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Posts Tagged ‘wine cellar cooling’

Breezaire Cooling Units

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Breezaire cooling unit in a wine cellarWhen most people think of a wine cellar, they think of the aesthetic: a grand door, gorgeous wooden racking, perhaps a piece of wine-themed artwork. And of course, these aspects of your wine cellar are incredibly important; they’re what make it fit seamlessly in the design of your home, work with your lifestyle, and put a stamp on your cellar that’s uniquely yours.

But one of the most important parts of a wine cellar is one that’s entirely behind the scenes: the cooling system. Wine cellar cooling units are much more than air conditioners. They control not only temperature, but also humidity. They are specifically engineered to create the ideal environment for preserving and aging wine. The best wine cellar cooling units not only control the environment, but constantly monitor it, allowing you to see at a glance that your wine is being taken care of.

There are many companies that manufacture wine cellar cooling units, but only a few that do it to the exacting standards that your valuable wine collection deserves. One of the best manufacturers of wine cellar cooling units is Breezaire. Some of Breezaire’s excellent features include:

  1. Gentle cooling: Most air conditioning systems blast the room with a stream of freezing-cold air. But this kind of extreme temperature can interfere with the delicate wine aging process. Breezaire cools by using a gentle stream of cool–not cold–air, which keeps the wine protected from abrupt temperature changes.
  2. Automatic humidity control: Humidity is vital to a wine cellar. The proper level of humidity helps prevent label deterioration, and more importantly, cork deterioration, which can ruin your wine. Breezaire systems maintain humidity at an ideal level of 50 to 75 percent.
  3. Quiet operation: Your wine cellar should be a place you enjoy being. A noisy cooling system can ruin your sense of peace and tranquility. Beyond that, vibrations–even those too small for a human to detect–can interfere with your wine’s aging process. Breezaire systems are assembled by hand and tested to ensure that the level of noise and vibration is kept at an absolute minimum.
  4. Simple and elegant installation: Breezaire systems are designed to require no special plumbing, wiring, or complicated procedures to install. Once installed, Breezaire systems are design to sit flush with the wall, and are virtually unnoticeable.
  5. Expert support: Installing a cooling system can be tricky. Breezaire has a team of experts equipped to design the perfect system, problem-solve, and maintain your system far into the future.

Interested in building the wine cellar of your dreams, complete with a cooling system that will help you build the wine collection of your dreams? Contact a Vintage Cellars expert to talk about the best options for you.

Featured Project: Contemporary La Costa Wine Cellar

March 25th, 2013 No comments

Curious about the process of building a wine cellar start-to-finish? Today we’re showcasing a new 800 bottle contemporary wine cellar we built in La Costa, California. The client, Don, presented us with a challenge: convert a study in his new home into a wine cellar with a unique design. Read on to find out how we did it.

custom wine cellar with vintageview wine racks

The Client

Don started collecting wine about six years ago and developed a love for California cabs. He began taking yearly wine tasting (and buying) trips, and wanted to start coming back with more wine but had nowhere to store it. It was time to get serious about his collection. He began his search for a wine cellar builder, came across Houzz and found Jake and Vintage Cellars’ work.

The Space

Don sent Jake a look at the model for his new home and explained that he wanted to convert the study into a cellar. He also wanted to be able to easily pick out a bottle visually, so the labels had to be prominently displayed.  Jake drew up a couple of designs, and came up with one that suited Don perfectly: a contemporary space completely different from your standard wine cellar.

The Project

Since the original room was a study, it wasn’t built for the challenges of storing wine in climate-controlled conditions. Jake and his team re-insulated the walls to ensure that the new cooling system would perform at its peak. They designed a custom cabinet to seamlessly fit the study’s curved wall. They installed a Vintage View wine racking system that displayed the majority of his collection labels-out, making it easy for him to locate the perfect bottle for a dinner party or cozy night at home. Their 800-bottle racking system also left space for storing larger bottles, and shelf-style racks below for storing bottles in larger quantities.  Lastly, Jake recommended Don use a door made to face outdoors in the cellar to keep the room insulated.

Jake and his team finished off the project with a central bar area, complete with wine artwork. Though Don never imagined himself lingering in the cellar, at the behest of his friends, he now finds himself turning off the cooling system for an hour at a time so that he and his guests can relax there! What was originally intended as a study is now a beautiful space that functions not only as a place for storing Don’s growing collection, but also as a conversation-starter and gathering space.

Click to enlarge each image.

Announcing the WhisperKOOL SC Series

August 1st, 2012 No comments

WhisperKOOL SC replaces the WhisperKOOL XLT series
Vintage Cellars is pleased to announce the new WhisperKOOL SC series. The WhisperKOOL SC cooling units replace the WhisperKOOL XLT series, a long-time popular product for wine connoisseurs looking to provide their wine with the most consistent environment possible. The new WhisperKOOL SC series maintains all the features of the WhisperKOOL XLT products, with additional tweaks and adjustments based on years of customer feedback. The WhisperKOOL SC series is also housed in an all-new casing.

WhisperKOOL SC cooling units, like their XLT predecessors, come in five sizes to suit wine cellars up to 8000 cubic feet. The smallest SC cooling unit is designed for cellars up to 300 cubic feet, allowing you to select an efficient model for your smaller cellar.

If you have a WhisperKOOL XLT cooling unit in your wine cellar now, rest assured that you will still be able to purchase WhisperKOOL XLT parts and accessories for the foreseeable future. When your XLT cooling unit is in need of a replacement, the WhisperKOOL SC series cooling units are direct replacements for WhisperKOOL XLT cooling units, so the upgrade should be low-fuss.

If you have any questions about your cooling unit needs, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. The Vintage Cellars team is always pleased to work with wine lovers to get the ideal wine storage environment, whether you’re looking for a new WhisperKOOL SC unit, parts for your existing WhisperKOOL XLT cooling system, or other wine cooling needs.

Has My Wine Gone Bad?

June 19th, 2012 No comments

If you’ve been drinking wine for a while, you’ve most likely encountered a bottle that has gone bad somewhere along the line.  Unlike wines that simply taste “less-than-good,” bad bottles taste unbelievably bad!  What causes such ruined wine?  Here are a few factors…

bad wine that tastes like vinegar

Image from northof9finewine.blogspot.com

A Bad Cork: Bad corks are the number one cause of “bad” wine.  If stored improperly (upright instead of on its side, or in an environment without much humidity) a bottle’s cork can become too dry.  It can then crumble, exposing the wine to air prematurely.

Air Exposure: Premature exposure to air (often because of bad corks) makes wine go flat and taste weak.  Any air leak will quickly ruin decent wine.  Some people mistakenly think that re-corking a bottle of opened wine will enable it to be preserved as before.  Unless you’re using a wine preservation system similar to the Winekeeper Vintner 3 Bottle Wine Dispenser System, just popping the cork back on will not preserve your wine; the air remaining in the bottle will wreak havoc on your remaining wine.

Warm Storage: If wine has been stored for a lengthy period in heated conditions (direct sunlight, an uncooled storage area, a steamy car trunk, etc.) It can acquire a rubbery, burnt-like taste.  One telltale sign of a bottle that’s been exposed to heat is a cork that leaks a little bit of wine.  If you’re storing wine at home in your cellar, consider investing in a WhisperKOOL XLT 1600 cellar cooling unit that not only regulates temperature, but also humidity!

Past its Prime: If a wine ages too long after it’s reached its maturity, it will begin to taste like vinegar.  Lots of people mistakenly blame vinegar-tasting wine on something that happened during the production process.  Most of the time, however, that vinegar taste simply indicates the wine was stored way past its prime.

So, if you’re storing wine, make sure it is kept out of direct sunlight, stored on its side in a climate-controlled environment (preferably where moisture is also monitored), and consumed close to the time when it reaches its maturity.  Follow these simple steps, and the amount of bad bottles you open in your home will be minimized. Cheers!

New WhisperKOOL SC Series Wine Cellar Cooling Systems

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

whisperkool sc seriesVintage Cellars is proud to now offer WhisperKOOL SC Series Cooling Systems. The SC Series, which replaces WhisperKOOL’s popular XLT Series, offers wine collectors the latest in wine cooling technology, providing both quality and value in durable wine cellar cooling units.

Having incorporated feedback from WhisperKOOL customers and installers, this new line of wine cellar coolers includes an updated housing design and the latest system technologies. The new SC Series comes in five models: SC 2000i, SC 3000i, SC 4000i, SC 6000i, and SC 8000i.

Contained within the compact structure of the WhisperKOOL SC Series is highly powerful and sophisticated wine cooling technology. The SC Series offers vibration-free cooling for up 2,000 cubic feet of storage space while maintaining a 30°F temperature differential. Furthermore, the SC Series’ advanced digital controller and liquid temperature probe ensures that a stable temperature is maintained for the bottle contents rather than the air in the room.

One of the most outstanding features of this new line of wine cellar coolers is its convenient installation. The SC Series compact structure fits perfectly between standard wall studs, reducing installation time and costs.

To learn more about the WhisperKOOL SC Series wine cooling system, check out our brand new SC Series page. If you’d like assistance in selecting the best unit for your needs, please call us at 1-800-876-8789.

Introducing the WhisperKOOL Slimline Cooling System

February 28th, 2012 No comments

Have a wine cellar, but not enough room to install a proper cellar cooling unit?  That’s what some people believe. Avoid a big wine storage mistake in your small cellar by investing in the WhisperKOOL Slimline cooling system; it’s designed to fit in that frequently-unused space above your cellar door!

WhisperKOOL Slimline cooling system fits above your cellar door

The WhisperKOOL Slimline Cooling System

Even if your cellar is small, the WhisperKOOL Slimline’s over-the-door installation makes it a perfect fit.  In fact, the unit is made to cool cellar spaces up to 350 cubic feet.  With its sleek design, the WhisperKOOL Slimline takes up very little space, and the space it does require is an area that typically goes unused!  This cooling unit is also one of the most energy-efficient systems for smaller cellars; it requires less power to operate than most cooling systems (only 3.5 AMPS while running.)

Like other WhisperKOOL series units, the Slimline system uses the same control system, including several monitoring probes and a convenient, digital display.  Weighing just 50 lbs., the unit measures 22’W x 10.25”H x 19”D and has a 30°F temperature differential.  (Not too shabby for a unit designed to go above a cellar door!)  Utilizing WhisperKOOL’s  Advanced System Protection Technology, your cooling unit is designed to have a long life.  In fact, the compressor even comes with a 5-year warranty.

So, if you’re stuck wondering where in your cellar you can fit a quality wine cooling unit, fret no more; the WhisperKOOL Slimline is here to save the day!

Top 5 Wine Storage Mistakes

February 23rd, 2012 No comments

Let’s face it, people make mistakes.  And when it comes to wine storage, a lot of people make innocent mistakes that end up costing them a few (or more!) good bottles of wine.  Here’s how to avoid some common wine storage blunders.

The Top Five Wine Storage Mistakes

Always store wine on its side

The proper way to store wine: on its side! (photo by Jorge Royan)

1. Storing wine upright.  If you store wine with your bottles standing up, the wine does not keep the corks wet, meaning they can dry out, allow excess air inside, and then make the wines taste like vinegar.  It’s easy to buy a case of wine, put it off the the side in the basement (upright) to store later, and forget about it until it’s too late.  Don’t let this happen to you!  Store your wine on its side.

2.  Not controlling temperature.  Gradual changes between the seasons won’t harm wine, but rapid temperature fluctuations–like big, same-day changes–will age wine prematurely.  If your cellar temperatures are all over the map, invest in a WhisperKOOL Extreme 8000ti (a large cellar unit) or another quality wine cooling unit, so your cellar’s temperature stays constant. Read up on proper temperatures for your collection, too.

3. Not controlling humidity.  Corks will shrink if cellars fall below 50% humidity, letting excess air into your bottles (even if they’re properly stored on their sides).  In fact, a humidity level of 70% or 80% is quite good for your wine!  If your cellar is too dry, invest in a humidifier to preserve your precious vino.

4. Sunlight in the cellar.  UV exposure degrades a wine’s organic compounds, making it age too rapidly.

5. Vibration or frequent moves. Keep your wine away from vibrating machinery, and even trucks going by when possible.  Low vibrations can “shake” wine bottles, thus disturbing their sediment and speeding up the aging process.  If using house-shaking, vibrating power tools, its best to use them away from where you store your wine. And don’t move your bottles more than necessary.

By avoiding these errors, you’ll better preserve your wine collection and insure it ages appropriately.  Cheers!

When the Lights Go Out: Keeping Your Wine Safe in Hurricanes & Other Power Outages

August 31st, 2011 No comments

Road Damage from Hurricane Irene (image from iBerkshires.com)

Residents of the East Coast recently experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irene.  For the fortunate individuals who did not incur serious property damage and flooding, there were other issues to contend with: power outages.  Some storms can leave areas without power for days, meaning your wine cooling units will not operate.  And who wants to see a multi-thousand dollar investment ruined because of a power outage?  Aside from hooking your wine cooling units up to a generator, which is an option only if your personal survival is not dependent upon the same generator, there are a few things you can do to keep your wine safe (if you can still access your cellar!)  If you own a wine cabinet, like the Vinotheque Wine Reservoir, or a  N’Finity two temperature cooling unit, obtain a large block of dry ice and, while wearing work gloves, wrap it in clear cellophane (plastic wrap.)  Position it just above the top of the unit, and your wine will remain cool for about two days.  If most of your bottles are racked and you don’t have a wine cabinet, choose your most valuable wines and stand them upright in a large cooler or plastic storage tub.  Fill the container with ice.  Drain and re-ice as necessary. (Standing the bottles upright is okay in this emergency situation.  It helps minimize water/ice damage to labels, and also keeps the corks from being exposed to a fast temperature change.)  If your wines do happen rise above their typical storage temperature, they will age a bit quicker than anticipated.  This may mean that some will be ready to drink much sooner.  Keep this in mind when restocking them after the disaster, and consider using bottle tags to mark any questionable wines.  This way, you’ll remember to enjoy them before it’s too late.

Cool It! Time to Check Your Wine Cooling Unit

July 27th, 2011 1 comment

Summer is in full swing!  And during the summer, increased temperatures often cause wine cellar cooling units to work longer and harder hours.  While most cooling units are expected to last five years if running continuously, the majority of cooling units (those run only when needed) function for many, many years beyond this grave estimate.  However, the time may eventually come when you will need to replace a cooling unit in your wine cellar or cabinet.  How will you know when this is so?

WhisperKOOL Platinum 4000 Fully Ducted Split Cooling SystemThere are three types of cooling systems, each with their own particular design: through the wall (e.g. CellarCool CX Cooling Units), self-contained/ducted (e.g. Wine Guardian Fully Ducted Systems), and split systems involving a condensing unit and fan coil (e.g. WhisperKOOL Split System Cooling).  If your system is not operating properly, first refer to your owner’s manual.  You’ll often find a tip in the “troubleshooting” section that will miraculously solve the problem. If the problem persists, clean your cooling system while referring to the same manual.  For through the wall systems, vacuum and clean the vents. If this does not fix the problem, or if you have a split systems or self-contained/ducted one, you may need to call your local HVAC contractor to come out and test the coolant, pressure level, and provide general service to the system.  They’ll also make sure the issue is really the cooling unit and not a problem with the thermostat, especially if there was a recent power outage.

For wine cabinet cooling units: Many times you can purchase replacement cooling units made specifically for the model of your wine cabinet.  This allows you to replace them easily, without having to fuss with modifying a cabinet.  Although cooling units can last for many years, it’s a good idea to have them tested and serviced every year.  This way, they will keep running as efficiently as possible, and will oftentimes last longer than if they were never serviced.  Just like taking your car in for routine tune-ups, giving your cooling unit yearly “check ups” helps it stay in tip-top shape.

If you think your cooling unit might be ready for retirement, give the Vintage Cellars wine storage experts a call. They can help you figure out whether you need to replace the unit, and if so what cooling system will best suit your needs for the future. Even in wine cooling, new technology happens all the time! So the unit that has served you well for years may actually be inefficient (ie, expensive to run!) or noisy in comparison to the up to date cooling systems available.

Introducing The Next Generation of WhisperKOOL Cooling Units

June 3rd, 2011 No comments

WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Cooling System

Just in at Vintage Cellars are the powerful WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Cooling System and the WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Fully Ducted Cooling System.  Both of these advanced products are high-end, self-contained cooling units at the very top of the WhisperKOOL line.  These state-of-the-art cooling units are brand new, replacing the earlier WhisperKOOL 4000 Platinum Extreme models, which were also exceptionally dependable.   Easy to install, and ready to work immediately afterward, the WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme upgrades are the next generation of cellar temperature control technology.  Complete with an advanced electronic control system, a remote digital LED readout, liquid bottle probe, humidity control, energy saving mode, and a 55° temperature differential–not to mention a two year parts and labor warranty–these nearly-noise-free cooling units are designed to work in any cellar space, even in extreme environments.  We’re very excited about these fantastic WhisperKOOL upgrades, and hope you’ll be, too!  Free standard shipping is offered on all WhisperKOOL units, and you’ll even receive a free set of two Riedel “O” Series Cabernet Wine Glasses with your order.  With WhisperKOOL technology, creating ideal cellar temperatures has never been easier!

WhisperKOOL 5000ti Platinum Extreme Fully Ducted Cooling System