Managing Wine Cellars

There are principally two types of wine cellars.  There are those that would be considered commercial infrastructure that are used for supporting a restaurant or wine business of some form such as those that are in operation at the vineyards.  Then there are those wine cellars that are the personal operations of the wine connoisseur or other wine and food enthusiast.  Many folks incorrectly consider wine cellars and wine refrigerators in the same way.  In fact, traditionally, wine cellars are of much broader operation and may include several refrigeration plants and natural storage areas that are storing or staging wine for serving.  Wine cellars of both types are managed in the same way.  There is the logistics aspect of storing and staging wine for serving and then there is the management of the supply of the cellar.

Wine Storage And Serving Temperatures

The management of wine cellars must consider the broad span of temperatures required for storing and serving wine.  For storage of wine it is universally understood that a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit is required for ideal storage.  It is also thought that the humidity should be in the middle range of seventy percent humidity, or slightly higher, not too high or moulds will grow and the quality of your corks may suffer degradation.   In some parts of the world these temperatures can be found in natural cellars and caves, hence the origin of the term wine cellars.  If you are not in such a part of the world then you will need to purchase some form of plant to maintain the temperature.  If you are living in Eskimo country this might be some form of heat exchanger rather than a refrigeration plant.  It is therefore incorrect to equate wine cellars with wine refrigerators.

On the other hand the serving temperature of most varietals of wines varies with the wine and adds to the complexity of the logistics.  Managers of wine cellars also typically provide staging facilities of some form to make sure that the serving temperature of the wine ranges from 45 for whites to 60 for the most robust reds.

Supply Management

For large wine cellars, inventory is maintained on computers and the stock on hand at the various temperatures monitored based on anticipated demand.  Knowledge of your clientele is required to get this right.  Managers of wine cellars often maintain favorite bottles for clients and make sure that they are at the right serving temperatures on anticipated occasions such as birthdays and holidays.  Indeed they will need to perhaps have orders placed for replacement bottles automatically issued, once customers acknowledge satisfied consumption of their favored wines.