Cellaring

Wine Cellaring

Wine to Cellar's facilities were established in 2000 as a specialist wine cellaring facility and since then has been cellaring wine for a wide range of clients.  Our clients are from many fields and from all over New Zealand. Wine to Cellar's facilities have the following:

  • 24 hour security monitoring and patrolled every night
  • Temperature controlled at 13 degrees centigrade throughout the year
  • Humidity managed to within 65 -75%
  • Every wine stored is recorded and a full inventory of wines is forwarded to clients.
  • Wines can be easily sent to us by dropping them off or via courier service
  • Wines are available by email request and will be sent as soon as possible

Sharing cellared wine 

Sharing cellared wine is special way to celebrate occasions or acknowledge how special a friend or loved one is.
Wine to Cellar offers a range of options for you to share cellared wine with others.  Our packages are designed so that wines are delivered to your friends over a number of years .  You buy the wine of your choice (or Wine to Cellar can assist), Wine to Cellar cellars the wine and sends it to the nominated recipient when required. We take care of everything.

Information about Wine

Our "About Wine" section explores the many facets of wine such as notes on grape types and varieties, cellaring wine, vineyards, tasting wine and aromas, wine making, and links to many other wine related sites. use this part of our site to explore the wonders of wine and expand your enjoyment of wine.

The most important things to consider when cellaring wine are:
The four conditions for ideal cellaring are: an absolutely constant temperature, varying between neither day and night nor summer and winter; substantial humidity; a very cold mean temperature; and the absence of air movement.  The first two factors are of major importance; the third is important but needs to be taken in context; while the last is of least importance.

Consistency of temperature is more important than the degree of temperature – a cellar with a temperature varying between 8 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius is less satisfactory than a cellar with consistent year-round temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.

Here are a view other pointers for establishing a cellar:

  • Store bottles on their sides unless they are champagne – for this it is best to store standing up because the gas in the wine keeps the cork cells expanded to maintain a seal.
  • Store wines in the dark.
  • The optimum humidity for wine cellaring is 60-75 percent.
  • Keep track of your wines – it is easy for wines to get ‘lost’ – and then turn up many years later when it is ‘past-its-best’.

Why cellar wine?

There are many reasons to start and maintain a wine cellar – the best reasons are:

  • It is interesting experiencing a cellared wine – you are having a unique taste experience and when this is shared with friends with food it often provides a most enjoyable ocassion.
  • Many of the worlds wines are made to cellar as wines evolve a complex range of aroma and flavours over time - these often truely reflect the full character of wines and a fundamental feature of the winemaking process.
  • Many of the world’s best or interesting wines don’t last long on the market – so you need a means to store and enjoy them over a period of time.
  • It is good to have a selection of wines to choose from – the right wine for any occasion.
  • In the cellar is a record of time – a trigger to remember the time when the wine was first tasted or purchased – or better still cruising through the cellar contemplating what they may taste like and making decisions when you think it will best to drink.
  • When there is a bargain –  buy it and put it in the cellar.
  • Some wines have investment potential – but purchase wines you  intend to drink – if they provide a return on investment then that is a bonus.
  • A cellared wine makes a perfect gift – everyone enjoys receiving an aged wine.
  • Cellaring wine is a great conversation point – especially if you know someone who has the slightest interest in wine.

How to set up a cellar

Building a cellar can be a lot of fun – the anticipation of creating a store for those delicate aging wines is rewarding and a good start to life long interest in cellaring wine.

A few tips to get your cellar building project underway are:

  • Find a cool location in your premises – a southerly aspect in New Zealand or in the Southern Hemisphere or a more northerly aspect in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Consider insulating the walls and ceiling – it is good way to save on running costs if you require a cooler or conditioning unit.  Use as much insulation as possible – though avoid compressing the insulation more than it is designed for – this then reduces its effectiveness.
  • Install a vapour barrier on the outside of the insulation to prevent the ingress of water and condensation.
  • Seal the door with good weather proof seals.
  • Have a good look at all the different type of racking systems – there are lots on the market.
  • To control temperature and humidity there are many options  - “Google” Wine cellaring equipment or ‘wine cellar coolers’ for options.
  • Install a good quality high/low temperature thermometer to monitor you cellar conditions.
  • If this is all too complex contact Wine to Cellar and we will take care of everything for you.

What to cellar?

What wines to cellar is one of the most difficult questions to answer as the answer is –“ it all depends”.

Things to look for are:

  • Is this a wine (label), vineyard, area, region that I like to follow – as all these factors will influence how a wine changes over time.
  • Is this a good vintage?  Vintages from good years (excellent fruit ripeness and  good tannin and acid presence) are much better cellaring propositions – they will cellar for longer and evolve more aging characteristics.
  • How has the wine been made – is it an early drinking style or made to age.  Major factors here are the fullness of fruit, was the wine subject to barrel fermentation, How long did it stay in oak to mature, and release date from the vineyard.
  • Where possible  review the cellar notes – there is usually good information in these that will give a clue to a wines aging characteristics (alcohol level – above 12.5 % usually indicates riper fruit and a full bodied wine -  the alcohol is a natural preservative).
  • How old is the wine – at the time purchasing – if I am going to cellar a wine I like to buy it soon after release from the vineyard – that way I know the history of the bottles being purchased.  Don’t assume all bottles are treated equally and that some have not been “through-the-mill before you get them.

What happens during the aging process?

All wine changes with age.  As wine ages the primary fruit flavours  (those directly extracted from the grapes) are usually the first to change and then a range of secondary flavours emerge (toast, wholemeal, cedar, mushroom, earth, forest floor, honey, oiled fruit characters). 

Wines that are made to be enjoyed young typically have strong characteristic primary fruit characters – our best example in New Zealand is Sauvignon Blanc- these wines from Marlborough are fruity with distinct gooseberry, passionfruit and capsicum flavours.  But given time these evolve into a canned vegetative character – canned peas/asparagus.  Some people like the strong fruit characters, others enjoy the aged characters.