A.01 Wine is a complex, fragile living substance. Even after it has been bottled and then purchased, the elements within the wine will evolve within the bottle. Through many changes that are collectively called "aging," wine that was initially fermented from grapes will ultimately gain more complex and abundant flavors and aromas. These changes help give wine its mysterious allure.
Of course, this does not mean that it is good to simply set aside a bottle for a long period of time. Many factors—including the varieties of grapes, the vineyard where they were harvested, the weather during that particular vintage year, and the winemaker—produce a great diversity in this most delicious of beverages. Some types of wine are best enjoyed soon after bottling, while others are just reaching their peak ten years later. The patient waiting until a bottle properly matures is one of wine's celebrated pleasures. But most ordinary wineries rarely age their wine until it is ready to drink. After bottles are shipped from the producer, they arrive at shops and are purchased by people who love wine. The owner of the bottle must then appropriately manage its environment until the wine is finally ready to drink and enjoy.
Japan's climate of sharply defined seasonal changes makes the country less than an ideal natural environment in which to age wine. The use of a wine cellar, with controlled conditions and stable temperature and humidity, is mandatory.
A.02 A refrigerator is the wrong place for wine. The typical refrigerator has a temperature range between 3 ~ 5 ℃. Even in the higher-humidity vegetable crisper compartment, the temperature is 5 ~ 10 ℃, which too low for wine storage. Also, because any refrigerator contains vegetables, meat, and many other kinds of food, it is an environment in which odors, molds, and bacteria may be easily transferred to wine through the porous cork. Finally, refrigerators are routinely opened and closed multiple times daily, and vibrations are generated that can impede gradual aging.
While a refrigerator may be acceptable as a temporary storage location, we strongly recommend the use of a wine cellar for long-term storage.
A.03 The storage temperature for red wine, white wine, or champagne is thought to be best between 12 ℃ ~ 18 ℃. It is also essential to be able to keep the temperature constant and unchanging.
When it comes time to drink the wine, the ideal temperature will vary by personal preference and the type of wine. See below for reference.
A.04 Terrior's custom-made wine cellars are equipped with a cooling unit that is designed to maintain a constant optimal temperature in the cellar. The temperature can be set in increments of 1 ℃ by the microcomputer controller.
As for humidity, an optimized heat exchanger and volume control minimize the temperature differential between the refrigerant evaporation temperature and cellar temperature, and water droplets adhering to the heat exchanger are returned to the air within the cellar by a dehumidification method.
This arrangement maintains a humidity of 60-80% that is optimal for wine.
Note: These measurement values determined by Terrior are for cases of ambient air conditions and when not subject to direct sunlight.
A.05 Compared to a compressor system, a Peltier cooling system has advantages in being vibration-free and saving space, but its shortcoming lies in its poor cooling efficiency for the amount of power it consumes. Therefore, any wine cellar larger than a mini refrigerator size will require a large Peltier system that will need an exceedingly large power supply and will consume a great deal of electric power. It is unsuitable for the sizes of most of the wine cellars built by Terrior.
The custom wine cellars described on this website are equipped with low-vibration, highly-efficient compressors from respected Japanese electronics manufacturers, and their excellent low-vibration performance is further enhanced by additional anti-vibration devices.
Furthermore, for installation environments that require extra quiet, such as a residence, country home, or hotel, compressors can be installed outside at a distance, so that even medium or large sized cellars completely pass the quietness requirements. When the compressor is installed remotely, you can have complete confidence in your cellar's ultra-quiet operation.
A.06 Because we use a compressor cooling unit to control the wine cellar's temperature and humidity, there is heat dissipation and some sound when the compressor is built into the wine cellar.
Small- and medium-sized wine cellars incorporate small compressors, and their output is nearly unnoticeable when being used in a commercial environment such as a restaurant or bar.
If the wine cellar is to be installed in a residence, villa, or hotel, where particular quietness is required, the compressor will be installed remotely as an outdoor unit and you can be confident that the wine cellar itself will not radiate sound or heat. Also, because the outdoor unit is about the same size as the outdoor unit of a room air conditioner, it can be easily installed on verandas, terraces, or similar spaces.
A.07 Terroir accepts orders for wine cellars that can be roughly classified into two types – the cabinet type and the walk-in type.
Cabinet type cellars are small- to medium-sized and have doors that can be opened to place wine inside or to remove it. In most cases, we build cabinets at our factory and deliver them when complete.
Walk-in type cellars are large enough to open the door and walk right in. Typically, we complete the assembly and construction of these cellars at their installation locations.
Even though these cellars may be quite large, they are assembled on-site from modular systems that include the panels of the main unit, glass doors, and so forth. Such cellars can be installed in basements as well.
A.08 Since every Terroir wine cellar is custom made, your cellar can be as large as you want.
Generally, Terroir wine cellar sizes range from the size of a small refrigerator to an entire room.
In addition, we can build thin wall-mounted wine cellars that are only 30cm in depth. These fit neatly into narrow spaces and passageways, yet their slender profiles still allow people to pass.
A.09 Wine cellar weights vary by the size of the wine cellar itself and by the size of its bottle racks. Please contact us for specifics.
The weights listed on the semi-custom wine cellar pages of the website are useful references. Although these semi-custom products may not precisely match your wine cellar's size and specifications, they will give you a rough idea of the expected weight of your custom cellar.
A.10 The number of bottles that will fit into any small or medium-sized wine cellar will increase or decrease based on the slope of the wine racks and the number of rows in each rack. Please contact us if you have specific requirements for wine cellar size or storage capacity.
Among large, high-capacity wine cellars, the capacity will vary based on their height, but it is approximately 200 bottles/ 1m ² as a general guideline.
A.11 Please avoid this arrangement because there may be issues of shelf strength, and because it will impede air circulation within the cellar, leading to temperature unevenness.
A.12 Just as when you choose flooring for the rooms of your home, when it comes to wine cellars, each individual is sure to have a different opinion about design and display choices such as the wood's tree species, color, and grain.
Terroir specializes in wine cellar manufacturing and construction, so we can fabricate a wine cellar from any design whatsoever.
Your first step is to contact us for a consultation.
A.13 Terroir wine cellars are designed with absolute freedom, so you can choose from a variety of door specifications.
Reach-in wine cellars are available with either a swinging door or a sliding door.
Walk-in wine cellars are available with swinging doors that open to the outside or to the inside, sliding doors, and doors that open and swing freely to both inside and out.
Extra-large doors are fitted with damper-equipped hinges to enable soft, smooth door movements.
A.14 Those who want to emphasize the display can select sloping racks, and those who want to maximize capacity would be best served by flat racks, stacked racks, and so forth. We take pride in our receptivity to a wide variety of customer requirements, so please let us know what would most please you.
As for materials used in wine shelves and wine racks, we recommend either stainless steel, that can withstand heavy loads, or black resin coating, that provides buffering for the wine bottles.
We also like the design properties and other qualities of natural solid wood.
A.15 Terroir custom wine cellars offer a variety of lighting plans that suit every need and display requirement.
We recommend long-life LED lights that do not emit heat, that great enemy of good wine. The LEDs can be attached above or below the wine collection in either down- or up-spot fixture systems.
For individuals who are especially particular about the amount of light, cool halogen light fixtures can be offset from within the wine cellar so that no heat enters the cellar.
A.16 Terrior's glass-panel equipped wine cellars use a type of glass that protects against UV light and that also provides a thermal insulation heat barrier. Moisture does not condense on the glass surface, leaving a clear view of the display.
In addition, to reduce the cooling load for cellars intended to be used at low cellar temperatures, and when a cellar installed in a basement faces a high-humidity ambient air environment, high-vacuum double-glazed window glass can be selected as an option for its superior thermal insulation performance.
A.17 Terroir's custom wine cellars are made carefully, one by one, for each individual customer. The delivery schedule will vary by the wine cellar's size, specifications, and storage capacity, but approximately 30 – 60 days can be considered a general guideline.
A.18 Terrior's wine cellars are all custom-made, and the materials and specifications (for example, tree species of wood, marble, type of tile, etc.) are chosen by the customer, so that even two identically-sized cellars might have vastly different prices. When you inquire about making a purchase, we will hear your ideas about size, design, and materials. At that time, we can provide our specifications and a rough estimate of the cost.
In addition, the page of semi-custom wine cellars on this website includes prices, so it can be utilized as a reference.
A.19 Normally, walls between rooms are not insulated, nor are they moisture-proof. Even when insulation materials have been inserted between walls, their thermal insulation performance can vary by location, and there is also much variation in the thermal performance and moisture-proofing, depending on the way the installation location was originally constructed. If the temperature and moisture performance do not pass the basic requirements for a wine cellar, condensation will occur both inside and outside the cellar.
In contrast, Terrior wine cellars are always equipped with their most important component: the cooling unit that keeps the temperature and humidity constant. Next, each Terrior wine cellar's framework is built with thermal barrier panels that block heat transfer and also perform reliably against condensation. Finally, the wine cellar is finished inside and out to the customer's specifications.