We Dream in Red & White

The Passive Wine Cellar

2010 March 30
by Joseph & Curtis

As many of us try our best to be the greenest we can be, I am often asked if it is possible to build a green wine cellar? There is no exact way to do this, but here are a few ideas that can help.

Try building your wine cellar in a spot that will require the minimum amount of cooling or even better, no cooling at all. The “passive” wine cellar should be built below ground with as little natural light as possible. Installing a floor vent which draws cooler air from the underground can really help with temperature conditions.

Using natural stone (slate) is a great way to help maintain consistent temperature as well. Other ways you can push the “green” button would be to use re-claimed wood for the wine racks and recycled glass. Further, you may wish to check the wineries you are buying from: are they using wind power, organically grown grapes, certified bio-dynamic wines (no sulfites) or perhaps they ship wines by train. An example would be Osprey’s Dominion, who we recently interviewed in one of our popular Q&A interviews – check out the blog to learn how they are using wind mills to power their vineyard.

We are all looking for ways to sustain the planet and to be the best stewards possible, but if you are looking for a perfect 56 degrees for wine storage it would be difficult to achieve in a passive cellar. However, if you are willing to give up a few degrees and some fluctuations in temperature, then a passive cellar just may be the way to go.


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