Winderlea Wine Co.

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery began with the goal of building a sustainable business. Right from the start, as they were planning the design of their tasting room, they chose to work with Ernie Munch, a Portland-based LEED-accredited architect. Although Winderlea did not pursue LEED certification, they employed many practices to enhance energy efficiency. The building has 12.97 kilowatt hours of Day Four solar panels on its south-facing shed roof and has solar hot water. The building is designed with overhangs on the east side that eliminate direct sunlight during the height of the summer. Those features, combined with south-facing garage doors that open, windows that open on the east side, mechanical windows on the north side at the top of the roof line, and fans create sufficient air flow to eliminate the need for air conditioning on all but the hottest days. In the winter, when the sun is lower, heat is captured by the mass of the concrete floor and released as the room cools.

In addition, Winderlea may be the only winery in Oregon with a car charger in their parking lot for electric vehicles, and they use biodiesel in tractors. Also, they use motion detectors to ensure lights are turned off, programmable thermostats to regulate temperature, and newer, lighter (by almost 200 grams) bottles for half their production to reduce the impact from shipping their wine. www.winderlea.com

 

Left Coast Cellars

Thanks in part to large grant from the USDA and federal and state tax incentives, Left Coast Cellars recently installed two solar arrays totaling more than 82 kilowatts on their estate near Rickreall, Oregon, making it one of the largest solar panel installations in the Oregon wine industry. The solar panels provide all of the electricity required for the irrigation needs of their vineyards and landscaping as well as for their guest cottage and front gate and more than 60% of their winery and tasting room’s electricity. The solar panels save Left Coast Cellars more than $10,000 a year with an expected return of investment of seven years.

In addition to solar panels, Left Coast Cellars recently installed meters on their gasoline and diesel tanks, which allows them to accurately track and measure usage for specific jobs, such as tractor use in the vineyard. With this knowledge in hand, Left Coast has been able to reduce their gasoline and diesel consumption significantly, saving more than $3,000 in fewer than nine months. www.leftcoastcellars.com

 

Willamette Valley Vineyards

In 2005, Willamette Valley Vineyards launched an employee biodiesel program that offers 50 gallons of biodiesel to each employee, at no cost, to help reduce their carbon footprint.

Willamette Valley Vineyards became the first winery in the world to use sustainable cork stoppers certified by the Rainforest Alliance to Forest Stewardship Council standards. In 2009, they launched the consumer cork recycling program Cork ReHarvest, a cradle to cradle program implemented with zero carbon footprint increase. The program collects returned corks at Whole Foods Markets nationwide, restaurants, and other participants and remanufactures them into new products, such as shipping materials, flooring, and shoe beds. www.willamettevalleyvineyards.com

 

Mahonia Vineyards

Mahonia Vineyard and its sister company, Wildwood, Inc, have a long history of promoting sustainability in Oregon. Mahonia Vineyard has participated in the LIVE and Salmon Safe programs since their inception. In 2008, Wildwood developed a state of the art biodiesel production facility, Sequential-Pacific Biodiesel on their property that produces 5M gallons of biodiesel each year (16,000 gallons each day) from recycled cooking oil collected from restaurants and food processors in Oregon and Washington, such as Burgerville and Kettle Foods.  Wildwood/Mahonia is also very active in promoting solar technology.  To date they have installed three PV systems (with a fourth system slated to be installed this Spring), totaling 55 kW of annual production. Current projects include developing an existing industrial warehouse into an energy efficient food-processing incubator for fledgling businesses.  http://www.mahoniavineyard.com/