New U.C. Davis Winemaking Facility Will be Ultra-Green

    University of California Davis officials have announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art complex focusing on wine, beer and food science research, the Sacramento Bee reports.

     U.C. Regents approved design plans for the Research and Teaching Winery and August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. The new facilities will be part of the university’s Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

     Construction on the 34,000-square-foot building, which will house the winery and lab, is scheduled to be completed next year.

     The brewing and food science lab will house a food processing pilot plant, a dairy processing facility and a pilot brewery for the Department of Food Science and Technology.

     The facility is named for August A. Busch III, recognizing his “longtime contributions to the art of brewing.” The Anheuser-Busch Foundation gave the university $5 million toward the project.

     The winery, which will be used for research, teaching and industry courses, is slated to include a large experimental fermentation area, classroom, barrel and bottle cellars, testing lab, controlled temperature rooms for large-scale testing and a special bottle cellar for donated wines.

     The winery, which has not yet been named, also will feature a 12.5-acre teaching and research vineyard and educational gardens.

     The winery and lab will be constructed using sustainable, environmentally friendly features, such as on-site solar power generation, according to UCD officials.

     The goal is for the facility to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The platinum certification is the highest rating, meaning the facility would be the first of its kind in the world.

     The winery also would be the first wine-production facility in the world to be fully solar-powered at peak load, equipped to capture and isolate all carbon dioxide from fermentation, and operated on captured rainwater for its cleaning needs.

     The winery and lab are being constructed entirely through private funding. Contributors — including corporate and individual, winery partners, alumni and foundations — have donated more than $16.5 million for the project. Additional funding is being sought to outfit the facility and develop the sustainable energy, water and carbon systems.

Posted in Wine and the Environment
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