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Wine Cellar Capacity Planning

Wine Cellar Capacity Planning

Wine Cellar Capacity Planning

Before getting started with designing a wine cellar there are some important considerations to take into account. The first thing to think about is what your goals are for the storage capacity. How many bottles do you currently have in your collection? Are you planning to grow your collection or maintain what you have in terms of size? Knowing how many bottles impacts the footprint for the space, what types of wine racking can be selected, and the configuration or layout of the racking. By being clear on your capacity needs, you can then move into the planning stage. Here are 4 key considerations: 

Go Deep 

In wine storage lingo we talk about single, double, and triple deep racking. If you want your bottles positioned with the labels in view, going 3-deep is a great way to increase bottle count. Storing bottles 3-deep requires about as much depth as storing cork forward bottles single deep. If you prefer your bottles cork forward, storing bottles in tandem or one behind the other is a great way to build capacity. This configuration requires about 26 inches of depth which is often available in walk-in wine cellars. 


Go High 

Most ceilings are 8-10 feet high and the average reach is typically 6 feet high so one thing to think about is what to do with the unused storage space above 6 feet. Consider a ladder with a rail system so you can easily access the higher bottles. Or, store the wines you’re aging for the next decade up high and bring that ladder in from the garage occasionally when you’re ready to bring some of those bottles down. Professional tip: A case of wine weighs nearly 40 pounds so it is best not to plan for case storage above your comfortable reach.  

custom wine cellar ladder
Consider a ladder to maximize the height available for storage.
Configure for Capacity

Bulk wine storage such as rectangular bins are the most efficient form of wine storage when it comes to building capacity. These larger openings require less racking material which allows for more wine. And who doesn’t want room for more wine? The most popular wine storage configurations integrate bulk storage to allow for larger capacity and individual bottle storage for displaying your favorite bottles.
Custom wine cellar
Consider bulk storage to maximize storage space.

Choose your Racking Wisely 

There are many racking systems available on the market today and they vary when it comes to bottle capacity. Racking systems that offer bulk storage or have dense spacing will drive more capacity than less dense racking systems. By integrating different systems together, it will help meet your goals as well as aligning with the design aesthetic. 

Acrylic wine racking
Less dense individual bottle display features compliment more utilitarian bulk storage.


There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning your wine cellar and capacity is at the top of that list. Give us a call, we’d love to talk you through it. Contact Vineyard Wine Cellars today by clicking here or calling 866-973-1100.

About the author

Sarah Palmer, Vice President of Vineyard Wine Cellars, brings decades of consulting experience to Vineyard Wine Cellars. Her expertise in wine storage systems, refrigeration systems and design trends supports Vineyard's broad range of residential and commercial clients. She leads the design team with an emphasis on meeting the aesthetic and practical requirements of every project. Based in Dallas, TX, Sarah supports clients nationwide. Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Sarah Palmer Author



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