One of our basic values at Ponte Winery is sustainability. We have spent a lot of time researching ways to reduce the environmental footprint of our new hotel. Here are a few of its features:

Building Orientation: The hotel was oriented to minimize sun exposure to the rooms. Deciduous trees will shelter the west wing and generous overhangs will protect the corridors. The lobby structure will shelter the central garden from wind and sun.

Insulation: Every wall and roof surface will be insulated with the best sustainable material money can buy. We’ll do a “leak” study to verify the caulking was done correctly to reduce HVAC usage.

Air Conditioning: State of the art central HVAC system with room occupancy sensors, instead of the noisy, unsightly “wall bangers” commonly seen in business class hotels.

Materials: Low VOC paint, use of recycled or natural materials, local sourcing and minimum waste techniques will be used throughout

Water: No bathtubs, low flow high pressure showerheads, leak detectors, ultra low flow TOTO toilets, rain water irrigation, and pre-plumbing for toilets for recycled grey water.

Laundry: Off site using super efficient sustainable service and organic soaps.

Electricity: LED bulbs throughout (90% reduction in required power), 25 KW of solar panels (built in San Diego, not China), ultra efficient HVAC.

Gas: Insta-hot water heating with low power, large pipe pumps. No fireplace in rooms.

Landscaping: Mediterranean or California native low water use plant palette.

OSE (operating supplies and equipment): Only use sustainable suppliers and organic products. Soap recycling program through Clean the World, a non-profit charity that provides soap to poor people.

In May, we began construction on the live pond.

Pond: Wind powered aeration (with windmill). Live pond, no chemicals.

Parking lot: Pervious to prevent runoff. Olive trees for shade and, of course, oil.

By: Claudio Ponte