Elite Wine Refrigeration recently installed the Climadiff CVP268A++ at the Chester office so we could have a much closer look at the products that are being manufactured in their factory in Portugal. This includes all of the CVP, CVV, CLA models which are primarily their single temperature zone storage cabinets - it doesn't include the PCL or CPW multi functional cabinets that are not produced in Europe.
The first thing we noted was how solid and well-built this unit was, considering the Climadiff storage cabinets are at the entry level range of Elite's offering - we were pleasantly surprised at how well manufactured this unit was - yes it was 'basic' in terms of the functions it has but the way it was put together you could tell it was well thought out but didn't at all come across as 'cheap'.
About the CVP268A++
This model has only recently been released and is the updated/upgraded model from the CVP270A+ which is our biggest selling storage cabinet from Climadiff so we were really excited to have this added to our line up.
The first thing to note is the new model is now A++ rated, it's highly energy efficient and will cost around £10-15 a year to run which is less than a good quality bottle of wine! Climadiff have also aesthetically updated the unit, the new model is a 'cooler' more practical charcoal grey rather than the old burgundy colour with the CVP270A+ which was nice but it's not to everyone's taste, even though most of the units we supply are installed in a garage, the colour isn't that important but with the charcoal grey of the new unit - if you did want to install indoors, it's some what more acceptable in our opinion.
What else is new on the CVP268A++?
The base cabinet is mostly the same to the old model, the dimensions, capacity, functionality are the same as the old model but most of the components that have been used to build the CVP268A++ have either been upgraded and there are a few new features as well. In addition to this, Climadiff have used the control panel from their premium ranges which is also shared with the Avintage AV306A+ as they are produced in the same factory.
The control panel itself is very easy to use, there isn't much to it - you just use the arrows to select the set point to within 0.1 of a degree and then the display will flick back to the actual temperature inside the cabinet and that's it, you just leave the cabinet to work its way down or up to the set temperature which should only take an hour or two when empty.
Interior lighting and wine register
Another welcome addition is the interior LED lighting which is supplied by the LED strips that run down the side walls and are operated by a simple, on/off switch - simple but functional - why does it need to be complicated? The lighting itself is very effective and it will definitely light up the interior when in a darker garage or outhouse giving you much better visibility when adding new bottles or finding something to drink for that evening. The old CVP270A+ does not have any interior lighting so this is a big 'tick' from us!
The door itself has a new black handle that looks neater and slightly more modern than the old model, this also comes attached so it is literally just a case of filling your wine cabinet and switching the unit on and leaving it to run. The back of the door now has the wine register which is only seen on the premium range from the CLA310A+ and CLA210A+ so you can now keep an accurate record of which cases are where inside the cabinet, the register makes the door feel so solid, it has a great feel of 'quality' to it for a cabinet of this price range. The best news is, the chalk comes with the cabinet!!
Updated shelves and cooling system
Climadiff have introduced new shelving with this model, the old model had metal shelves which are good but the wooden shelves are somewhat stronger once under load and do not have the worry of rusting over the years. The standard shelves totals 5 shelves, 3 of which are the PREMIUM 1/62 and 2 are the new COLLECTOR 1/62 shelf which are designed to hold various bottle shapes more effectively - yes they are a slightly different colour but this is purely because of the wood they are manufactured from and we think it adds a little character to the cabinet.
In order to decrease the energy usage of this unit, there have been several changes to the cooling system which has meant using a new compressor that isn't quite as demanding which has had the benefit of also being quieter - we actually had this model running for a week in our office and it was very quiet, you could hardly hear it running so it is definitely suitable for use indoors if you do want to keep your wine closer to hand.
Does it still have the winter system?
This is the one thing Climadiff are most known for, producing cabinets that are suitable for lower ambient temperatures and the new model is no different - the CVP268A++ has both heating and cooling thermostats which makes it suitable for use in ambient temperatures from 0 to 32 degrees C. Thicker insulation in the side walls and also a very, very solid door makes the temperature regulation even more stable inside the cabinet.
Of course, the unit also has a charcoal filter and active humidity management with a water channel and tray next to the compressor to bring the humidity down once the door has been opened and the heating element to dry the air out as required.
2 castors at the rear of the unit make it surprisingly maneuverable although we would recommend emptying the cabinet before moving the cabinet, the anti vibration system is also present as well so the cabinet is set up perfectly to store your wines for many years to come in a very reliable, well built wine cabinet.
Elite Wine's review
Overall, we have been very impressed with this cabinet, for a product at this price point which is produced in Europe (Portugal) this cabinet can compete with Liebherr equivalents all day long and may even do a better job of it as their cabinets do not come with a heating function. As a cost effective option against Eurocave and history that dates back to just after Eurocave, the Climadiff cabinets are a very, very good, cost effective competitor to Eurocave - not everyone is looking for the bells and whistles that Eurocave offer and if you are a customer who doesn't need the features the more expensive units have then Climadiff is definitely for you.
When comparing to the older models that the CVP268A++ has replaced, we would definitely advise to look at the newer models as the way the Climadiff cabinets are heading now seems to be on a positive route. That said, if your budget doesn't allow then the CVP270A+ is also a very reliable unit that we have had great history with as well.
This model is available to view in our Chester HQ and if you have any specific questions, please contact us as we will be more than happy to help with any queries you have.
The Team at Elite.