After having recently received the new Roche Winery Site grading permit, the Roche Family and Lunny Engineering have broken ground on the first phase of the new Roche Winery! This is an exciting step for the Roche family as we embark on this long-awaited plan to locate all of our winemaking operations within our family’s estate vineyards in southern Sonoma.
As great as it is to be building our family’s winery in the acclaimed Carneros Appelation alongside our Tipperary Vineyard, it also presents some hurdles. The Carneros terrior and its famous dark, clay soils create a challenge when looking to prep a building foundation. These clay soils are very expansive and, unfortunately, the foundations of buildings are meant to be built on non-expansive soils. Therefore, this construction project faced two options: we had the choice of either excavating and removing the clay soil and, then, importing non-native soils to compact and build upon, or the second option was to excavate the native soil, then, inject calcium hydroxide directly on the site, which would allow these native soils to be placed back at the site, then compacted and finally built upon. Our family decided on the latter, thus keeping all native soils on the property.
We are happy to report that all rough grading is now complete. All erosion control measures are in place and the site is prepped and buttoned up for the winter. With final winery construction projected to be completed by late 2017, this was a very important step to deliver the project on-time by completing this rough grading in 2016 and before the upcoming winter and rainy season.