St. Helena's Wheeler Farms Winery wins Top Real Estate Projects award
ST. HELENA — Construction is nearing completion on three buildings at Wheeler Farms Winery at 588 Zinfandel Lane. These structures are designed to handle everything from fermentation and production operations to hospitality and administrative services. The winery's name was derived from the old Wheeler Farm previously on this site.
Commissioned by Wheeler Farms Partners, the state-of-the-art facility was designed by Tom Taylor, with Taylor Lombardo Architects, and built by Wright Contracting. The building style is compatible with the Northern California agriculture vernacular. The winery was created for small volume, custom-crush operations producing 18,000 cases per year.
The fermentation tank building has a 14,500-square-foot, poured-in-place concrete barrel cellar with a 10,000-square-foot pre-engineered metal building above ground housing 70 stainless steel fermentation tanks.
This completely automated tank farm, with a CO2 relief piping system for each tank, also has 'pumpovers' at every tank (adding oxygen, extracting more tannin and producing wine with greater intensity). This system has individual variable frequency drives and tank temperature controls supplied by VinWizard.
The production building is a 4,400-square-foot, two-story wood-framed building that sits above a portion of the barrel cellar. It houses the lab, technical tasting room, winemaker's office, break room and a cold storage area.
The hospitality building is a 4,000-square-foot wood-framed structure with large skylights, a stone fireplace and integrally colored, polished concrete floors. It includes a kitchen, conference room, an administrative office area and a large tasting room designed to resemble a living room setting. All buildings are clad in cedar board and batten siding.
Site work included demolition of the old farm buildings. A site utility infrastructure and a complete on-site wastewater treatment plant were built.
Green components include a wastewater treatment system, from Cloacina LLC, that produces high-quality recycled water used for irrigation stored in new site-built, bolted galvanized steel tanks. The buildings use 100 percent LED lighting, night air-cooling and a multi-zone HVAC system.
A pervious paving system creates water retention and storage. Wood salvaged from demolished buildings is being reused on out buildings. Photovoltaic prewiring was installed for a future solar array.
Construction challenges included the abnormal high water table at six feet deep, and the construction of a twenty-two foot deep concrete cellar. This required 44 dewatering wells 30-feet deep running continuously for four months. The cellar was designed as a boat with forty-four inch thick matt slab to prevent buoyancy.
The fermentation and hospitality buildings were completed in time for this years harvest.
The Wright Contracting construction team consists of project manager Mark Davis, superintendent Tom Kane and estimator Rick Grossmann.