How do I build an above ground wine cellar?
Above-ground wine cellars are probably your most difficult wine cellars to build because of the amount of insulation that goes into them. Ideally, an above ground wine storage unit should be built in a shady spot to assist in cooling. Insulation for the walls should have a rating of at least R-13, while the floors and ceiling should be insulated around R-19 or higher. Make sure your wall space have a vapor barrier to help in keeping the moisture out and ensure that your access is well sealed and insulated. A wooden door is very poor insulation, but some quick thinkers have tacked R-30 insulation to the back of wood door accesses as a quick fix before they could afford something with a better seal and higher degree of insulation. Interior racking systems are at the builder’s discretion, though remember that it’s best to keep the wines with the cork facing downward in order to keep the interior part of the cork damp and sealed. Select a temperature control device that can easily keep your storage area between 55 and 58 degrees and at an average humidity of 75%. A good book to read before building would be Dr. Richard Gold’s How and Why to Build a Wine Cellar . It contains information from the effect of soil composition on building to details of light, heat and effect temperature control, as well as easy to follow building plans for the novice builder.