Wine Fridge Cooling Zones

When searching for a wine fridge on the coolersomm website one of the filtering trees offered is 'features'. Recently we looked into the data behind what our customers were searching for when looking for a wine fridge and the results were interesting.

Aside from price, which 46% of searchers filter for immediately, the most commonly selected features of a wine fridge search were i) number of zones ii) decibel level iii) carbon filter iv) winter system and v) reversible door.

Over the next 2-3 weeks we're going to deep-dive into each of these features and discuss why each are important, under what circumstances may they be necessary and whether these features are also applicable to your wine fridge search. So whether you're looking for a freestanding wine fridge, a built-in, integrated, dual zone or a wine fridge cabinet, today we're going to discuss the importance of a winter system.

What is a cooling zone?

A wine fridge cooling zone is an area inside the wine fridge that is temperature controlled which can be programmed by the wine fridge owner to keep their wine bottles at a set temperature. This could be one, two or three set cooling zones, all controlled by an electronic panel.

Typically wine fridges are manufactured as either single zone, dual zone or multi-zone wine fridges. A single zone or dual zone wine fridge will be split into these independent compartments where each zone will be temperature controlled.

However, in the case of a multi-zone wine fridge, one temperature is set at the middle of the fridge and, if the fan isn't activated, the fridge then acts as a multi zone where the bottom of the fridge is the lowest temperature and the top of the fridge is the highest temperature and the temperature increases as you go up through the fridge. This is called polyvalent technology and can be explained by the diagram below.

Wine collectors with a wide range of wines for service can cellar some wines for long term storage and can make one fridge fulfil three purposes by having their wines to store in the centre at 12°C, their whites and Champagnes at the bottom of the fridge at service temperature of 6-8°C and their reds at service temperature at 16-18°C at the top of the fridge. When the fans are turned on, this type of wine fridge can act as a single zone. 

Benefits of a single zone wine fridge

Optimal Temperature Stability:
Single zone wine fridges are excellent at maintaining a stable temperature, which is crucial for the proper aging and preservation of wine. By focusing on one temperature setting, these fridges minimise fluctuations that can negatively impact the wine’s quality. This stability is especially beneficial for wines that require long-term storage.

Ideal for One Type of Wine:
If your collection consists primarily of one type of wine, a single zone fridge is a perfect fit. For example, if you mainly collect reds or whites, you can set the fridge to the optimal temperature for that specific type. This targeted approach ensures that your wines are stored or served under the best possible conditions.

Simplicity and Ease of Use:
Single zone fridges are straightforward to use, with one temperature control to manage. This simplicity means fewer settings to adjust and less potential for user error. For those who prefer a no-fuss approach to wine storage, single zone fridges offer an uncomplicated solution.

Generally, single zone wine fridges are more affordable than their dual zone counterparts. This cost-effectiveness makes them an attractive option for both new collectors and seasoned enthusiasts looking to expand their storage without a significant financial investment.

Space Efficiency:
With only one cooling zone, single zone wine fridges tend to have a more streamlined design, often allowing for more efficient use of space. This can be particularly advantageous in smaller living spaces or for those looking to maximise storage capacity within a given footprint.

Energy Efficiency:
Operating a single zone wine fridge is typically more energy-efficient compared to dual zone models. With only one cooling system to maintain, these fridges often consume less power, which can lead to lower energy bills and a reduced environmental footprint.

Brand who manufacture world class single zone wine fridges for maturation include Swisscave, Liebherr, EuroCave and La Sommeliere.

Benefits of a dual zone wine fridge

Optimal Temperature for Different Wines:
One of the primary benefits of a dual zone wine fridge is the ability to store different types of wines at their respective ideal temperatures. White wines and sparkling wines are best kept at cooler temperatures 7-10°C for service, while red wines require a slightly warmer environment 14-18°C. All wines can be cellared at 12°C.

Versatility in Wine Storage:
Dual zone wine fridges offer unmatched versatility, catering to the needs of a diverse wine collection. Whether you enjoy a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, a rich Cabernet Sauvignon, or a celebratory Champagne, you can store them all in one unit without compromising their quality. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for those who frequently host gatherings and need various types of wines readily available.

Convenient and Efficient:
Having a single fridge with dual temperature zones is more convenient than maintaining separate storage units for different wines. It saves space and reduces the complexity of managing multiple appliances. With a dual zone wine fridge, all your wines are in one place, making it easier to organise and access your collection.

Adding Aging Potential:
A wine fridge with two zones allows the wine lover to store wines for long term cellaring at one temperature whilst using the other section of the fridge for service temperature.

Improved Organisation:
Dual zone wine fridges often come with adjustable shelves and customizable storage options, allowing for better organisation of your wine collection. You can easily separate and categorise your wines by type, vintage, or region, making it simpler to locate a specific bottle when needed.

Modern Design and Aesthetics:
Many dual zone wine fridges feature sleek and stylish designs that can enhance the aesthetics of your home or wine cellar. With options like stainless steel finishes, LED lighting, and elegant glass doors, these fridges not only serve a functional purpose but also add a touch of sophistication to your space.

Protection from External Factors:
Dual zone wine fridges are equipped with features to protect your wines from external factors such as light, humidity, and vibration. UV-resistant glass doors prevent harmful light exposure, while humidity control and vibration-dampening technologies ensure a stable and secure environment for your wines.

Brand who manufacture world class dual zone wine fridges for service include SwisscaveDunavoxEuroCave and La Sommeliere.

Benefits of a multi zone wine fridge

Precise Temperature Control for Each Wine Type:
The most significant advantage of a multi zone wine fridge is its ability to maintain precise temperature settings for various types of wine. Reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines each have unique temperature requirements. A multi zone fridge ensures that every type of wine is stored at its optimal temperature, preserving its flavour, aroma, and overall quality.

Versatility and Flexibility:
With multiple zones, these fridges offer unparalleled versatility. Whether you have an extensive collection of different wine types or frequently add new varieties, a multi zone wine fridge can adapt to your evolving storage needs. You can designate specific zones for specific wine types, regions, or vintages, allowing for greater organization and flexibility.

Space Efficiency:
Instead of maintaining multiple single or dual zone fridges, a multi zone unit consolidates your wine storage into one efficient appliance. This not only saves space but also simplifies the management of your wine collection. It’s an ideal solution for those with limited space but a diverse range of wines.

Energy Efficiency:
Modern multi zone wine fridges are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Advanced insulation, cooling technologies, and energy-saving features help minimise power consumption. This can result in lower energy bills compared to operating multiple separate units, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Improved Organisation and Accessibility:
Multi zone fridges often come with customisable shelving and storage options, allowing you to organise your collection systematically. You can group wines by type, vintage, or region, making it easier to find and access the specific bottle you’re looking for. Some models also feature digital inventory systems, helping you keep track of your collection with ease.

Brands who manufacture multi zones include VestfrostClimadiff and Avintage.

How many cooling zones do you need?

When deciding which type of wine fridge you need its best to consider your current collection as well as your likely future storage and service needs.

Sarah newton

Author - Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton has worked in the wine industry for two decades holding senior positions at some of the UK wine industry's leading brands. The MD of Coolersomm, Sarah is WSET certified and our lead wine buyer too.