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To age wines

A knowledgeable wine enthusiast knows that to reach their full potential, wines must be aged in special conditions, which are seldom found in naturally. The environment in which a wine matures will determine whether it becomes a wonderful product or a terrible one. It is of the upmost importance, therefore, to age your wine in optimal conditions, whatever the size of your collection.

 

Ageing is a very important step in improving wine and our expertise will  ensure that your wine cabinet provides the optimal conditions for ageing and preservation.

These are the essential requirements for the proper ageing of the wine:

- The ideal temperature

- The absence of light

- Hygrometry, optimal humidity

- The absence of external odors to avoid altering your wines, even if it they are bottled

- The absence of vibrations

All our wine cabinets will allow you to age and store your wines in such conditions.

Wine is alive. That is why we must pay special attention to its development and ageing. There is a difference between "preservation" and "ageing". To Preserve is keeping wine intact or in the same state over time. Thus, a wine will only stay intact once it has developed all its oenological qualities. And in order to obtain them it must first age in optimal conditions.

Wine has a lifecycle, which is defined by four phases:

 

- Maturation: refining period, which lasts from juce draining until bottling.

- Ageing: Period which takes wine to its peak. The wine is becoming increasingly complex and the bouquet is formed.

- Peak: Period during which the wine reaches its best oenological quality.

- Decline: Time in which the wine begins to lose its qualities. It degrades faster or slower depending on the year. The degradations are physical, chemical and bacterial.

 

More information: WINE CABINETS FOR AGEING

The ageing of a wine is a delicate but crucial step in the life of a wine: it is what will determinate whether it becomes a wonderful product or a terrible one. That is why there are parameters to be met and which should not be overlooked to ensure that your wine ages in optimal conditions.

Our different models of wine ageing cabinets are designed to recreate all the optimal conditions found in a natural wine cellar.

Temperature

 

The most important thing is to store your wines at a stable temperature of between 10 and 14 ° over the long term.

Moderate variations in temperature will not alter your wines if they occur in just in the short term.

Note also that the ageing temperature of a wine is the same for all types of wines (red, white, pink, champagne, ...), just as is the case in a good natural wine cellar.

However, this is not the case for the serving of wine: each wine has its own ideal consumption temperature.

Among cabinets in the Artevino brand, the "Access" and "Ambiance" ranges are controlled by thermostats, and the wine cabinets in the "Performance" range are controlled by electronic thermostats.

  offers wine cabinets which are equipped with a digital thermostat.

Solutions to temperature problems according to Artevino & Transtherm:

- The consistency of temperature, the key factor in the process of ageing wine  is provided by a dual heating / cooling circuit, controlled by two thermostats

- The production of cold  by a compression system, causing the expansion of the gas in an evaporator located within the insulating foam in the rear panel, and in contact with the aluminium wall at the bottom of the wine cabinet.

- The production of heat provided by an electrical resistance, also placed inside the insulating foam, and in contact with the aluminium wall inside the wine cabinet.

- Maximum insulation, obtained by injecting 4.5 cm of polyurethane foam into the walls of cabinets improves the constancy of temperature (equivalent to 3 metres below ground)

- Homogeneity of temperature produced by the high power conduction from the inner aluminium wall of the wine cabinet, combined with the slow, steady flow of interior air through natural ventilation. This is what provides a stable temperature inside wine cabinets.

- Sealing of the cabinet with a magnetic gasket to ensure good adhesion of the door to the main cabinet.

Solutions to temperature problems according to Liebherr:

- Temperature control. To be constant and uniform, Liebherr appliances are equipped with advanced technology that maintains the desired temperature even in unheated rooms. Finally, an anti-cold safety system, exclusive to Liebherr, secures the operation of the compressor by preventing accidental oversupply of cold. Its uniform distribution is permitted through perforations in the shape of grapes on the aluminium plate at the bottom of the cabinets.

Humidity

 

Humidity is water in a gaseous state. It is essential to preserve the elasticity of the cork. Indeed, it is the elasticity of the cork, combined with the water in it that makes it possible to seal the bottle hermetically. Any contact, however small, with outside air would deteriorate the wine forever.

According to the principle of communicating vessels, if the cork dries out, wine will replace the water, which will encourage the development of bacteria causing cork taint. But the most damaging effect is the tightening of cork under the influence of alcohol, causing the flow of wine at the cork. The bottle is not hermetically sealed, and the wine is irreversibly oxidized.

The quality of the cork is also important. Corks of poor quality are not suitable for wine to evolve over many years because sawdust clogging the holes in the cork expands and risks being suspended in the wine.

To avoid altering the aging process of your wines, we recommend storing your bottles in an atmosphere with a humidity level of between 50 and 80%. A humidity level above 80% peels off the labels and mould will develop if the airflow is not adequate. Finally, to avoid development of mould, we also recommend that you wash your bottles before storing them in your wine cabinet.

 

Only a very low humidity over a long period will be detrimental to your wine.

 

Solutions to humidity problems according to Artevino & Transtherm:

 

- Humidity is maintained thanks to the thermodynamic pump principle which relies on heat exchanges.

- The condensation collected in the tray near the compressor is heated and turned into a warmer and more humid air.

- The differential created by the alternate production of heat and cold also has the effect of creating humidity.

 

Solutions to humidity problems according to Climadiff & Avintage:

- For  wine ageing cabinets: the side and bottom walls are made from a galvanised black grained metal which is reinforced to allow hydro-retention at the top.

Solutions to humidity problems according to Liebherr:

- In order to maintain constant humidity between 60 and 75%, the fan redirects condensation from the walls which allows a uniform humidity.

Solutions to humidity problems according to La Sommelière:

- The Wine cabinets that are made by La Sommeliere provide an appropriate level of humidity. In addition, monitoring of moisture content is reliable with digital moisture thermometers present on some models in the Prestige and Tradition ranges, allowing precise adjustment.

Darkness

 

It is imperative to age your wine away from any light. We distinguish two types of light

Direct sunlight: contains UV rays which alter the chemistry of wine and cause malolactic degradation. This deterioration inevitably leads to the release of carbon dioxide in the form of bubbles. It is the light that causes it to become "sparkling", which is undesirable in a red wine.

Indirect light: there is no UV, but it remains no less harmful. It washes and destroys wine. Red wines are the most susceptible, they become flat, without body or structure.

It is no coincidence that wines are still stored in smoked glass bottles.

 

Solutions to light problems according to Artevino & Transtherm:

 

- Darkness is a key element in the ageing of a wine.  Our wine cabinets are equipped with solid doors and are deliberately without interior lighting.

 

- The presence of a magnetic seal allows total sealing of the cabinet

 

- Only cabinets for wine storage (in the short term, two years maximum) can be fitted with treated glass doors to filter UV. The wines cannot then be altered or processed

 

Since indirect light can alter your wines in the long term, we advise people with a glass door wine cabinet to age the wine at the rear, and to put bottles intended to be consumed quickly (in 2/3 years) to the front.

A glass door wine cabinet will act as an aging cabinet at the rear, and a storage cabinet at the front.

 

Solutions to light problems according to Liebherr:   

- To avoid problems with light, whether artificial or natural, Liebherr models fitted with glass doors have double glazed windows and a UV filter.

 

Solutions to light problems according to La Sommelière :

- Wine cabinets made by La Sommelière provide effective protection against UV rays: their doors are doubled for optimal insulation, glass doors are treated with anti-UV. Additionally, the wine cabinet’s lighting can be disengaged and turns off automatically when the doors close.

 

The absence of vibrations

 

 

In the aging and storing process, it is very important to keep your wine safe from vibrations that are often responsible for the suspension of deposits. Excessive vibrations disturb the slow ageing process by breaking the delicate molecules of certain chemical compounds.

 

The vibrations also cause oxidation of the wine by combining the oxygen contained in the bubble of air in the bottle and the oxygen contained in the wine.

Vibrations in a wine cabinet have two origins: the compressor or the fan installed in some models.

In a wine cabinet, the compressor makes it possible to produce cold air. It is therefore imperative to develop a series of solutions to suppress the vibrations it produces. However, in models equipped with fans, there is no solution for suppressing the vibrations that are related to the noise it generates. The noise is a sonic shock wave.

Vibrations are minimized so as not to hamper the proper ageing of your wines. This is due to the quality of materials used, the selection of compressors and their mounting on a base, independent of the main body of the cabinet.

Solutions to vibration problems according to Climadiff & Avintage:

- Motor attached to a shock absorber

- Base compressor with anti-trampoline effect

- Inner chamber detached from the outer chamber

- Silencing blocks between each shelf and shelf supports

- Fibre wood shelves contribute to the limitation of residual vibrations

 

Solutions to vibration problems according to Liebherr:

 

- A heavy and compact body ensures the robustness of the devices. Wine cabinet motors are equipped with silencing blocks and are separated from the tank. Thus, their operation is free from vibrations. In addition, adjustable feet allow to make up for irregularities of the ground and wide racks stabilize bottles, whatever their shape.

 

Solutions to vibration problems according to La Sommelière :

 

- All the wine cabinets made by La Sommelière are equipped with shock absorbers which absorb vibrations from inside and out. The ageing of wine is not compromised and the operation of the wine cabinet is exceptionally quiet.

 

Diagram showing wine storage periods and peak periods

 

 

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