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New Winery, Brewery and Food Science Laboratory Will Show ‘Green’ Leadership

February 19, 2009

Construction of the new Research and Teaching Winery and the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, will commence in June after design plans were approved by the UC Regents last week. The new facilities are part of the UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and will be used for scientific research, student training and industry collaboration.

“It is a dream come true to have UC Davis’ preeminent wine, food and brewing programs housed together in a brand new state-of-the-art complex,” said Clare M. Hasler, executive director of the institute. “The new winery, brewery and food processing facility will further advance our teaching, research and outreach programs.”

The three academic buildings of the institute, which house the departments of Viticulture and Enology and of Food Science and Technology opened in fall 2008. The 34,000-square-foot building housing the winery and the laboratory will be completed in 2010.

The August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory will house a food processing pilot plant, a dairy processing facility, and a pilot brewery to be used by the Department of Food Science and Technology. The facility will be named in recognition of August A. Busch III’s long-time contributions to the art of brewing. The Anheuser-Busch Foundation gave $5 million toward the project.

Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, said, “This wonderful new resource confirms that brewing education at UC Davis is second to none. There is no finer facility anywhere for the training of future brewery employees and the ongoing education of existing brewers.”

The winery, which is yet to be named, will include a large experimental fermentation area, controlled temperature rooms for large-scale testing, barrel and bottle cellars, a testing lab, a classroom and a special bottle cellar for donated wines. The winery will be used for research, teaching and industry short courses. The landscape outside the winery will feature a 12.5-acre teaching and research vineyard, and educational gardens.

“This new facility will be a platform for experimentation in wine processing, with the ability to measure energy and water usage as well as waste output,” said Andrew Waterhouse, professor and chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology. “Our students will be able to learn about winemaking using the most advanced facility, and learn approaches to improve sustainable and precision wine production.”

Both the winery and the laboratory will be constructed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The aim is to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded, which would make this the first facility of its type in the world.

Sustainability and environment-friendly features that are incorporated into the building design include onsite solar power generation, rainwater capture and water conservation, energy efficiency, carbon dioxide containment and removal for sequestration, use of local and recycled construction materials, and reduction of building site waste.

The winery is intended to be the first wine-production facility in the world that is:

  • fully solar-powered at peak load;
  • equipped to capture and sequester all carbon dioxide from its fermentations; and
  • operated on captured rainwater for its cleaning needs, recycling solutions at least five times.

UC Davis is committed to green-building construction as part of a 2004 University of California policy to make all new buildings “eco-friendly.” The winery and laboratory also will serve as a model for what the wine, brewing and food industries can achieve in environmental and energy efficiency. The innovative environmental design reflects UC Davis’ effort to provide leadership in sustainable winemaking, brewing and food processing.

“The global wine community is acutely aware of climate change and the critical importance of efficient water use in sustainable winemaking practices,” said Roger Boulton, professor of viticulture and enology at UC Davis, who works with Kendall-Jackson and other wineries on sustainability issues. “The Live Winery aspect of this project will provide real-time data of all system technologies on a Web page for wineries. Implementing and sharing these sustainability systems with wineries everywhere exemplifies what UC Davis does beyond its education and research activities.”

“Water conservation, energy efficiency and waste reduction are issues that food and beverage processors confront constantly in their quest to be competitive operations,” said James Seiber, chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology. “The new facility will showcase environmental and sustainable technologies that others can evaluate and put into practice in their own operations.”

The new winery and laboratory are being constructed entirely with private funds. Major gifts have been received from the late Robert Mondavi, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, the California processing tomato industry with leadership from The Morning Star Packing Company, Jerry Lohr, Silverado Vineyards, and Ronald and Diane Miller. A second group of winery partners, led by Kendall-Jackson, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wine and the Wine Group, provided the extra funding to attain LEED Platinum certification. More than 150 individuals, alumni, corporate friends and foundations have contributed more than $16.5 million for the new building. Additional funding is being sought to equip the facility and to develop the sustainable energy, water and carbon systems.

With this new winery and laboratory, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science will be able to provide extraordinary outreach and partnership opportunities with the food and beverage industries in California and beyond. The completed academic buildings are already facilitating UC Davis’ ability to deliver unique educational curricula and to conduct world-renowned research and public education on critical food- and beverage-related topics.

The team of architects, engineers and builders for the new building includes BNB Norcal of San Mateo, Flad Architects of San Francisco, F.M. Booth Mechanical, Red Top Electric, KPW Structural Engineers, Creegan + D’Angelo Civil Engineers, and HLA Landscape Architects.

About UC Davis

For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 31,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $500 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science — and advanced degrees from five professional schools: Education, Law, Management, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine. The UC Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis Medical Center are located on the Sacramento campus near downtown.

Media contact(s):

  • Kathy Sachs Barrientes, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 752-1602, ksbarrientes@ucdavis.edu (For winery information)
  • Melissa Haworth, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 754-8562, mdhaworth@ucdavis.edu (For brewery, food science information)
  • Ann Filmer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 754-6788, afilmer@ucdavis.edu
  • Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu

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