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NOTICE:  This was the most popular feature of the Bracksco Wine Nook website, so we are leaving it up, even though we retired and have taken down the rest of the site.

Building Your Own Wine Room

Building Your Own Wine Room Here we present some general advice and considerations for constructing your own wine room, based on our personal experience and research.  The content was pretty much "frozen" in December 2014, although we make minor updates from time to time.  The latest update minor update was June 2018, at which time we also converted the site to support mobile devices (smartphones).

Before we begin, here are two additional references for you:

  1. "Considerations for Building a Wine Room" -- a 2-page overview of the subject (PDF)
  2. "Building Your Own Wine Room" -- a 30-page presentation (PDF) given at the American Wine Society annual convention in Rochester, NY, on November 12, 2011.  The 15 steps below cover the details of this presentation.  A shortened version of the details was published in the American Wine Society Journal, Summer 2006 edition (pp. 66-68).

Bracksco owner/author Fred Brack is a Life Member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and a former officer and current member of the AWS Triangle Chapter.

This is a wonderful tutorial ... thank you very much ... It was well written and very detailed ... My contractor starts tomorrow and now I know what we should focus on.  VM, Shelton, CT (January 2010)

Here are the steps involved in building a wine room (a generic term we'll be using instead of wine cellar, which implies it is in the basement, which it may or may not be).

  1. Vapor barrier on wine room wall Plan, PLAN, PLAN!
  2. Deconstruct (if starting with an existing room)
  3. Build or expand depth of walls, ceiling, floor
  4. Install or reinstall door frame and door
  5. Frame an opening for the cooler
  6. Install electrical wiring for lighting and cooler
  7. Install vapor barrier
  8. Install insulation
  9. Install walls, ceiling, floor
  10. Seal walls, ceiling, floor
  11. Install final wall and floor covering
  12. Complete electrical work
  13. Install racks
  14. Install cooler
  15. Turn 'er on and fill 'er up!

Before we continue, if you are building a true wine cellar (one in the below-ground area of a home) without a cooling unit, we strongly recommend you purchase Richard Gold's book on this subject, as there are some special considerations for non-mechanically cooled below-ground wine rooms that he covers and we don't.  This is a useful guide for anyone planning a wine room, but he does assume you are building in the cellar area.  (Purchases of Gold's book or any book via this website benefit the American Council of the Blind.)

And now, let's start with Step 1:  Plan, PLAN, PLAN!


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