About Us: Sustainability
From The Ground Up
In 2002, after a many-year search for an ideal vineyard location on Red Mountain, Tim and Kelly convinced Sonny and Zeta Moore, the first people to live on Red Mountain, to sell them their 15-acre, southwest-sloping parcel high on Red Mountain, complete with water rights. The packed up the winery in Woodinville, WA and moved to this beautiful spot at the top of Red Mountain. Their first task was converting an old, dirt-floored metal barn into a clean, climate-controlled winery.
Bewitching Story – When Tim and Kelly went to the Moore’s to convince them that they were the right people for the property, they noticed a y shaped dried willowtwig in their house..They asked if it was the witching stick they used to find water back in 1976.The Moore’s said indeed it was and if things worked out- they would give it to the Hightowers. Everything worked out and the witching stick proudly hangs on the wall in the tasting room.
In 2008, the winery was remodeled and expanded to include a tasting room and more barrel storage, and to embrace the sustainable spirit by adding many energy efficient features. The tasting room was built out of Durisol, a one-foot thick block made of recycled wood and concrete with built-in spun rock wool insulation. A sun screen wall – a secondary slated wall mounted about an inch outside the old exterior, so that it hides the old metal barn, shades the exterior wall, and looks beautiful – was added. Also added were eight foot roof overhangs to shade the tasting room windows during the hottest time of the day. The metal roof was finished with "Cool Paint Technology," which reflects more solar energy than normal paint. When redoing the roof, they added much thicker roof insulation, installed sky lights in the office and one of the barrel rooms, purchased more efficient lighting, and high efficiency heat pumps.
The Hightowers want this wine thing to go on for a good long time, so they farm the vineyard sustainably, using a mechanical cultivator for weed control and minimal amounts of spray – and then only with materials approved by the Salmon-Safe list. Finally, the vineyard is drip irrigated, which does not produce runoff or erode soils.