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8 things to look for when selecting a wine storage facility

wine cellar

Before you trust them with your valuable wine collection, make sure your storage facility is set up properly and taking all the precautions necessary to protect your collection from damage and keep it at its best. Here are a few things they need to do to earn your business:


  1. Protect your wine from fire.

    The facility should have a centrally monitored sprinkler system and/or smoke detection system in place, with signal continuity, as well as fire extinguishers throughout the building that are easily accessible.

  2. Secure the building.

    The facility should have a centrally monitored burglar alarm system with signal continuity, camera surveillance, and protocols in place to monitor any access staff and visitors have to the valuables within.


  1. Control temperature and humidity.

    It’s important that the facility have temperature and humidity controls that are centrally monitored, with signal continuity. They should also have a back-up generator to ensure that even in the event of a power outage, your wine will stay at the appropriate temperature and humidity levels.

  2. Maintain the building

    Before you hand over your wine collection, confirm that the storage facility is well maintained, with annual plans to inspect the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems to ensure they continue to be in good working order. You’ll also want to make sure they have water leak detection devices installed on air handling and air conditioning systems, to prevent possible water damage.

  3. Keep a low profile.

    To prevent break-ins and burglaries, many storage facilities for wine and other values keep minimal signage on the exterior of the building. That way, the general public won’t know what’s stored inside.

  4. Locate the building away from potential exposures and have an emergency plan in place.

    You may not want to store your fine wine in a building located next to other businesses that could create risks, such as a petrol station. But, if the risks can’t be avoided – for example, if the facility is located in bushfire or cyclone territory – ensure that the building management has an disaster preparedness plan in place, storage racks that are secured to the walls or studs to prevent damage in an earthquake, and is ready to evacuate your valuables in case of bushfires or cyclones.

  5. Properly train and vet the staff.

    Everyone working at the storage facility should be properly trained and qualified to care for and handle your wine collection. The facility should also perform thorough background checks on all personnel prior to hiring them.

  6. Manage the collection.

    All items located in open storage should have an identification label or tracking number on them, and the warehouse should maintain a complete and updated inventory of all items, including those in open storage.


This material is advisory in nature and is provided as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program.

This content is brought to you by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (“Chubb”) as a convenience to readers and is not intended to constitute advice (professional or otherwise) or recommendations upon which a reader may rely. Any references to insurance cover are general in nature only and may not suit your particular circumstances. Chubb does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and any insurance cover referred to is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions set out in the relevant policy wording. Please obtain and read carefully the relevant insurance policy before deciding to acquire any insurance product. A policy wording can be obtained at, through your broker or by contacting any of the Chubb offices. Chubb makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content. Readers relying on any content do so at their own risk. It is the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the quality and accuracy of the content. Reference in this content (if any) to any specific commercial product, process, or service, and links from this content to other third party websites, do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by Chubb and shall not be used for advertising or service/product endorsement purposes. ©2024 Chubb Insurance Australia Limited ABN: 23 001 642 020 AFSL: 239687. Chubb®, its logos, and Chubb.Insured.SM are protected trademarks of Chubb.

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