Around here on the Central Coast we absolutely love our wine. Throughout the entire county there are literally hundreds of different wineries to choose from. Some are much larger than others and ship their wines across the world, while others only make a handful of cases per year. Economic reports by MKF Research LLC, claim that the wine industry on the Central Coast is worth around $1.8 Billion consisting of more than 1.2 million visitors per year. All of this equates to $86 Million in state and local taxes, and 8,000 full time jobs.
As important as this industry is to our local area, there is a dirty little secret most people are not aware of. The fact is that there is simply not enough water to sustain the North County if this fast growth continues. Homes, businesses, and farms are all in need of water, however 67% of it goes straight to agriculture-primarily vineyards. The Paso Robles groundwater basin has been suffering from huge declines in water levels, and county officials are considering bringing in water from outside sources; but that is costly and unreliable.
There is currently a misconception that vineyards use large amounts of water to grow wine-grapes, however that is not true. If you single out one vineyard, they are not using much to water their grapevines. The problem lies in the colossal amount of vineyards in the North County area. There are so many vineyards that all use water in that area, that it is sucking the basin dry. There are currently no regulations to what farmers can grow on their land, therefore every year more owners are switching to wine-grapes from other crops.
One solution to realistically maintain this crucial industry is for every winery to be as efficient as possible. Winery design is where architects can play a vital role in saving our precious resources. Harvesting rainwater, implementing grey-water techniques, and using highly efficient fixtures are some ways to make a big difference.
At ConsciousBuild, sustainability is always at the forefront of our design. Last week we completed construction on Giornata Wines’ brand new tasting room and processing facility. By implementing a bio-filtration system for their dirty water into the design, this winery will be able to save money every month on their water bills, while greatly reducing the impact on the local water basin.
“A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man”
+ M. Farid Shahid Photo: Tasting room & lobby of Giornata Wines, located in Templeton, CA.
Architect: ConsciousBuild Inc.