Red Tail Ridge: New York’s First Green Winery Building

Break out the bubbly! Upstate in Penn Yan, New York State’s first LEED-certified winery building is set to break ground.

The Red Tail Ridge Winery in upstate Penn Yan is about to break ground on what would be the first LEED-certified winery building in New York State. The winery is located in the Finger Lakes region and owned by husband and wife Mike Schnelle and Nancy Irelan. The couple opened the winery back in 2007 after moving east from California and is committed to sustainable wine-making and harvesting practices; for example, vineyards include strategically located diversion and drainage ditches that direct stormwater runoff to an irrigation pond.

Red Tail Ridge is working with NYSERDA in connection with its new wine-making building, which should break ground this spring and will seek an unspecified level of LEED certification. Green features will include a geothermal system, natural daylighting, efficient lighting, and locally-sourced and recycled-content building materials. The building was designed by Rochester-based Edge Architecture; the project team also includes Sustainable Performance Consulting, Inc. Schnelle and Irelan hope to have the new building completed and open in time for next fall’s harvest.

Although the Red Tail Ridge project would be a great first for New York, we have seen green design at California wineries previously; I wrote about the Frog’s Leap Winery’s LEED Silver-certified hospitality building in Napa Valley a couple of summers ago.

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