With a guiding philosophy of environmental responsibility and our commitment to preserving our special spot atop Howell Mountain, we made it a priority that our winery construction and operation would reflect these important values. It was with this goal in mind that we hired architect Juan Carlos Fernandez to design Napa Valley’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified estate winery.

The LEED program is governed by the United States Green Business Council and their measurement for recognition is based off five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Juan Carlos, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, had never designed a winery before but had a plethora of other building design experience throughout the world. Working hand-in-hand with the winemaking team, the goal was to create a state-of-the-art winery whose striking design reflects a straightforward, sustainable approach to winemaking.

Using a majority of recycled materials such as recycled steel and recycled plastic, the building’s concrete, containing integral earth colors that contain fly ash, is a coal by-product that reduces the use of cement. Zero wood was used in the winery production to help guard against the transmission of trichloranisole (TCA).

The winery’s fermentation room was built with hundreds of square feet of structural glass to promote a well-lit working environment and the roof is replete with precisely placed solar panels to help minimize the use of electricity.

The fermentation room and the seamlessly adjacent caves are both naturally insulated, while the tasting room is insulated by recycled materials, such as blue jeans. We even carved out a special viewing window in our office building for viewers to take a peek at our refurbished denim insulation.

As an homage to our first winery, the design of our caves at CADE Estate is in the shape of the PlumpJack shield. At the center of our cave, we have a large steel dining room table that was built from the hull of a World War 2 submarine, while the table legs were salvaged from a vacant building on Mare Island. Our rich mahogany lounge dining table was constructed from trees devastated by the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. On the terrace, our distinctive rolling outdoor coffee table was hewn from the trusses of a demolished mid-1800s wooden bridge over Northern Montana’s Sacajawea River.