Wine cellaring: Guest post by Tyler Philp

Curious about wine cellars? It’s unlikely you’ll find someone more passionate about the topic than Tyler Philp, who wrote the following article and has an unbelievable amount of knowledge on the subject!

Two types of wine cellars exist:  Passive and Active.

  • Passive (Natural), in its most extreme sense, would be a cave; more realistically, a stone or brick foundation existing within but not isolated from the natural environment.
  • Active (Simulated), is exactly that, a re-creation of environmental conditions that could not exist otherwise.

Basically, if you own an old home with a cold, dark, damp, and otherwise dingy root cellar, you also have the potential for an incredible passive wine cellar.

For most people though, that is not the case and therefore a simulation of these natural conditions is necessary, which is fine, it just takes a bit more work to put the environment together.

An active cellar, can take on a couple of forms:  an enclosed room with controlled temperature and humidity or a self-contained environment such as a ‘wine cooler’.  Both can be rather simplistic or exceedingly complex (and expensive) but no matter how you look at it, all wine storage systems must achieve the same basic principles:  Temperature, Humidity, Vibration, and Light.

Who am I?  I’m a guy with a lot of free time; I write about and photograph countless wine cellars.  In fact, my own cellar is both an experiment and test of passive storage and the motivation behind a book (if I ever get around to publishing the work).

But on Nov 30th, we want to hear about your wine storage system:  How do you protect your personal collection of bottles?  Perhaps you don’t – does it really make a difference?

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