Hamacher Wines to Open 'Green' Cooperative Winemaking Facility

Hamacher Wines to Open 'Green' Cooperative Winemaking Facility

a href=http://www.greenbiz.com/frame/1.cfm?targetsite=http://www.hamacherwines.... Wines has announced the building of a cooperative winemaking facility, designed to house multiple, small, premium wine producers and built according to the LEED Green Building Rating System.

The Carlton Winemakers Studio was designed by Seattle-based architecture firm Boxwood for high energy efficiency and to utilize recycled and reusable materials. Some of the green principles employed on the project include: passive solar power; high-efficiency windows, lighting and heating systems; nighttime cooling; clear roofing material and large windows to increase natural light to work areas; interlinked energy systems; rainwater collection from the roof; recycled materials from deconstructed buildings; recycled concrete for retaining walls, base rock, and outside walkways; and use of a specialized blend of concrete and a high-strength recycled coal byproduct. More than half of the winery will be subterranean.

"Green buildings take a longer view of costs and quality to create healthy, resource-efficient developments,” said Eric Hamacher, owner of Hamacher Wines. “Our winery promises to be the counterpoint to traditional thinking by taking the stance that economics, the environment, and functionality can be a good match."

According to the company, traditional thinking estimates that building the Carlton Winemakers Studio green may cost up to 25% more. But Hamacher has found that while building green is more time consuming, it is not necessarily more costly. The partners have hired a green building consultant to locate existing incentives to offset the extra cost of management and materials. Hamacher says that the cost of running the facility will be much less expensive than a non-green building.

The 15,000-square-foot gravity flow winery, located on two acres in Carlton, is due to open later this summer in time for the 2002 harvest. When it opens, the facility will be home to seven different wineries: Hamacher Wines, Andrew Rich Wines, Bryce Vineyard, Domaine Meriwether, Dominio, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars and Soter Vineyard.

"The idea is to create a space where small wine producers can come together under one roof and have access to a state-of-the-art, gravity-driven, incredibly efficient facility, both for the production and promotion of ultra premium wines, without the extremely high up-front cost of building individual production facilities," explained Hamacher.