How To Care For Your Wine Cellar

Make sure you have proper clearance and ambient temperatures
Most wine cellars require some form of clearance and have recommended minimum and maximum ambient temperature levels. While some built in wine cellars are ‘zero clearance’, some may require up to an inch depending on the model and size. Free standing units typically require 2-3”, so once your cellar is installed you want to just ensure that proper clearance and ventilation is being provide.

Ambient temperature cannot only affect the temperatures inside your wine cellar but will affect the longevity and overall efficiency of the unit. So be sure to adhere to the recommended minimum and maximum ambient temperature levels when deciding on the location for your wine cooler.

Be sure to change your filter and clean drip trays
Some wine cellars come standard with an air (sometimes charcoal) filter. These filters will help to keep the air clean within the cellar, and in some instances will limit the amount of air that is allowed into the cellar. If there is too much air that enters the cellar, it can lead to higher than desired humidity and moisture levels which can entice the growth of mold (see below for more on mold). Most filters are good for approximately a year or so, but that can depend on the overall ambient temperature and humidity levels in your area. So, if you notice that moisture is starting to build up to undesirable levels and your humidity is exceeding 80%, it is probably time to change that filter.

Other cellars will have drip trays that collect excess moisture from the cellar. If your wine cellar or refrigerator does have a drip tray, those should be checked every few months to make sure there is not excessive water build up (a mold spore attractor) and that the tubes are clear allowing a flow of water to the tray.

Wiping down the coils and interior cabinet
In certain cellars, the condensing coils or fans may be exposed on the back wall of the unit. If so, we recommend just taking a dust brush/paper towels (or ideally a handheld vacuum or compressed air) and cleaning those once a year or so. It helps the functioning of the coils and avoids any exterior coil damage as the condensing coils are the part of the cellar that get warm when the compressor is on. It is also a good idea to wipe down the walls and possibly the floor of your cellar at that same time if there is an excessive moisture build up. Any mineral deposits, residual water, or dust/dirt should be cleaned with warm water. A non-perfumed mild soap could be used. Again, the idea of these cellars is to maintain humidity between 50-75% for long term storage so the corks do not dry out. So, if the humidity goes above 80% for longer periods of time and there is visible moisture, that is something you want to handle before it can become a potential issue.

Other cellars will have drip trays that collect excess moisture from the cellar. If your wine cellar or refrigerator does have a drip tray, those should be checked every few months to make sure there is not excessive water build up (a mold spore attractor) and that the tubes are clear allowing a flow of water to the tray.

Keep an eye out for mold and mildew
All wine cellars are intentionally humid to keep the cork moist. Although, humidity can lead to mold. But don’t be alarmed as you can simply wipe it off with a clean, soft cloth. However, you do want to make sure to react at the first sign of it, as once it reaches your labels it could affect their appearance…. Unless you choose to go for the old wine cave style for your bottles.

Rest assured, mold won’t affect the wine inside their bottles, but you should try to address it at first sight to make sure it does not lead to an unnecessary larger problem. Ideal humidity should be between 50-80% which helps keep your corks from drying out. If the humidity is consistently around 80% or higher, a small room dehumidifier will probably help lower the humidity levels in the room and the cellar.

If you have any questions on any of our Wine Cellar Care Guides or would like to speak to one of our Wine Cellar Technical Support Representatives, please call us at 800-648-6058 ext 2.