Full-Production Teaching Winery

Creating a Teaching Winery on Campus

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The on-campus winery will serve as a teaching lab where students will learn the concepts of producing wine by providing them with the opportunity for hands-on learning that cannot be duplicated in a classroom setting alone. The winery will have production areas and barrel and case storage sufficient to support the commercial production of 3,000 cases of wine per year.

Architectural Features of the Teaching Winery

At Yavapai College, we believe that the design solution must be sustainable. The design concepts listed below are in the spirit. By considering our planets ecology, its effect on our long-term economics and taking our part in the development of an equitable community, there is bonus for everyone.

Adaptive Reuse

Adaptive Reuse is a process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their original features. The teaching winery will be re-purposed from an underutilized outdoor racquetball building on campus. The winery will contain four main spaces, one in each former court: a fermentation room, two barrel-aging rooms and a tasting room where students will gain real-world experience in marketing and selling Yavapai College wine.


The overall design of the winery itself becomes a teaching model of sustainability for the wine industry. The winery will be so efficient it will use 50% less power per square foot than a standard Arizona home.

  • An outsized roof (2.5 times the size of the building) for increased building shading and covered outdoor workspace
  • Rainwater capture, filtering and reuse for humidification, toilet flushing, wash down and irrigation. The roof is capable of collecting enough rainwater to make the facility net-zero for water
  • In the future, the facility will use a photovoltaic array to produce electricity. The panels will also serve as shading devices for parked cars and create a net-zero facility for electricity
  • Maximized insulation thickness for improved temperature control
  • Process waste water used for irrigation
  • Natural ventilation and nighttime cooling using the same equipment being installed for CO2 evacuation, in reverse
  • High clerestory translucent panels provide enough natural light in the tasting room, fermentation and barrel-storage rooms to work during daylight hours without turning on artificial lights
  • Using available rock from the campus for retaining walls and gabion baskets

Rainwater Harvesting

Southwest Wine Center’s 8,500-squarefoot roof is designed to shade the winery and the outside working spaces as well as channel rainwater to two 10,000-gallon water-storage tanks. Rainwater will be cleaned, filtered and used for barrel room humidification; toilet flushing and process wash down. The system is designed to collect enough water throughout the year for these functions and not be supplemented with city water.

After one year of collection the system will generate more water than is needed. This system is capable of being net-zero for water usage.


The roof is 2.5 times the size of the building to shade walls and outdoor work areas.

The new roof covers existing court spaces and encloses the building, critical to creating interior environments suitable for storing an aging wine. Many winemaking activities occur outside the building – crushing and pressing grapes, washing barrels and tanks to mention a few.

The new roof also extends the workspace, providing shade over outside work areas while reducing solar gain a large portions of the exterior wall. Additionally, a trellis covers the patio and provides shade for outdoor wine tastings. Trees along the west edge of the crash pad add shade to the late afternoon and create a visual buffer for the residences.

Daylight and Views

The building’s unique form allows each of the four main spaces to be bathed in diffused daylight from high clerestory areas that nest in the notches located in the upper court walls. These clerestory areas are made with insulated fiberglass panels called ‘Kalwall’ and provide as much light as possible while providing a buffer against wide temperature swings.

In two of the end walls, large insulated glass doors are used for exterior closure allowing in additional daylight while providing views to the outside. Interior doors also have class so that views to the exterior can be maintained. Wineries that use natural light can reduce their electrical lighting consumption by as much as 66%. The obvious benefit is reduced electric bills. It has also been proven that natural light and views to the outside will promote a healthier and more productive environment and improve retail sales.

Natural Ventilation

The Verde Valley is known for significant diurnal temperature swings at sunset. This natural cycle together with 20-foot tall ceilings in the winery will promote effective natural ventilation and cooling. Louvers will be placed near the floor level of the winery and high in the clerestory for CO2 purging.

During this operation, the heavier-than-oxygen CO2 is mechanically exhausted out of the louver near the floor and that volume is made up with fresh air from above.

For nighttime cooling these louvers are used in reverse and without the need for a fan. A thermostat opens the upper louver exhausting hot air that has been accumulated during the day. This hot air leaving the winery pulls in cool night air that blankets the ground into the winery through the lower louver. This process reduces mechanical ventilation and energy use.

Insulation and Mass

The along the perimeter walls will be insulated on the exterior of the concrete block to well above the required standards and finished with cement plaster. This exterior insulation helps keep the 12 inch thick concrete Mason area units (the mass of the building) cool, providing a cold sink for the barrel rooms and other interior spaces. The design helps reduce mechanical cooling requirements, ultimately reducing energy consumption.

Air movement resulting from mechanical cooling increases evaporation of wine from the barrel. Reduced mechanical cooling means less evaporation and more finished wine per ton of grapes. Finally, this design saves the existing, smooth plaster finish of the racquetball court walls, an ideal durable and sanitary surface for a winery.

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Photovoltaics/Energy Conservation

Water Conservation/Arid Farming

Meet Our Winemaker

Our Director of Enology, Michael Pierce, is an Arizona native who has been working in the Verde Valley wine industry for the last five years.

Read More

The Architect

Joe Chauncey, LEED BD+C, Architect, is a principal of Seattle-based Boxwood, an integrated design studio leading the design of the new teaching winery at Yavapai College.

Boxwood has more than a dozen years of experience in the wine industry including, sustainable programming, master planning, and design of wineries and tasting rooms, brand development, packaging and web design.

Teaching Winery Facts

  • The winery, vineyard, student classrooms and labs are located on a single campus.
  • The teaching winery will re-purpose an underutilized racquetball building.
  • The winery will contain four main spaces, one in each former court: a fermentation room, two barrel-aging rooms and a tasting room where students will gain real-world experience in marketing, selling YC produced wine.
  • End walls of each court will be filled in with large operable doors to promote outside views and create easy passage for visitors, winery workers and equipment.
  • During the initial years of operation the winery will produce up to 1,500 cases of wine per year. Eventually, the winery plans to produce 3,000 cases annually.
  • Proceeds from the sale of student-produced wine will be dedicated to new scholarships and viticulture program support.