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June 22, 2021 – Quite Literally, Standing On Sustainability
Written By: Marli Hadden, Retail & Events Manager
If you’ve been to Flat Rock before, especially in the gorgeous mid-summer, chances are you’ve been on the Green Roof Patio. This is an exceptional space for many reasons, not the least of which is the unbelievable view of our vineyards on either side. There’s a 3-meter drop from the altitude of Nadja’s Vineyard to the surface of the patio which provides a necessary windbreak from the common escarpment winds. It’s also the starting point to our Vineyard Walks trail – a beautiful trek down and over the creek that runs through our property and up alongside “Ivar’s Block” of Pinot Noir, before looping back to the winery for a well-deserved glass of wine. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about our Green Roof Patio is that it’s a roof. Did you catch that?
Below the natural green grass of the patio is the roof of our barrel cellar and warehouse. It’s built right into the geological bench formation on our property, and this is no mistake. Aging and storing wine underground is the best way to do so because it’s naturally insulated. In the “Old World” of European wine producing regions, this is the oldest trick in the book. These vampire-like conditions are great for wines because it’s consistently cool and dark. This is exactly what wines need to slowly develop over months in barrel or years in bottle.
The conditions in which our wines live is of course, our paramount concern. However, this underground design serves another purpose … sustainability. Because of the natural insulation on all sides of our barrel cellar and warehouse, it’s temperature-controlled year-round. There is no need to consume energy to heat or cool these spaces because they remain the ideal ambient temperature for wine all the time. (Our heating and cooling is off-the-grid-geothermal anyway, but I’ll save that for another article. Saving energy is saving energy right?) The Green Roof Patio provides the important top layer of natural insulation to this vision of sustainability. Plus, it’s a very efficient use of space. This is so important when considering the importance of preserving protected Greenbelt ecosystem we’re so lucky to be connected to.
Next time you enjoy the Green Roof Patio (which we hope is soon), remember that you are actually standing on sustainability. By you simply being here and enjoying a tasting, you are helping us put sustainability into action. Does that make your next sip a little tastier? We hope so.
Can’t wait to host you soon.