Hilliard Bruce – The First LEEDS Certified Winery in Santa Barbara

This past summer I was in Santa Barbara wine country and visited Hilliard Bruce Winery during an open house. As we tasted through the wines in the living room of owners John Hilliard and Christine Bruce, John invited us on a tour of his soon-to-be winery.

We walked across the road and toured the facility that was not quite finished. Harvest was just around the corner and the goal was to be finished in time to have their first harvest in the winery.

Now, five months later, the winery is finished and sits as a “rusty lantern on a hill that glows.”

Hilliard Bruce Winery

Hilliard Bruce

Hilliard Bruce open demonstration kitchen, dining room BEFORE AFTER: Hilliard Bruce open demonstration kitchen, dining room BEFORE: Hilliard Bruce Winery AFTER: Hilliard Bruce Winery

In addition to the beauty of the winery, with views of the Sta. Rita Hills through 120-foot-wide by 2.5-story-tall glass windows, is that Hilliard Bruce is the first LEED-certified winery in Santa Barbara.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ certification designates environmentally responsible commercial buildings. This means that the building is designed, built and operated to optimally use the building location, minimize non-renewable energy use, reduce water consumption, while offering healthy settings in which to work and live.

Hilliard Bruce Views

Hilliard Bruce Winery is a gravity-flow winery with an underground humidity controlled cellar with temperature-controlled sections. And another very cool feature are the LED lights in the winery in which the colors can change to fit their mood.

Hilliard Bruce Winery LED lighting Hilliard Bruce Winery Barrel Room with LED lighting

2014 marks the first harvest where all Hilliard Bruce wines (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) are sorted, pressed and aged on-site.

The winery is not open to the public and does not have a public tasting room. But if you plan ahead, you can schedule a visit by contacting Kari Ballard, Director of Sales, at winery@hilliardbruce.com or 805-736-5366.