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What does a sustainable winery look like?

Let’s go inside the new Beronia winery, one of the most efficient and sustainable buildings in the world…


Bodegas Beronia’s new winery in Rioja, the first in the world to gain the sustainable construction certifications LEED* V4 BD+C:NC and LEED Gold

What does a sustainable winery look like?
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2022-05-03
Bodegas Beronia’s new winery in Rioja has become the first winery in the world to gain the sustainable construction certifications LEED* V4 BD+C:NC and LEED Gold. Awarded by the US Green Building Council, they recognise and differentiate those buildings that are constructed sustainably and have a low environmental impact.
Winemaking at Beronia has been directed by Matías Calleja, winemaker and winery manager, for the past 40 years. In designing the winery, which opened in October 2019, the team worked collaboratively with civil and industrial engineers, architects, ecologists, hydrogeologists, experts in internal environmental quality and physicists, to ensure a completely holistic approach.
The design of the winery, which uses a new system for harnessing geothermal energy to air-condition the facilities and achieve lower energy consumption, together with state-of-the-art technological innovations, such as the Cleanwood system for cleaning barrels, make it one of the most efficient and sustainable wineries in the world.

Beronia_sustainable winery
The main part of the winery is built into the ground, taking advantage of the natural terracing that exists between the estate’s upper and lower vineyard. It also integrates into the Rioja landscape thanks to its green roof gardens, consisting of native plants which require little maintenance or water to survive. This arrangement allows rainwater to be recovered for irrigation, is resilient and compensates for the presence of the building whilst generating energy savings; all day-to-day activity uses gravity and the natural thermal inertia that the earth provides.
In addition to this renewable energy source there are photovoltaic panels in Beronia’s ‘solar park’.

In the barrel-ageing area, the winery uses Cleanwood technology, a maintenance system which “regenerates barrels” while reducing water consumption and electricity. The ZEROB technology – high frequency microwaves – cleans the barrels by extracting the remnants of wine left inside the wood during ageing and regenerates the interior of the wood microbiologically. Known as Microwave Shock Pulse (MwSP), this technology can regenerate the inside of an oak cask in just four minutes. The combination of opening up the pores in the wood via the expansion of the water molecules against the current, and high temperatures during the treatment, facilitates the release of wine embedded in the interior of the wood – greatly enhancing the micro-oxygenation capacities of the barrels.

At Beronia the barrels are made of American oak staves and French oak heads, giving a distinctive balance and integration to the wines.
Another feature of the winery is the use of natural light to create pleasant spaces in areas normally in shadow.

BERONIA_inside winery
Bodegas Beronia, which also has a winery in Rueda, is part of the family-owned González Byass group.

*LEED is an international certification for sustainable buildings and stands for the ‘Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design’ green building certification programme. Developed by the US Green Building Council in 1993, this seal of approval classifies buildings based on their degree of excellence and gives points for achievements in efficiency and sustainability via independent, third-party verification. LEED assesses those strategies aimed at improving sustainability and efficiency in aspects related to people's well-being, energy saving, water efficiency, reduction of CO2 emissions, improvement of the quality of interiors, management and conservation of resources and reduction of waste, among many other considerations. Find out more here.

Architectural team: IDOM
Landscaping: Isaac Escalante Camus
Selection of health-providing products and materials: Asla Green Solutions

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