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

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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.