Iconic Cabernet producer Silver Oak was recently awarded the LEED Platinum Certification, making their eco-friendly Oakville facility the first commercial winery in the world to boast this top award for green building practices. Silver Oak joins only the UC Davis state-of-the-art teaching facility -- which boasts a winery -- in the Platinum category.
Awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council to new constructions and existing structures for their dedication to green building, the 100 point system to attain LEED Certification assesses across 6 categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design.
LEED Certification verfiies benchmarks of green building across a spectum of eco-friendly practices that encompass energy usage and clean energy alternatives, plumbing that contributes to water conservation, recycling, waste water management, sustainable purchasing practices, and more. Platinum Certification requires a minimum of 80 points and for Silver Oak, who earned their Platinum status in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance category, access to the winery via public transportation contributed points to their final tally. A fire in 2006 that destroyed their historic facility gave Silver Oak the opportunity to begin with a nearly blank slate.
“The goal for our Oakville winery was both to innovate and embrace proven technologies,” says Silver Oak President and CEO David R. Duncan, who led the construction of the new winery from 2006 to 2008. “Since completion, we’ve continued fine-tuning our operations to minimize our impact on natural resources. We look forward to sharing these insights with our winemaking community to support sustainable practices for the next generation.”
In 2012, Silver Oak acquired an additional piece of historic property in the Alexander Valley and is looking to use their experience, technology and knowledge from their Oakville winery to develop a second, equally eco-friendly winery in the heart of Sonoma County.