"We are simply thrilled," said owners Richard and Pam Niner in a press release. "We recognize that LEED Certification is a significant achievement, given the complexities of a winery operation, and one that was very important to our entire team."
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the preeminent building rating program that is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Buildings are certified based on achieving superior performance in the areas of energy efficiency, sustainable site development, water efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Niner Wine Estates--whose bottlings have been featured often by the wine clubs of Vinesse--is the first Central Coast winery in California to achieve LEED Certification and is one of only four wineries in the state to earn this distinction.
The award was granted for the entire project, consisting of a Hospitality Center, Demonstration Winery, and Production Winery, which total a combined 75,000 square feet on 140 acres in Paso Robles.
As one of the most technologically advanced wineries in California, Niner Wine Estates' state-of-the-art facilities were designed for the energy-efficient production of ultra-premium wines. LEED Certification was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
- Situating the winery into a deep hillside, cut to reduce solar heat gain and maintain a cool indoor environment required for winemaking.
- Insulated concrete tilt-up wall construction for high R-value thermal performance.
- Night air cellar cooling system to reduce mechanical refrigeration.
- Wastewater treatment system that allows all winery wastewater to be recycled for vineyard irrigation.
- Rainfall catchment and storage system used for landscape and vineyard irrigation.
- Extensive use of recycled and locally manufactured building materials.
- Superior indoor environmental quality through the use of low volatile organic compound paints, adhesives, coatings, and flooring.
- Gravity-flow winemaking process for energy efficiency.
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
"The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and threats to human health," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. "The work of innovative building projects such as Niner Wine Estates is a fundamental driving force in this movement."
Niner Wine Estates is dedicated to making exceptional wines by combining the best of traditional winemaking methods and cutting-edge technologies. In the state-of-the-art winery that is now LEED-certified, winemaker Amanda Cramer shepherds estate-grown fruit from Bootjack Ranch and Heart Hill Vineyard into wines that express terroir and elegance.