Green Winery Goes Gold in Napa

wineglass1Order your wine in a golden tassie--Hall Wines forged past fellow vintners last week when it earned LEED-Gold certification at its St. Helena winery.

The Napa Valley operation is the first in California to earn a gold-level rating, and Hall claims the advanced facility makes for premium wine production.

Specifically, solar panels covering more than 42,000 square feet of roof space of all the buildings generate 35 percent of the facility’s electricity. The winery saves energy with radiant heating and cooling floors that keep the building temperature more stable. More than 10 percent of the building materials were made from recycled materials, and another 10 percent were sourced within 500 miles of the site.

Drought-tolerant landscaping saves 50 percent on irrigation. Low-flow faucets save 40 percent of water usage. And all the landscaping and vineyards are irrigated with recycled water.

The facility already used organically farmed grapes and tractors that run on biodiesel fuel, said the winery’s president, Mike Reynolds. Going for the gold just made sense.

“We grow our own grapes and craft our wines, and so we are obligated to ensure the health of the land, as well as that of the greater Napa Valley ecosystem,” said owner Kathryn Hall. “Preserving this environment is our responsibility.”

The gold-level rating of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards is the second highest of four, ranging from basic to platinum certification. The Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon was the first in the U.S. to receive a (silver) certification in 1992, according to GreenBuildings.

LEED aside, Hall ships all its wine orders in recyclable materials directly to customers to reduce emissions and expenses. The winery hopes to attain organic certification within the next year, reports TreeHugger, organically farming 500 acres of grapes in the meantime.

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