Merryvale Vineyards

Location St. Helena, CA
Owner Jack W. Schlatter & Rene Schlatter
Installer AlCal Arcade Contracting, Inc.
Project Type Retrofit
End Use Winery - Barrel Storage

Fifty-five degrees is hardly an ideal temperature, unless you’re a wine maker. That’s why the owners of Merryvale Winery in the Napa Valley community of St. Helena, Calif., and Tassel Ridge Winery in Leighton, Iowa, installed the HIGH-R® Insulation System in their wine-making rooms.

“We age the wine under cave-like conditions, so we need it to stay pretty cold,” says Merryvale wine maker Graham Wehmeier. The wine-making room also is kept humid to facilitate the aging process.

Unlike traditional insulation methods where sheets of urethane are installed between trusses just below the decking of a metal building roof, the HIGH-R Insulation System is mounted on the purlins at the base of the trusses. The cavity between the purlins and the decking are then filled with blown fiberglass insulation, allowing for R-40 or greater insulation. The system results in consistent interior temperatures and low heating and cooling costs. An added benefit for Merryvale was that the HIGH-R system could be retrofitted to its existing building.

Temperature control also was a major consideration when Tassel Ridge Winery built a new building that stands 28 feet tall from the wine-making room floor to ceiling. A bridge that allows guests to observe the wine-making process and a tasting room overlook portions of the wine-making room and cellar.

“If we can keep the cellar temperature down to 55 to 60 degrees, that’s what’s best for the wine,” says Jim Carmichael, who oversees wine-making and cellar operations. “We can normally achieve that seven months out of the year without additional cooling.”
He added the HIGH-R system panels offer an aesthetically pleasing look for the winery’s guests.

“The insulated panels look nice in the tasting room and that’s important as well.”