Changing Landscape
Industry Leaders|September 2020
Changing Landscape
Designed by the San Francisco–based firm Piechota Architecture, Silver Oak’s wineries in Napa and Alexander Valleys steer the next wave of sustainability in wine


“What we call the beginning is often the end,” T.S. Eliot once said, “The end is where we start from.”

Around 6.30 a.m. on February 2, 2006, fire trucks from across Napa Valley bolted to the Oakville, California, site of the oldest and most celebrated wineries in the country. The fire engulfed Bonny’s Chai, the 7000-sq.ft. dairy barn that served as Silver Oak’s original winemaking facility in 1972, the year Justin Meyer and Ray Duncan began their entrepreneurial journey with Silver Oaks Cellars.

The founders and staff members of Silver Oak Winery channeled their grief into rebuilding an environmentally sustainable venue. After its completion, the project achieved LEED Platinum in 2016, the first production winery to gain such kudos. Opened to the public in 2018, Silver Oak’s 113-acre Alexander Valley wine-tourism temple is now certified as a Living Building by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), making it the largest certified Living Building in the world. It is also the 25th project ever to meet the ILFI’s rigorous standards, and the second winery to do so.

For many of its loyal fans, Silver Oak is synonymous with Napa Valley. It’s interesting to note that Napa Valley represents only about a quarter of Silver Oak’s wine production. Moreover, Silver Oak is known for its Cabernet from Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley which can give tough competition to Napa Valley Cabernet.


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September 2020