Cellar Temperature using cellar conditioners

This article provides the information you need to make sure your wine cellar, or wine room is kept at the perfect temperature. In particular, we look at the importance of cellar conditioners.

Cellar Conditioner Experts

If a cellar conditioner is needed, and for perfect wine storage it usually is, you need to understand what a cellar conditioner does and how it works.

At Wine Racks UK we have nearly 50 years of perfecting the storage of prestige wines for our very discerning clients.

If you are wanting the best place to store your collections call A&W Moore Wine Racks UK.

Tel: 0115 9441434

fondis sp100 cellar conditioner

What is a wine cellar conditioner?

A wine cellar conditioner is a specifically designed system for achieving and maintaining the the perfect atmosphere for your wine cellar and the wines in it. They operate like an air cooling systems, with built in monitors, refrigerating system and an evaporator.

Why should I buy a cellar conditioner rather than a regular/ standard air conditioner?

There is a significant difference between a cellar conditioner and a regular air conditioning for a cellar. We strongly advise to use the former and will explain what a cellar conditioner does and how it works.

What is the main difference between a standard or regular air conditioner and a proper wine cooling system/cellar conditioner?

Lower demand for temperature. Slower rate of cooling. All year running and humidification function.

How a cellar conditioner works

The cellar conditioners that sit in the wall have a fan that runs and circulates the air inside  the cellar. The air entering the unit is cooled if it is above the desired temperature and the same air is returned to the cellar. There is a heat exchanger and the units operate within a 2C  range so that the cooling side of the unit is not constantly  being turned on and off. If the unit is set at 12C it will run between 11-13˚C.  The warmth created by the unit is then expelled out of the back of the unit. Some people think that the warm air coming out of the back of the unit is the same warm air that went into the front of the unit from the cellar which is incorrect. The air in the cellar is recirculated. As the air in the cellar is cooled it will produce a small amount of moisture.

Damp with Normal Air Conditioning

What tends to happen is that when the units are first turned on they will produce a small amount of water and then settle down to produce very little water if any, providing that the cellar has no damp problems and that the door has a proper seal and is not being continually opened. The units are not designed to be a dehumidifier for a damp cellar. The water that is produced is recirculated back into the cellar to keep the humidity at a reasonable level. Excess water is drained off.

The split systems work in a very similar way except the warmth created by the unit in the cellar is transferred to a liquid which is pumped to the outside of the building and the heat is expelled into the atmosphere.

The importance of using a cellar conditioner

We have often been asked, particularly on new build projects, whether the company doing the air conditioning for the house can put a standard conditioning unit in and programme it to operate at 14˚ C . For example, Panasonic make a wall mounted PACi that can be programmed to operate at low temperatures. 

There has been problems with the standard units as the ones that we have used in our cellars have a special coating on the internal parts so that it helps to prevent corrosion.

Cellars often have relatively high humidity levels compared with normal living accommodation. When moisture comes out of brick work or concrete it can form efflorescence salts. When this is combined with water it produces acid which can destroy the standard air conditioning.

Efflorescence salts damage normal air conditioners

The above picture shows efflorescence salts on the brick work. This was a new build cellar and the owner employed a company that did not have experience in fitting cellar conditioners.

The Advantage of Cellar Conditioners

Unlike a cellar conditioner, a standard unit has no corrosion protection so it failed after a few months of operation. After having a new cellar built it is a good idea to use a dehumidifier for a few weeks so the bricks and concrete can be thoroughly dried out. Often concrete will look and feel dry but it is still emitting moisture which can cause wood to warp. It is easy to tell when the cellar is properly dry as the dehumidifier will no longer be extracting water from the air.

Good humidity as well as temperature

Standard air conditioners also tend to dry the air in the cellar as when the air is cooled moisture is removed and they have a drain to take this out of the cellar. The result is that the air can become very dry and can damage the corks by drying them out. It is not uncommon for the moisture content to be reduced to 50% humidity which is far to low for a wine cellar.  Proper cellar conditioners such as the Fondis units retain the water so that it can be sent back into the cellar to maintain a reasonable humidity. If there is excess water in damp cellars the units do have a drain to remove the excess.

Need help with your wine cellar? Contact the experts on 0115 944 1434!

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine Storage

Avoiding damp when building a wine cellar

When building a wine cellar you need to know about, and get right, the four vitally important factors to good wine storage namely; humidity, temperature, light and the correct storage system.

This article covers humidity and damp.

The wine cellar experts

A & W Moore Wine Racks UK are often contacted after a wine cellar has been built and asked what they need to do to rectify problems and faults.

Below we aim to share some of our nearly 50 years of experience and give you some advice of how to avoid the pitfalls and the correct procedures.

Better still, give us a call and our experienced craftsmen will know how best to deliver the perfect wine cellar project.

Tel: 0115 9441434


Generally the British climate is never too dry to store wine and the need for a humidifier is not needed provided that the cellar does not have an excessive amount of ventilation. There are many more cellars that are too wet rather than too dry.

When building an underground cellar it is important that it is constructed to a grade 3 standard where no damp or seepage is acceptable.

Unfortunately we have come across many cases where the home owner did not take proper specialist advice and their builder was inexperienced in building under ground cellars/basements.

The grades for waterproofing underground structures:

Grade 1A – Seepage and damp areas from internal and external sources are tolerable if they don’t affect the intended use of the space.

Grade 1B – Seepage is not tolerable, but damp areas from both internal and external sources are (free water can’t enter, but damp patches can occur).

Grade 2 – Seepage is not acceptable, but damp areas may be tolerable if resulting from condensation or moisture in the air (this may require management measures).

Grade 3 – No seepage or damp is acceptable.

Wine Cellar Damp Problems

Grade 1B states that seepage of water is not tolerable, but damp areas from both internal and external sources are (free water can’t enter, but damp patches can occur).

The problem with this standard is that when the water table rises considerably as it can during very heavy rain fall the damp patches turn to being extremely damp and wet. It is very difficult to construct grade 2 structure that does not turn into a Grade 1 structure after persistent heavy rain.

The result is a wine cellar with a humidity above 80%, mould is likely to form or grow on wooden surfaces and if wine was to be stored the labels and corks will grow mould as shown in the picture below.

This example shows where a new build cellar was built to grade 1B.

Solutions to Damp

If you have a cellar that is too damp there are many waterproofing products available that can be used to turn a very damp cellar into a perfectly usable one. The type and method will have to be assessed on an individual basis depending on the wall structure and the depth below ground level. The water pressure below ground rises the deeper the cellar is and this needs to be taken into account when deciding upon the remedy for a damp cellar. We have come across a case where a leaking cellar was successfully tanked, but after a period of heavy rain, the water pressure cracked and lifted the concrete floor.

Construction Chemicals

Construction Chemicals Ltd provide a range of products that can be used to solve the problems of a damp cellar and they offer good advice on which product should be used. https://www.constructionchemicals.co.uk/ The products can be applied by a local builder. Other solutions involve lining the wall with a water proof membrane so that the water drains into a sump and a cellar pump to take away excess water.

Cellars that are built above ground level should be built with a vapour barrier to the floor, walls and ceiling and care should also be taken to ensure that they are well insulated.

Need help with your wine cellar? Contact the experts on 0115 944 1434!

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine Storage

Solid Oak Wine Rack in an Old Cellar

This client came to us in the hopes of transforming their old, empty cellar into a luxurious, state-of-the-art wine room. With an eye for detail and elegance, our team here at Wine Racks immediately knew that a solid oak design would be the perfect choice.

Solid oak wine racks are one of the premium options of our bespoke cellar design service. With oak’s durability and excellent strength, they not only make for impressive room to store prized collections of wine but will also last a lifetime.

A cellar such as this is particularly ideal for a wine room because it is out of any sunlight, and the climate of a cellar is kept at a consistent temperature and humidity, though for this project we added a a Fondis air conditioner to ensure the wine cellar was the perfect the temperature 365 days a year. These excellent air conditioners can be use to keep the correct temperature for an above-ground wine rooms.


Our team of craftsmen first set out working on measuring up the spacious cellar, designing the layout, consulting and advising the client, and then crafting the solid oak into traditional wine racks, shelves and storage units to pair alongside the original brick walls of the cellar.

With such a great space to use, we were proudly able to fit over 400 wine bottle compartments, in addition to over 50 shelves for boxed wine.

The outcome? Rustic and retro meets sophistication and style – a truly impressive use of space that’s sure to make an unforgettable impact on guests, friends and family.

For consultation on your very own wine rack project, please contact us on 0115 944 1434 or fill out our wine rack contact form.

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine Rack Design

Handmade mahogany wine cellar for private residence

We recently had the privilege and pleasure of building a beautiful handmade mahogany wine cellar for a private residence, based in the Chanel Islands.

The client came to us via a recommendation from one of his friend who had previously commission Wine Racks UK to build their bespoke wine cellar racking, so the pressure was on to justify the recommendation.

Wine Cellar Design and Build

The new client was looking for a full service, to include; site visits, measurements, design consultations, material selection, a detailed quote and building the project.

The main task for this client was not entirely the capacity of the new wine cellar capacity, but they wanted to make a feature room for their wines, one with beautiful aesthetics.

For the design process we needed we be sympathetic to the existing décor of the main house, which had wooden fixtures made out of mahogany. To match this beautiful house we created a bespoke wine cellar design that would need to be entirely hand made, as mahogany is a non standard wooden for typical wine cellars.

In additional to the handmade wine racking system we designed and then built, we incorporated some extra features such as stainless steel pins for holding wine on display as well as mirrored units lit up with LED’s.

To further enhance the appearance of this room, and the collection of wine it held, we chose to use wine fridges, rather than air conditioners unit. This approach delivers maximum visual impact without compromising the look, or the storage of wine with unsightly air conditioning units.

Wine Cellar Capacity

The completed handmade mahogany wine cellar has a capacity of around 1500 bottles with space for magnums and other formats also as well as space for 12 bottle wine boxes and cases.

To help plan your wine cellar capacity why not try our wine rack calculator.

Posted in Case Studies, Wine Cellar

A wine cellar to store investment wines

Wine is being seen by more and more people as an alternative asset, especially when traditional investment opportunities may not be returning sufficiently attractive returns. Investing in wine can be done as a means of diversifying an investment portfolio, as well as providing a great reason to invest more time in pleasurable hobby!

As a business that specialises in designing and building wine racks and installing cellar air conditioning units for storing personal wine collections, Wine Racks UK can help and share our expertise.

An introduction to Investing in Wine

This is by no means advice, but if you are interested in the idea of investing in wines here are the basics and links to some good articles.

As with any investment the process to investing wine is;

  • Research what to buy
  • Choosing when to buy
  • Deciding where you are going to store your investment wine
  • Understanding how long to hold on to your investment
  • Final the call on when to sell and at what price

A good place to start is Vin X, a specialist wine investment service.

Another good article on investing in wine include can be found on Unbiased.

How to store investment wine at home

Wine investors will not be surprised to hear about the importance of proper wine storage. Good storage of investment wine collections is paramount to success.

You can store with third party, professional warehouses, which might be the safest place if you are not 100% sure on how best to keep your investment wine at its optimum quality. However there will be a charge for this service.

You can store your collection in a home cellar but we strongly advise getting it professionally built.

As a guide your investment wine storage needs

  • The perfect temperature for each wine type
  • As near zero UV light as possible
  • Cellar wine storage racks at the right angle
  • Reduce dampness for long term storage
  • Seal the room as best you can.

The professional at Halleck Vineyard have written a good article on building a home cellar to store wine.

In for the long haul

Wine is a slow-return investment that needs patience and long term planning.

Make sure that whatever you wine investment storage plans are, that they can last for many years.

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine StorageTagged in

We are the company to design and build large wine racks

Wine racks come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s no denying there’s something extra special and especially eye-catching about a large wine rack, if done right.

Large wine racks are most commonly found in commercial premises like hotels, restaurants, bars, brasseries and pubs, and indeed most of our large wine racks are made to order for these kind of spaces. But that’s not to say that they’re the sole preserve of these establishments. Far from it. Large wine racks have long been a popular and attractive option for our private clients too, right from our inception back in 1977.

It’s worth pointing out that there isn’t an exact definition of what constitutes a large wine rack, but for our purposes we’re talking about the size and type of storage you’d need for a wine cellar – so a space which could potentially hold thousands of bottles of wine. Speaking of wine cellars, if you want to know why they’re the best place to store your wine, please check out this recent article on wine cellars[1] .

Options for large wine racks

There are several things to consider when you’re going through your large wine rack options. The importance you place on each factor depends on your specific requirements, but the obvious starting point is the size and dimension of your wine cellar space, and its location within your property. A wine cellar isn’t necessarily situated below ground level, it’s simply the place where you keep your wine.

The more spacious your area, the more flexibility you’ll have. You may even be planning to use your cellar as an area for socialising, beyond its main purpose as a place to store wine. But whatever the size of your cellar, smart decision making will result in a more effective use of the space at your disposal. We’re of course here to advise you in any way we can.

Perhaps you already have an idea in mind for the kind of large wine rack you want, and how you imagine it looking once installed. The material you decide on – from various wood or metal options – depends on whether you favour a traditional or more contemporary design. This of course is a matter of personal taste, but you might also wish to consider how the style of your cellar and the large wine racks within it would complement your property’s existing interior design.

Further reading on large wine racks

The articles below can help your decision making:

Whether you’re a serious collector or an enthusiastic amateur, we can promise you a unique, bespoke solution made to measure and precision fitted for your specific needs – this is what we do, so please get in touch when you’re ready and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine Storage

Wine Racks According to Artificial Intelligence

I have been fortunate to have been able to spend a little bit of time chatting to one the world’s leading AI chatbot about wine racks, and I have to say I was very impressed (if not a little perturbed!).

This AI not only has amazing programming, but it is constantly ‘trained’ by individuals, much in the way I did. You ask a question and, like a pupil at school, you mark the response and I think it scored very well.

Here are its thoughts on Wine Racks. What do you think of the answers?

My AI conversation about Wine Racks

I am interested in wine racks


Wine racks are storage systems for wine bottles.

They can be made from a variety of materials such as wood and metal wine racks, or even plastic, and come in a range of styles and sizes to suit different needs and preferences. Some popular types of wine racks include freestanding wine racks, wall-mounted wine racks, and modular wine racks.

They can be used to store a few bottles or several hundred, depending on the size and design of the rack. Wine racks can also be used as decorative pieces, adding a stylish touch to any room in your home. You can find them in many home goods stores or online.

Do you know the biggest wine rack in the world?


I don’t have the most recent information, but as of my knowledge cut off in 2021, the largest wine rack in the world is located in the E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, California, USA.

The rack system, which is made of steel, holds an estimated 3.5 million bottles and covers an area of over 843,000 square feet.

The rack is used to store and age wine, as well as to facilitate the bottling and shipping process.

The rack system is not open to the public but it’s considered one of the most impressive and innovative wine storage facilities in the world.

Do wine bottles need to be stored on their side?


Yes, it is generally recommended to store wine bottles on their side. This is because the cork, which is the natural barrier that keeps air out of the bottle, needs to remain moist in order to maintain its seal. When a bottle is stored upright, the cork can dry out, which can lead to spoilage of the wine. When a bottle is stored on its side, the cork stays in contact with the wine, which helps to keep it moist.

Also, when wine bottles are stored on their side, the wine is in contact with the cork which helps to keep the cork from drying out, shrinking and allowing air to enter the bottle. This can cause the wine to oxidize, develop off-flavours, and lose its freshness.

Keep in mind that some wine bottles, like sparkling wines, have a crown cap closure, in this case, the bottles can be stored upright without problem. It’s also important to note that if you are going to store a bottle for a short period of time, say a few days, you can store it upright, but for long-term storage, it’s best to store it on its side.

Is there anything else I should consider when storing wine the best way possible?


When storing wine, there are a few other important factors to consider:

  1. Light: Wine should be stored in a dark, cool place, as exposure to light can cause the wine to spoil. Light can cause wine to become light-struck, which can cause off-flavours and aromas in the wine.
  2. Vibration: Vibration can cause the wine to become agitated, which can lead to sediment being disturbed and can cause the wine to age prematurely. It’s best to store wine in a place that is relatively still and quiet.
  3. Airflow: Proper airflow is important for wine storage because it helps to keep the air in the cellar fresh, and it helps to prevent mould and mildew from growing. Make sure that the wine cellar has adequate ventilation.
  4. Humidity: As previously mentioned, a relative humidity of 60-70% is ideal for wine storage. If the humidity is too low, the cork can dry out, which can cause the wine to spoil. If the humidity is too high, mould and mildew can grow, which can also cause spoilage.
  5. Label-facing: It’s good practice to store wine bottles so that the labels are facing forward. This way, you can easily identify the wine you have in storage and ensure that it’s stored in the correct conditions.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your wine is stored in the best possible conditions, which will help to preserve its flavours, aromas, and overall quality.

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine Facts

How to keep the correct wine cellar temperature

According to the ChatGPT AI chatbot on “What is the best temperature for a wine cellar?”

The ideal temperature for storing wine in a wine cellar is between 50-55°F (10-13°C) with a relative humidity of 60-70%. These conditions help to preserve the wine’s flavors and aromas, as well as prevent the cork from drying out, which can lead to spoilage.

It’s important to note that red wines are typically stored at slightly warmer temperatures (around 55-58°F or 13-14°C) than white wines (around 50-55°F or 10-13°C) and sparkling wines (around 45-50°F or 7-10°C) as red wine can benefit from a bit of warmth to soften the tannins, while white wines and sparkling wines are more delicate and can be damaged by warmth.

It’s also important to keep a stable temperature, sudden changes in temperature can cause the wine to expand and contract, which can push cork out or suck air into the bottle, exposing the wine to oxygen, which can cause it to spoil.

It’s highly recommended to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the wine cellar and a hygrometer to check the humidity levels and make adjustments as needed.

Here is our original post on how to keep a wine cellar at the correct temperature

Although climate control is recommended, in many environments it is by all means not essential. There are many old basements in the UK that offer a passive environment (one where the temperature sits in the ideal wine range and that fluctuates very slowly), perfect for wine, predominantly in Victorian and Georgian houses. Many wine experts actually believe that a passive wine cellar environment helps the wine develop complexity that artificial environments just cannot match.

You would have to monitor the temperature and humidity of the cellar over a decent amount of time to decide whether it is fit for wine storage so if you wanted it as a cellar in the short term then you may need to install a wine cellar cooling unit. These units are not the same as air conditioning systems and are built to maintain the temperature of the wine cellar in a range of 10-14% generally and a humidity of 50-80%.

What are the different types of cellar cooling systems?

There are two main types of wine cellar units that you can choose from Monobloc systems and Split systems.

The Monobloc systems are predominantly the cheaper option but do need specific room conditions to be in place before you use them. They for instance have requirements on floor, ceiling and wall insulation as well as certain venting, wall placement needs etc.

Split systems may be slightly more expensive but have the advantage of normally being quieter and also they are less intrusive as they don’t have such high room requirements.

The two main suppliers are Koolspace and Fondis and both can be found on our website, so for any advice or if you have any queries please give us a call or email.

Posted in Wine Cellar

Case Study: Georgian Wine Cellar Refurbishment

We were asked to take measurements, discuss the design and produce a quotation for this Georgian wine cellar which was in an impressive former grade II Rectory built 1725 in Warwickshire. The customer was recommended to us by one of his friends from London who we had supplied and fitted out his cellar.

About Wine Racks

Based in Derbyshire, the team at Wine Racks UK has over 40 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing bespoke wine storage solutions. During this time, the family-run business has gained a reputation for quality products at affordable prices. 

We help customers convert damp unusable cellars into beautiful climate-controlled state-of-the-art wine cellars-room that perfectly preserve wine or Champagne, and we help couples make the most of unused under-the-stairs spaces for wine storage. We’ve helped business owners from luxury hotels to beautiful countryside restaurants and Parisian wine bars. 

For a free quote

For any wine room design service,

please call 01159441434 or contact us via our form.

Please include your requirements and approximate dimensions to provide you with a quote.


The cellar had several issues, it was damp, the bricks were crumbling and the stone thawls were in poor condition which needed to be removed so that the damp issue could be addressed. The temperature was stable as the cellar was below ground and it had a small amount of ventilation. A local builder was employed to rectify the damp issues which entailed removing the stone thawls and floor. The bricks on the ceiling were in very poor condition so the ceiling was covered with brick slips to maintain the character of the cellar. The same brick slips were used on the floor after we had fitted the wine cellar. When all the remedial work was done and the cellar had completely dried out, which was aided by a dehumidifier the cellar was ready to be fitted with A & W Moore’s solid oak wine racks.

The wine cellar holds 1,250 wine bottles 48 magnums and 56 twelve bottle wooden wine boxes. The cost of the wine racking led lights and fitting is circa £40K. This does not include the building work.

Below are the visuals which illustrate the design to the customer

Design Plan

Wall A: Width 2785mm

Wall B: Width 4717mm

Wall C: Width 4590mm

Wall D: Width 4720mm

Georgian Wine Cellar Wall D

The Result

What the customer says…

I finally got around this weekend to filling (or not quite, as you can see from the photos!) the cellar with wine and I am delighted with how it looks! A little more work to do re organisation and presentation, but it’s already looking amazing!

Posted in Case Studies, Wine Cellar

Case Study: Wine Cellar Fit-Out Process

We recently had the challenge of a potential wine cellar fit-out (4 walls) with a light coloured pine and oak wine rack system.

About Wine Racks

Based in Derbyshire, the team at Wine Racks UK has over 40 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing bespoke wine storage solutions. During this time, the family-run business has gained a reputation for quality products at affordable prices. 

We help customers convert damp unusable cellars into beautiful climate-controlled state-of-the-art wine cellars-room that perfectly preserve wine or Champagne, and we help couples make the most of unused under-the-stairs spaces for wine storage. We’ve helped business owners from luxury hotels to beautiful countryside restaurants and Parisian wine bars. 

For a free quote

For any wine room design service,

please call 01159441434 or contact us via our form.

Please include your requirements and approximate dimensions to provide you with a quote.

Aside from designing the layout, Wine Racks UK advises on everything from cooling systems to lighting options, the type of materials to use (solid oak, solid pine or wood and metal) and storage solutions for different sized bottles. Specialist storage options can be created for wooden Bordeaux boxes to large format bottles, half size bottles and Brandy or Rum. 

Wine cellar fit-out briefing details

The cellar was tanked, dry and cool – the temperature was constant with ventilation.

They wanted to source empty cases or boxes together with a wine barrel that could be used as a table to stand at. Also, they wanted to integrate an existing half (waist) height wine fridge in the layout.

The customer’s initial comments

“I quite like a design I saw on your web page for all of the racks – perhaps if you could integrate some nooks for magnums or prestige bottles too for display – depending on the configuration I am happy to ditch the display per the bottom row in the picture above or perhaps only have this on one or two of the racks.”

Wine Racks Customer

There are four walls as described within the client’s initial brief, with a floor-to-ceiling height of 177cm.

  • Wall 1 = 210cm width
  • Wall 2 = 216cm width
  • Wall 3 = 202cm width 
  • Wall 4 = 110cm width

Wall 4 was also an entrance to another room so the rack would need to be less than that so as to not be an obstruction and stick out.

We created a visual representation of the new wine cellar and provided a quotation as given below

  • 256 x holes of solid oak modular wine racking with chamfered ends for individual standard bottles.                                                                                                         
  • 17 x holes of solid pine modular wine racking for displaying individual standard bottles.
  • 8 x solid pine wine cubes holding  bottles in total (24 bottles in each cube).          
  • 1 x solid pine shelf unit with adjustable glass shelves and side vertical display.     
  • 2 x solid pine base units with adjustable wooden shelves.
  • 10 x solid pine case racks each 2 cases high and holding 2 cases in total on slide out trays.               
  • 20 x wooden case 
  • The lights require a 13amp 3 pin socket to plug the lights into.
  • Oak barrel with 800mm diameter glass top 9mm thick
  • height: 97cm. Approximate diameter at middle: 70cm.Diameter at End: 60cm 

This resulted in a ‘first-class’ service and a very happy customer

Final comments

Absolutely loving the cabinets and racks – excellent quality and great looking too. First class service from start to finish and first class product – keep up the great work! Now to fill them! And then empty them – then fill them etc…

Wine Racks Customer
Posted in Case Studies, Wine Cellar