Building a Cool Cellar

I can still remember the days when my father served his wine straight from the “cellar.” It was really a cold room, which meant the temperature of the wine would follow our Montreal weather — very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. As I moved into an apartment, and later on into a house, I stored bottles of wine in a closet with one wall adjoining an exterior wall. This was fine as long as I did not want to age the wine for more than a year or so, but my collection quickly outgrew any closet space in the house. As I had acquired some fine wines in the process, and built up a sizeable inventory of homemade wine, I needed another solution. I needed a bona-fide cellar that would protect my investment and reward me with the pleasure of drinking carefully-aged wine at its peak. So I set out to learn as much as possible about building material properties, soil thermodynamics, and cooling and heating units. I wanted to build the perfect “cool” cellar. This