Sonoma County’s Knights Bridge Winery production facility reflects sustainability commitment
Construction of a new production building on the grounds of the Knights Bridge Winery located at 17134 Spencer Lane near Calistoga began in January 2020 is the latest in a series of expansion projects that initially included a hospitality center, wine caves and a barn.
The 14,000-square-foot Sonoma County facility opened Nov. 5, ready to produce an estimated collective total of 10,000 cases of cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay per year.
Located on the west side of the Knights Valley appellation, the vintner’s property has a nearly 100-acre vineyard nestled near the base of Mt. St. Helena, at an elevation from 300 to 900 feet.
This area is known for having the warmest climate among Sonoma County 18 sub-appellations, and is also one of the smallest, with only 2,000 acres planted in vines.
According Knights Bridge Winery website, the current proprietors are: Essel Bailey, Menakka Bailey, Tom Costin, Cindy Costin, Jim Bailey and Kelley Bailey.
“As stewards of the land, the owners of Knights Bridge are committed to continuing their well-established sustainable agricultural practices and operations to ensure there is no adverse impact on the unique rural nature of its surroundings,” said Debi Leal, president of the Knights Bridge Winery.
“Our hope is that our stewardship of the vineyards, the small above-ground footprint of the fermentation barn, and advanced water-conserving and processing plans can demonstrate that agriculture, the wine industry and sustainable preservation of our natural resources can not only coexist but thrive to better our communities.”
Project components in the winery production building include crush, fermentation and storage operations. The building is “stepped” into the hillside and located at the entrance to the caves. This structure features a steel and glass wall facing north to view Mt. St. Helena.
In addition, the extensive network of caves provides additional production space, barrel aging and also a tour route through the mountain to a cave office and tasting building built around a below grade courtyard garden and light well.
Construction materials were selected for compatibility with native hues on site. The building has durable and attractive siding and natural colored concrete walls, as well as steel and glass windows and doors. It also has a corrugated metal roof in a shade the blends well with the natural elements that serve as a backdrop to the winery.
The office and tasting building have natural plaster walls and were constructed below grade with a deep soil native grass and wildflower stepped planter roof overhead. Once again, steel and glass walls frame a sunken courtyard with ample sunlight. The landscape concept is minimalist and in keeping with the pristine Knights Valley’s oak woodlands and surrounding vineyards.