Low Impact

Caves are low-impact structures with high rewards.

Imagine the rolling hills of the Napa Valley with a couple hundred more aboveground structures. Wouldn’t you agree this visualization somehow diminishes the area’s certain charm? Wine caves offer up many benefits in addition to preserving the areas natural landscape .

  • Wine caves offer minimal surface land use, reducing impact to native species and view corridors.
  • Cave construction under existing vineyards optimize the land’s use. Cave spoils can be used to improve existing roads and property.
  • Wine caves use the natural insulation of the earth to reduce energy costs year-round.

A winery warehouse without humidification creates an environment that evaporates about 4 gallons of wine from a 60-gallon barrel each year. Conversely, in a naturally humid cave, evaporation is reduced resulting in almost 10 percent savings.

The temperature in wine caves can reduce the cost for heating or cooling a building making them a much “greener” operation than a warehouse. Although the temperature outside in Napa might be close to 100 in the summer and near freezing in the winter, the temperature in a wine cave in most circumstances remains between the optimal 55 to 60 degrees for wine storage and aging. Ultimately, the geology dictates the temperature and humidity.

 

Kenzo, Nordby Wine Caves