What to look for…

modular rack with instructions

…When Buying Modular Wine Racks

Modular wine kit racks have become increasingly popular as a stylish, yet accessible alternative to custom wine cellaring. We developed our first wooden modular Kit Racks almost fifteen years ago, drawing on our experience and expertise in making high-end custom wine cellars. As we’ve evolved, so have our racks, and both our Kit Racks and our Elite Kit Racks enjoy the ‘trickle-down’ effect of quality and innovation derived from our work designing and constructing the world’s finest and most exclusive wine cellars.

With an ever increasing amount of wine racking options available on the market, we thought we’d give you some points to consider before buying, to help you make an informed choice.

a) Beware of racks that use plastic cleats/hardware, which not only look cheap, but provide dubious stability over even short term use. Genuwine Cellars use only wood cleats for secure installation and rigidity. There is nothing worse than a flimsy wine rack.

b) Most modular wine racks on the market are made of soft woods (Pine, Redwood), which is much cheaper to produce than most hardwoods. But most soft woods will exhibit ugly wear and tear almost instantly, and over the long term they virtually all break down under cellar conditions. Genuwine Kit Racks use only our direct-sourced Mahogany, and our Elite Kit Racks features three premium hardwood wood options.

c) Insure that the wine rack manufacturer knows about wine and its proper storage. We have seen inferior racks literally collapse, and if you want to see grown men and women cry, just watch when dozens of wine bottles are lost due to cheap materials. Genuwine’s modular racks were borne out of much experience with wine, taking into consideration things like: bottle size, cellar use, structural integrity, etc. We also have a Sommelier on staff.

d) Ensure that any rack you purchase has rounded “blocks.” Blocks are the small horizontal pieces of wood that actually cradle your bottle, and if they are not rounded (i.e., have their edges smoothed), they tend to nick and tear at labels. This is less than ideal for bottles you like to repeatedly show off, and can become disastrous if these are investment wines. From the beginning, Genuwine’s wine racks have used rounded blocks. It’s more work for sure, but it’s worth it.

e) One of the best things about modular racking is that you can seamlessly expand your cellar in the future. That is, as long as the wine racks you choose are still being made. Genuwine Cellars has been building only wine cellars for almost 20 years and we will be around should you ever choose to expand.

f) While funky materials and finishes may look great, be aware of off-gassing (the process by which building materials release chemicals into the air through evaporation). We have seen interior decorators and architects finish cellars with exotic woods and paints, only for those woods and paints to emit so much noxious gas as to make the cellar uninhabitable and the wine inside undrinkable. Genuwine wine racks do not emit any gases or fumes; all of our wood is completely inert.

g) Environmental sustainability is another item to consider when purchasing wine racks. Genuwine Cellars currently has several sources of wood, and is constantly striving to ensure the responsible use of wood resources.

Please take this knowledge with you, download Buying Modular Racks as a PDF. PDF icon


Our premium Wine Cellar Construction Guide and Explaining Wine Cellar Cooling Units Guide are freely available and can be obtained here.