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8 eco-friendly East Coast wineries

By: Sidney Stevens on Jan. 14, 2011, 12:06 p.m.

Photo: Red Tail Ridge Winery

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Red Tail Ridge Winery, Penn Yan, N.Y.

Red Tail Ridge, overlooking Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region, bills itself as the state’s first LEED-certified winery. More precisely, it’s the winery’s sleek wine-processing building (pictured) that’s aiming for LEED silver certification. Cooled and heated via geothermal energy, the walls are constructed from recycled materials, the front façade is fashioned from fieldstone found on vineyard grounds, and large windows allow for energy-free day-lighting. Out among the grape vines, fencing and nets offer humane pest and wildlife control and natural fertilization techniques enhance soil — meaning fewer chemicals all around. Drainage ditches and tiles help conserve water by diverting storm runoff to an irrigation pond for use during dry times. Tasting-room visitors also enjoy green amenities like recycled paper products and low-flow toilets.