Design Story: Red Tail Ridge Winery


Red Tail Ridge is located on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. For this project the winery owners’ commitment to sustainability in their agricultural and production practices made it important to design their building with “green” in mind.

Incorporating Sustainable Design

This building features high performing insulated wall panels containing recycled materials. The fieldstone on the facade was recovered from the excavations on the vineyard grounds. High efficiency windows and skylights were chosen to utilize daylight. A white roof was used to reflect sunlight and heat away from the building; reducing roof temperatures.

Unique to the wine industry is the use of a geothermal heating/cooling system that serves the building and the winemaking process equipment. Natural ventilation and waste water harvesting are additional features contributing to the green design. The result is a unique, modern-looking building that is the first winery-building of its kind in New York State.

As a result of the “green” design of this production building, its energy efficiency is 40% greater than baseline equivalent buildings. Red Tail Ridge Winery is the first winery in New York to achieve LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Today, Red Tail Ridge Winery celebrates as maker of high-quality wines from Finger Lakes region. Their wines have been featured in various publications such as the New York Times, Saveur, and Wine Enthusiast and have established themselves as a fixture in the winemaking community. Most recently, Nancy Irelan, co-owner and winemaker, has been nominated for a James Beard award in the category of Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer.

See what Red Tail Ridge looks like today in the photos below.


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