Monday, October 31, 2011

His Building / Her Building - Whitecliff's New Winery

That's how it was explained to me now that Whitecliff Vineyards & Winery has built a new winery building a bit of a distance from the tasting room. Her building (Yancey) is the tasting room, His building (Michael) the newly build geo-thermal winery.

Whitecliff Vineyards & Winery just completed their new geo-thermal winery building. Michael Migliore, owner/winemaker said they outgrew their original space and needed to build a new winemaking facility to handle the capacity to be able to grow.  "Three years ago we were a 3000 case winery, now we are a 5500 case winery and growing.  Not only do we do our own, this enables us to do custom crush and make wine for other facilities."


When asked "Why did you choose a Geo-Thermal building?" Michael replied, "It fits the model of a winery perfectly. It's a green building and will cost us 1/3 of any other way to heat/cool a building. Wine wants to be kept at 55 degrees, ground temp is 54 in Gardiner, instead of building a cave this was a way to bring the cave into the winery.


Geo-Thermal in layman terms - 8 feet below the surface is a constant 55 degrees.  Long tubes are put 8 feet underground that go out into the field horizontally and back into the winery in a loop.  Glycol is pumped through the pipes to maintain a 50 degree temperature. Upon return the glycol is and put through the heat exchanger to heat or cool the water that is then pumped through the winery floor. This regulates the temperature in the winery.

This was their first harvest in the new winery.  "It was so nice to have the space and the room said Michael and to be able to increase capacity. We had tons of room to process grapes more than we had before.  It was so nice to be able to process inside when weather was bad."

Yancey and Michael like to joke - "She has her building and I have mine" said Michael.  Yancey says she likes it this way, we stay out of eachothers way.  She does occasionally come down and visit.  Especially when it involves food and wine.



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