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Written by Milan Clarke   
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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Green Winery

LEED Certified Winery Set to Open at U.C. Davis… One of the best Viticulture and Enology programs in the country lies on the University of California at Davis campus, also known as U.C. Davis. For those of you who don’t know, the terms viticulture and enology are simply scientific words meaning: the study of making wine. The school’s prestigious reputation derives from its history and knowledge of wine, with the help of famous winemaker, Robert Mondavi. Along with this program’s urge to be the best winemaking school year after year, it also values the importance of sustainability and setting the standard for the entire food and beverage industry as a whole.

U.C. Davis is proud to announce the unveiling of their 100% LEED certified winery. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.1 The US Green Building Council notes the specifics of this certification, stating that it provides, “third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.”2

Just in time for the 2010 harvest this autumn, the U.C. Davis LEED Platinum facility is set to open this August. The building does not only contain a winery, it also holds a brewery for beer making and a food science lab. The 12,500-square-foot winery will contain an experimental fermentation area with one hundred fifty-two (152) 200-liter research fermentation tanks and fourteen (14) 2,000-liter fermentation tanks. It also holds controlled-temperature rooms, barrel and bottle cellars, an analytical lab, a classroom, and a special bottle cellar for donated wines.3 Wine chemist, Andrew Waterhouse, notes his hope for the future students of this advanced facility: “The building will enable students to learn both the principles and the practical applications of sustainability; right now we can only teach them the principles.”4 One of the greatest things about this building is that students will be using it. Meaning, the future of wine making will be a sustainable one.

The second part of this amazing facility is the brewery. At U.C. Davis, “green” beer is taken to a whole new level at the brand new LEED certified brewery, meeting the highest environmental standards of the Green Building Council. The facility will be part of the 11,500-square-foot August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing in the Department of Food Science and Technology notes "The new facility will allow us to showcase the importance of beer and brewing as a complex, sophisticated process as well as the important role that U.C. Davis plays in the brewing industry.”5 Meaning, U.C. Davis’ ticket to becoming the beer brewing leaders in the United States has everything to do with this new LEED Certified brewery. Students will be looking for ways to find alternative methods that allow the production of beer to yield less water and energy input.

The final part of this massive 11,500-square-foot facility contains a food science lab. This lab will additionally contain a milk-processing lab and a California Processing Tomato Industry Pilot Plant. The facility’s milk processing laboratory hopes to be the venue where students can be a part of a variety of activities, including research in traditional dairy products, along with researching dairy products that have a potential to help with cognition, immune function, and overall health. The California Processing Tomato Industry Pilot Plant will grow a variety of produce including tomatoes, olives, peaches, prunes and more!6 Jim Seiber, chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology, has high hopes for this top of the line food science lab. He believes that “[t]he new facility will provide a unique opportunity for faculty and students to partner with industry in exploring new technologies, emphasizing those that are sustainable from both food-supply and environmental viewpoints.”7

The standard for the food and beverage industry has been set and sustainability is the key word. The U.C. Davis LEED certified Winery/Brewery/Food Science Lab is a huge advancement for the food and beverage industry, as well as the rest of the United States. This prestigious program has the ability to create some of the most environmentally sustainable producers in food, wine and beer. It looks like food wine and beer has entered into a whole new ball game!

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 July 2011 )