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Wine Cellar Humidity Control

CFW provides dehumidifiers, hygrometers and monitors to suit the needs of both domestic and large-scale wine cellars. We can also evaluate your requirements and implement custom, turnkey solutions. Visit www.dampcontrol.co.za for further information on our dehumidifier products.

vineyards and wine

Good wines can improve with age when correctly stored, but they can also quickly deteriorate in unfavourable conditions. To ensure that wines achieve their full potential, wine industry professionals and discerning amateurs pay careful attention to establishing and maintaining optimum storage conditions.

The management of humidity is an oft-overlooked element of this problem. Ambient air that is too dry can cause the cork to dry out and contract. This can draw wine through the cork by capillary action and let air into the bottle, oxidizing the wine and permitting fungal growth. In some cases, this leads to the loss of hundreds of bottles of costly wine. On the other hand, very high humidity can allow mould to grow on the label or even the cork. Ideally, wine bottles should be stored on their sides, to keep the cork moist on the inside, and with an ambient air relative humidity (RH) of 60%-70%. A vapour barrier is advisable where a small personal cellar is essentially a room in one’s home. This will prevent the water vapour from migrating between rooms, which can cause damp problems and increase electricity costs from equipment used to maintain comfortable conditions. A hygrometer will help to monitor humidity. More sophisticated systems will have a humidistat and humidifiers/dehumidifiers for automatic humidity adjustment.

Humidification systems for wine cellars may be through-wall systems or ducted systems. Selecting the right system depends on the size and capacity of the cellar as well as the cost of the system. To save on labour, and maintenance and further guarantee safety, it is also important to consider additional features, such as automatic control or maintenance, resistance to rust and corrosion, and wet pad designs that reduce the risk of dust and bacterial propagation.

Good storage humidity will help guarantee a fine wine for drinking or marketing.

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