Regardless of the market demand for wine storage, no one will rent your wine space without the most basic amenities. This list includes:
- A properly insulated and designed perimeter that will prevent air movement and condensation
- A multi-tiered, high-level security system
- A properly designed and consistent moisture and temperature-control system (package or custom designed)
- A temperature- and moisture-level logging system
- 24-hour access via a safe, dedicated after-hours entrance
It’s best to have dual or redundant temperature- and humidity-control systems so a mechanical backup is always available. Emergency power backup should also be placed very high on the priority list. A truly marketable facility will have all of the above. Remember, even minor variations in temperature can reduce the value of a bottle of wine significantly.
Just as curb appeal matters when renting self-storage units, the interior finish of your wine-storage area should conjure a positive image. With a variety of building choices, take into account your own preferences and the perceived standards of the local market.
Wine lockers can be constructed of many materials, from exotic woods to standard self-storage interior products. A happy medium between wood and steel can be found in a popular product now on the market—French oak wood-grain embossed steel. With an oak-like façade, this system costs slightly more than the plain white metal-locker systems, but has the look of the more high-end custom-wood locker systems. This system is also designed to the facility owner’s specifications and interior dimensions. A variety of locker sizes can be accommodated, including single-, double- and triple-stacked.
Many facilities also include some type of common room that can be used by wine-storage tenants for small gatherings, tastings and meetings. Plan to include wireless Internet access and a wall-mounted TV/monitor that can used as a PC display.
As a final construction detail, try to avoid or minimize halogen and natural lighting in the wine-storage area itself. In addition to the heat from operation, halogen bulbs emit virtually the full spectrum of light, including infrared and ultraviolet. The infrared wavelength will increase the heat load of the area, and the ultraviolet wavelength can damage the wine.