A Gold LEED Rating for California Wine
Although the wine industry has traditionally been dominated by red and white varieties, there are currently plenty of wineries working towards green. Some package their wines in boxes instead of bottles or use only organic grapes. One has even achieved carbon neutrality. Hall Wines chose to focus their environmental efforts on construction.
The winery recently became the first in California to earn a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System.
LEED rates building projects based on five criteria: sustainability of the site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Buildings everywhere--from the Bronx library in New York to the American Embassy in Bulgaria--have sought LEED certifications for their green efforts.
In order to achieve its gold status, the second highest possible, Hall wines implemented solar energy, radiant heating, local building materials, and recycled building materials in the construction of its Napa Valley St. Helena winery. The company also irrigates its landscaping and vineyards with recycled water.
If you’re as eager to toast their efforts as Hall Wines is to show off their building, you can attend one of the complimentary "LEED tours" the winery will offer throughout July and August.
--Sarah F. Kessler