Does it Matter What Type of Wood is Used for Wine Racks in a Wine Cellar?

IWA Design Center
IWA Design Center can help you create the best wine cellar for your space.

We believe that the choice of woods used in wine racks is very important, for two reasons:

  1. Decay Resistance – Woods vary considerably in decay resistance and durability. Woods like cherry and redwood are generally more resistant to decay.
  2. Tendency to Warp – Cherry and redwood are among those with the lowest tendency to warp.

Fungi & Mold

Deter the growth of fungi in wine cabinets and wine racks by considering the following four requirements.

  1. Temperature – Between 75 and 90 degrees Farenheit is optimum for the growth of fungi. Beyond the extremes of 40 and 105 degrees Farenheit, growth essentially stops.
  2. Oxygen – Fungi needs oxygen to grow.
  3. Moisture – Fungi can develop in wood with an average moisture content as low as 20%, so be aware of how humidity can impact your cellar interior.
  4. Food – Woods vary considerably in decay resistance or durability. Where it is impossible or impractical to keep wood below 20% moisture content, the next best approach is to choose a durable wood or wood that has been impregnated with a chemical preservative.

The first three requirements all exist inside a wine cabinet, so the only way to control against fungi is #4. Therefore, the choice of wood used to build wine racks is very important, and it should be a wood that is resistant to decay, such as redwood, black walnut or cherry.

For more information, check out the book by R. Bruce Hoadley called “Understanding Wood, A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” or see our wine cellar frequently asked questions article.

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