LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing was the plumbing contractor for Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards’ radiant cooling systems.
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, like many vineyards, has a self-excavated cave where wine barrels are stored and aged. The benefits of a subterranean storage area are that the temperature is both cool and relatively stable. Both are key in the winemaking process. Too warm is bad for obvious reasons; fluctuating temperatures cause oxidation in the barrels, affecting the final outcome.
However, no cave (whether natural or man-made) has ideal conditions for the delicate processes of winemaking. That’s where radiant cooling comes in. Radiant cooling keeps the cave at the right temperature (46 degrees, in the case of Sonoma-Cutrer) and also eliminates any fluctuations.
Radiant cooling allow the air mass temperature to stay constant without the use of a cooling unit and fans. This means no cold waves of air, which create temperature cycles and in turn cause expansion and contraction. This cycle is what ends up damaging the wine through oxidation.
With their radiant-cooled cave, Sonoma-Cutrer can barrel age their Chardonnay for 2-3 years whenever they want to do so. Also, they get to host wine tours in what looks like a real cave—all the piping is hidden in the ceiling and floor and there’s no noisy AC unit running.
The system is relatively simple once you understand how it works. Hidden pipes keep the room at a constant temperature by radiating cool temperatures. However, that doesn’t take into account the 30 miles of glycol piping, 14 different pumps, and the sophisticated control units in the west cellar.
LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing worked with the Engineering Partnership to complete Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards’ radiant cooling system in 1996. We’ve completed a number of other radiant cooling projects as well, including Stryker Sonoma, Nickel & Nickel Winery, and Ladera Winery in Napa.
LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing Contractors – Radiant Cooling System Experts
If your winery or business is in need of a radiant cooling system, LeDuc & Dexter Plumbing can help. We’ve been the plumbing contractor of choice on high profile projects all over the Wine Country. Fill out the form below to get in touch with us!