important part of the wine cellar construction . Since a refrigerated wine cellar is kept at a consistent low temperature of 55 to 57 degrees the warm air gravitates to the cool air. The Vapor barrier stops the worm air from mixing with the cool air.

The door going into a wine cellar should be a minimum 1 1/2” solid core or insulated door. Many cellar doors have glass, and the glass needs to be tempered dual pain. The door also needs to be air tight using weather stripping.