Whether you are designing and building a new home, or looking to convert an unused space, spare room or space under the stairs into a wine cellar, we can help. We work with your builder, architect or designer to ensure that you achieve a cellar that looks beautiful and performs its crucial role of protecting your wine collection.
The team at MacPhee’s has 18 years of experience in designing and building bespoke wine cellars. There are many technical aspects involved in building a cellar which need to be considered well before construction begins. Planning a wine cellar properly can avoid costly rework down the track.
If you would like to discuss your cellar project with us, please email us or call us on 1800 733 621.
This is one of the most common questions to ask and of course there is not one definitive answer. This will depend in a number of factors including the size and location of the space and the type of finishes and fittings selected. However as a guide, most cellars we see built cost between $15,000 – $30,000+. Cost of main inclusions:
Here are some examples:
Space under stairs filled with boxes of wine making it difficult to find individual bottles and risking ruining wine with no climate control.
Allowances made to install climate control unit.
Insulated area and lined with timber for sophisticated aesthetics.
Custom joinery designed and constructed to fill the unusual space.
Transformation complete turning a dead space into a beautiful wine cellar for approximately 650 bottles.
$24,395 for cabinets plus joinery
$32,380 for cabinets plus joinery
$61,050 for cabinets plus joinery
$97,580 for cabinets plus joinery
Wine requires a consistent temperature of 12-14°C to mature as the wine maker intended. Whilst traditional underground cellars in Europe have metres of earth protecting them around the perimeter and most importantly ABOVE the cellar, this is not the case for most wine cellars in Australia.
To build a cellar with the essential environment conditions required to protect wine, there are a lot of technical specifications and considerations. Sufficient insulation, protection from light and UV, correct cooling equipment and adequate ventilation to guard against musty smells and label damage are all requirements of a cellar.
Many underground cellars we’ve seen built have been done so using concrete or double brick and these do not provide sufficient insulation. In fact, these are very poor insulators and in the Australian climate, these materials can heat up and prevent the cellar from keeping to correct temperature. Even worse, these spaces often open into basement car parks and garages so the warm air comes straight in through the surrounding walls. Without proper insulation and climate control equipment, the end result will just be a “hot box” storage area, something that we see far too often.
Then there is the need climate control in the cellar. While some specialised climate control systems can utilise refrigerant piping or water coils for cooling purpose, most require some sort of ducting to an external area of the house or a large, well ventilated space. A standard air conditioner should not be used as they are not cold enough (often not operating below 18°C) and can reduce humidity which is detrimental to wine.
Having said all that, a cellar can be built almost anywhere in the home as long as it is built to specification including proper climate control and insulation.
So if you have your heart set on an underground cellar, don’t despair… but do talk to an expert during the planning stages. Achieving 14°C is never as easy as people think. Trying to retro fit insulation and a cellar conditioner after building the cellar can be a messy and costly process. Talking to a cellar expert upfront might save you and your clients money and pain down the track!
Yes, a cellar can be built almost anywhere in the home as long as:
Climate Control: A wine cellar climate control system turns almost any space into a custom cellar by recreating the essential conditions required to mature your wine perfectly.Wine needs to be stored at the same consistent temperature of 12-14ᵒC, and a humidity level of 55% to 75%. Many people overlook the need for a cellar conditioner, however vast changes in temperature can be very detrimental to your wine collection. Selecting the correct climate control system will depend on the size of your cellar, its heat load, its location and the space available to install the unit and ducting appropriately.
Insulation: All wall, floors and ceilings of the wine cellar must be insulated properly with approved materials such as Kingspan Kooltherm 17 and K3. Insulating only between stud walls is not sufficient as it must be continuous with no gaps. Any glazing MUST be double glazed with argon filled cavities and an energy or UV coating.
Ducting: Each climate control system has different requirements for ducting. A through the wall unit and some ducted systems needs ducting which leads to outside or a well-ventilated space that is at least three times greater than the cellar. A split system needs a little ducting close to cellar but then uses refrigerant piping to connect to condenser positioned elsewhere in the home or outside. A water cooled unit requires access to a large body of water for cooling purposes. Any air ducting needs to be insulated and not exceed the recommended number of bends.
The short answer to this is “YES” – If you want it to perform its crucial role of protecting your wine collection that is. Refer to Jancis Robinson, revered wine writer for over 30 years:
“Wine is relatively sensitive to storage conditionsand is one of the very few consumer products that can improve with age”-Jancis Robinson.Creating the perfect conditions for your wine cellar will ensure that your collection matures as the wine maker intended. We know from experience that there is no greater pleasure than opening a well cellared wine with some age that is “fresh” and lively rather than that dull sensation you can experience with poorly stored wine. To climate control your cellar, a purpose designed cellar conditioner is required. Do not install a standard air conditioner as wine requires a consistent temperature of 12-14°C.A standard air conditioner is generally not cold enough (often not operating below 18°C) and can reduce humidity which is detrimental to wine.
A cellar conditioner can create 4 of the 5 essential conditions for a wine cellar, however, climate controlling your cellar takes more than just simply installing a wine cellar conditioner.
There are a lot of technical aspects that require consideration during the design and building stages of your project. Engaging the right people and planning a cellar properly can avoid costly reworking down the track.
The team at MacPhee’s has been involved in thousands of residential and commercial wine cellar projects for 18 years. We work with leading architects, builders and developers as well as home owners providing expertise and technical advice about the best, most effective cellar designs.
Glass cellars make a spectacular feature in the home so it’s no wonder that many clients want to incorporate glass walls or doors in their cellar, particularly if it is positioned close to living areas.
You can absolutely build a cellar with glass walls or door but if you want it to maintain the essential environmental conditions to cellar your wine properly, there are some guidelines that you must consider upfront in the planning stages to ensure the effective operation of your cellar.
The team at MacPhee’s has extensive experience wine cellars. We work with leading architects, builders and developers as well as home owners providing technical advice about designing and building a wine cellar.
When space is limited, building a wine cellar under the stairs can be an appealing option. Some important things to consider are:
CASE STUDY: MacPhee’s designed, built and installed this climate controlled solid timber home wine cellar under an elaborate staircase in Sydney. Whilst the client was previously storing his wine by the case under this staircase, a number of cases had to be moved each time he needed to locate a particular bottle. MacPhee’s met the client’s request for access to as many individual bottles as possible whilst maximising the use of this unique space, using adjustable storage shelves for individual bottles, bins for multiple bottles and displays for special bottles. A small bench for opening and decanting wine was installed as well as a large roll out shelf at floor level for bulk cases to make use of an awkward angle.
The best racking solution depends on your priorities. Here is a checklist of some things you should consider:
Then of course there is the question of budget. Having custom joinery designed and built can be expensive so luckily, there are plenty of modular racking systems that can be customised to fit almost any space and be personalised with finishes.
Metal wine racks are usually available in a number of options such as silver or black, and some timber wine racks can be stained to complement the fit out.
For a more comprehensive list of things to consider, download our e-book Wine Racking for your Cellar
Designing and building a cellar has a lot of technical aspects that require consideration. It is an area that requires specialist knowledge that architects, designers and builders don’t always have. Likewise, a traditional air conditioning installer does not always have experience with wine cellars, which need to deliver the five essential environmental conditions required to cellar wine properly, not just a cold environment.
If you are planning a cellar in your home, it is critical that you get the right advice up front. In our 18 years of experience, the most successful wine cellar projects are those designed and built by a team that has worked closely with our team of wine cellar experts and followed our advice regarding building materials, insulation, ducting, cooling equipment and so forth.
The end result is a wine cellar that not only looks amazing also performs its important role of protecting your wine.
From a functional perspective, a good cellar must deliver the following five essential environmental conditions:
To achieve these conditions, a wine cellar needs the correct climate control equipment and insulation which our team can help you with. Of course, if you are investing the time, effort and money to build a wine cellar in your home, then you also want to love the space, to feel joy every time you walk past the space or open the door to enter. This is a more subjective measurement but here are some things to consider:
Sometimes a cellar is not the best option to store your wine collection. Ask yourself, what do you want to use the space for? Is it purely for the storage of wine, or are you wanting to create an entertaining / tasting area? Are you planning to cellar your wine for longer term or do you want to have wine close at hand and ready to service at ideal drinking temperature? What space do you have available for the cellar?
A “wine wall” created with multiple wine cabinets is a great alternative depending on your needs.
These are some of the benefits of a wine wall.
The MacPhee’s team is the exclusive distributor within Australia for EuroCave, inventor of the wine cabinet and world leader in wine storage, service and preservation equipment.
EuroCave invests significantly into research and development. EuroCave wine cabinets offer leading technology and are made to exacting standards with no plastic interiors, low noise levels, enviable energy efficiency ratings and quality, luxurious finishes. To find out more, visit the EuroCave website.
When selecting which climate control system will be the most appropriate for your wine cellar, there are three key questions you must ask yourself:
Here is a summary of the different types of climate control systems available:
$32,380 for cabinetsplus joinery
“Wine is relatively sensitive to storage conditions and is one of the very few consumer products that can improve with age” -Jancis Robinson
Creating the perfect conditions for your wine cellar will ensure that your collection matures as the wine maker intended. We know from experience that there is no greater pleasure than opening a well cellared wine with some age that is “fresh” and lively rather than that dull sensation you can experience with poorly stored wine.
To climate control your cellar, a purpose designed cellar conditioner is required. Do not install a standard air conditioner as wine requires a consistent temperature of 12-14°C.A standard air conditioner is generally not cold enough (often not operating below 18°C) and can reduce humidity which is detrimental to wine.
For a more comprehensive list of things to consider, download our e-book now…
EuroCave invests significantly into research and development. EuroCave wine cabinets offer leading technology and are made to exacting standards with no plastic interiors, low noise levels, enviable energy efficiency ratings and quality, luxurious finishes. To find out more, click “More Info Wine Cabinets” to be redirected to the EuroCave website.
Through the Wall Systems
Ducted Systems – Air Cooled
Ducted Systems – Water Cooled
1300 818 408
1800 733 621
MacPhee's Wine Cellaring Specialists
Building 6, 4 Rocklea DrivePort Melbourne, VIC 3207
The Cannery, B5 85 Dunning Avenue Rosebery, NSW 2018
+61 3 9696 5200