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1229 N. Dutton Avenue Suite C
Santa Rosa
CA, 95401
United States
(707) 526-4500
(707) 568-4035
Tony Simmons

Builders of Quality Projects Throughout Northern California

Nordby Construction Services and Wine Caves

Based in Santa Rosa, California, Nordby is comprised of three privately held,full-service general contractor companies, which includeConstruction Services,Wine Caves andSignature Homes. As builders of quality projects for almost 40 years throughout Northern California and the adjoining Western states, Nordby takes pride in delivering exceptional buildings and client service. Nordby’s building expertise includes both new construction and renovation of commercial,custom homes, luxury estates,hospitality,winery,wine cave, tenant improvements, and technology facilities.Founded in 1978, Nordby continues to work with clients toward a common goal--to better our community, improve the lives of our employees as well as our clientele, and prepare for future generations.

Nordby Winery Construction Projects


The Nordby Effect can often be described as being reassured that a project is being performed in a way that exceeds expectations.  Most websites feature finished structures. The real story happens before the project is finished. This blog covers the project story and the people who make these structures a tangible reality. 

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Due Diligence & Preconstruction Services



Preconstruction Services

Each client has different needs when it comes to a pre-purchase effort, some clients have in-house expertise while others do not. There are clients who may have low-risk tolerance and are willing to spend a larger sum upfront, while others simply pursue a cursory review. Whatever the circumstance, Nordby Construction Services gets an understanding of the client's goals early on to determine their specific needs in due diligence.


Construction Services

With each project, we take a strategic approach. We address the Owners concerns and work towards meeting the Owner conditions of satisfaction. This process begins by establishing a baseline budget and creating a preconstruction schedule. The schedule outlines the timeline’s for the process and creates expectations and commitments for the entire team. We call the process “Progressive Preconstruction” and this process will enable the team to work more conducive in these turbulent times. This process also allows us to identify future breakdowns in the construction process by doing constructability reviews of the plans. Our progressive preconstruction is very rigid in the process and this promotes success in our projects each time we use it.

Learn more about our approach!

 Nordby Construction Services, Winery Projects



We provide experienced-based options for building your new wine cave.

If storage is a primary objective, there needs to be consideration on how the client plans to store or stack the barrels. There needs to be sufficient space for the required equipment. If the winery’s storage capacity is not carefully considered, the space can easily become cluttered and hard to manage. Additionally, if there is a desire to feature marketing events, the desired space needs to be integrated into the functional cave.


Unearthing your site’s unique qualities.

A geotechnical investigation is necessary for early planning. Geotechnical data is used to determine the required support for a cave. It is important to discover early on whether your cave site is favorable from a geological standpoint.

Learn more about our Wine Cave Construction Services!

Foley Johnson Tasting Room
Foley Johnson Tasting Room
Remodel Existing Tasting Room & Private VIP Room, New Fermentation Room, Barrel Room & Covered Crush Rutherford, California
Keiu Hoang Tasting Room
Keiu Hoang Tasting Room
Remodel Existing Tasting Room & Retail Area Napa, California
Merriam Winery
Merriam Winery
10,000 sq. ft. Production Facility & 5,050 sq. ft. Tasting Room Windsor, California
Monte De Oro Winery
Monte De Oro Winery
19,000 sq. ft. Wine Tasting & Retail Center Temecula, California
Rhys Wine Cave
Rhys Wine Cave
30,000 sq. ft. of underground production facilities. Los Gatos, California
Roth Tasting Room
Roth Tasting Room
New Tasting Room Healdsburg, CA
Brown Estate Wine Cave
Brown Estate Wine Cave
5,000 sq. ft. of barrel storage. St. Helena, California
Nine Suns Wine Cave
Nine Suns Wine Cave
St. Helena, California
Roth Wine Cave
Roth Wine Cave
8,600 sq. ft. barrel storage and events facility. Healdsburg, California
Brown Estate Tasting Room
Brown Estate Tasting Room
2,200 sq. ft. interior tenant improvement located in the old Napa Register building Napa, CA
Justin Vineyards Wine Cave
Justin Vineyards Wine Cave
16,000 sq. ft. of barrel storage and events facility, located on a 160 acre property. Paso Robles, California
Goldeneye Winery
Goldeneye Winery
25,000 sq. ft. LEED Accredited Winery Facility Philo, CA
Jackson Family Wines Office Tenant Improvement
Jackson Family Wines Office Tenant Improvement
27,163 sq. ft. Interior tenant improvements. Windsor, CA
KJ Wine Center
KJ Wine Center
Remodel of the existing Tasting & Event Facility and new construction of a 9,000 sq. ft. Culinary Kitchen Fulton, CA
Goosecross Winery
Goosecross Winery
New Production Facility, New Tasting Room, Barrel Room & Administration Offices Yountville, CA
Carlisle Winery
Carlisle Winery
Windsor, California
Blanket Wine Cave
Blanket Wine Cave
Yountville, California
Kenzo Estate Wine Cave
Kenzo Estate Wine Cave
22,000 sq. ft. of barrel storage Napa, California
Healdsburg Wine Cave Video
Healdsburg Wine Cave Video
Owner shares her experience building her wine cave.

News Archive

Nordby Companies Launches New Winery Advisors Divison
22 July, 2020

The North Bay’s Leading Construction Company’s New Division Will Help Wineries Assess, Analyze and Optimize Long-Term Facility Investments

(Santa Rosa, Calif.) July 22, 2020 – Tony Simmons, president and partner at Nordby Companies, today announced the formation of Nordby Winery Advisors, a new division of the North Bay’s leading construction company. Nordby Winery Advisors is a consultancy focused on assisting wineries with the analysis and assessment of their facilities to optimize long-term facility investments and capital planning. After building more than one hundred wineries, Nordby has a keen sense of a winery’s operational needs.

Nordby Winery Advisors will be led by Tony Simmons, who has been with the company for 20 years, and has overseen numerous high-profile winery projects, including several with Duckhorn Wine Company, Foley Family Wines, Jackson Family Wines, as well as Franciscan Winery, Inglenook Winery, Sequoia Grove Winery, Krupp Brothers Winery, Goosecross Winery and more.

Tony Simmons commented “I’m thrilled to be spearheading Nordby Winery Advisors, as our company has such deep expertise and experience in the wine industry. We are the first and only company in Northern California to offer a complete consulting service providing guidance on winery equipment, maintenance, operations and financial decisions to increase wineries’ ROI. Our ultimate intention is to provide strategic guidance that not only addresses short term, but also long-term financial success by evaluating equipment performance and operational coherence.”

While winery operations may differ, they all have similar concerns such as equipment maintenance and building maintenance at the facility. Maintenance is ongoing and can be disruptive to operational capacity during the harvest season. Value assessments along with annual CapEx budgets aim to capture and address these concerns.  Nordby Winery Advisors has the expertise to provide thorough reporting and budgeting to ensure clients’ facilities continue to provide a positive ROI.

Nordby Winery Advisors offers a forward-looking partnership for a wide range of wineries, including wineries of all sizes, existing winery expansions, brand-new wineries, wineries seeking to position themselves for sale and for buyers of new wineries.

Nordby Winery Advisors Services

Base Consultation

Nordby Winery Advisors has the expertise to provide comprehensive reports and budgeting to ensure each facility operates in a way to provide quality products and implement strategic financial decisions to ensure a strong future.

  • Equipment (Useful Life) Analysis and Costing
  • Facility Deferred Maintenance Evaluation and Costing
  • Annual CapEx Budget Development and Implementation
  • Monthly, Quarterly or Annual Reviews

Additional Offerings

Nordby Winery Advisors has a depth of knowledge to also assist facilities with compliance, risk analysis, as-builts, due diligence and management.

  • Winery Operational Compliance Review
  • ADA/CASp (Certified Access Specialist) Compliance
  • Risk Analysis, Fire Life Safety & Earthquake
  • Facility As-Built Services
  • Acquisitions and/or Sales Due Diligence Review & Reporting
  • Construction, Design coordination and/or Management
  • Deferred Maintenance Implementation and/or Equipment Replacement

About The Nordby Companies

The Nordby Companies was founded in 1979 and over the past 40 years has grown into the leader in commercial contracting in Northern California providing specialty construction management, general contracting services and the construction of wine caves. Services are encouraged to begin at the conceptual phase, emphasizing the importance of early budgeting to effectively set a baseline for project decision-making. Nordby provides comprehensive preconstruction and construction services to ensure the intended project requirements for scope, budget and schedule are met throughout the course of the project as well as post occupancy. For more information, please visit

Ted van der Linden Joins Nordby Companies as Preconstruction and Client Services Director
19 May, 2020

The Nordby Companies, the North Bay’s leading construction services, cave building and signature homes organization, is pleased to announce Ted van der Linden has joined the team as preconstruction and client services director. In his new role, Ted will apply his vast background in preconstruction services to ensure successful construction project outcomes. Ted will work directly with the team and closely with clients to ensure project performance and superior results.

Ted brings more than 35 years of leadership experience in the A/E/C industry. In his role with the Nordby Companies, he will be focused on building and maintaining trust with clients to ensure the success of the company’s construction projects.  Prior to joining the Nordby Companies, Ted served as the principal of performance engineering at Integral Group and provided thought leadership in sustainability and preconstruction services for DPR Construction, resulting in a number of Zero Net Energy Certified Buildings under his guidance.

Based in Santa Rosa, Nordby has worked on numerous high-profile winery and cave projects, including Goldeneye Winery, Kenzo Estate Winery, Nine Suns, Checkerboard Vineyards, Sequoia Grove, Flowers Vineyards & Winery, Foley Johnson Winery and Krupp Brothers. The company is also highly regarded for building signature homes in the North Bay.

About The Nordby Companies

The Nordby Companies was founded in 1979 and over the past 40 years has grown into the leader in commercial contracting in Northern California providing specialty construction management, general contracting services and the construction of wine caves. Services are encouraged to begin at the conceptual phase, emphasizing the importance of early budgeting to effectively set a baseline for project decision-making. Nordby provides comprehensive preconstruction and construction services to ensure the intended project requirements for scope, budget and schedule are met throughout the course of the project as well as post occupancy. For more information, please visit

What’s Your Workspace Strategy? Ideas to Mitigate Contagion Risk
07 May, 2020

As we all consider when we can go back to work, we need to ask the question: What’s your workspace strategy in a post Covid-19 environment? Does your workspace optimize space and technology to provide for a safe and healthy working environment? Will your employees, clients and guests feel comfortable in the workspace you currently have available? We speculate the physical spaces in which we conduct business have not been designed for social distancing and mitigating virus exposure risk. In this Nordby Effect post, we collaborated with Henderson Architect, Inc. to address space configurations, indoor air quality and sanitation, and minimizing potential pathogen transfer from surfaces.

Space Configurations

Social distancing will require larger hallways and circulation areas in our work environments. If larger hallways are not practical given your space, alcoves could allow for additional space between employees and patrons as they pass one another. Another idea is to install traffic directional signage to encourage one-way circulation. Other space configuration ideas to encourage social distancing include:

  1. Add space or reconfigure space layouts to decrease workstation density by installing more walled offices in large open spaces;
  2. Incorporate demountable partitions to provide a level of adaptability if a future situation opens different possibilities;
  3. Evaluate office furniture improvements such as workstation screens, room and space dividers, individual workspaces within collaborative work areas.
  4. Create outdoor, open air workspaces.

Indoor Air Quality + Sanitation

  1. Install upper room germicidal ultraviolet air sanitizing systems.
  2. Upgrade HVAC Systems to include in duct germicidal UV sanitization.
  3. Raise computer access flooring with down draft HVAC design to pull air down through the floor and exhaust.
  4. Upgrade to high efficiency filters.
  5. Maximize outside air used in HVAC systems.

Concerns for Virus Transfer from Surfaces

  • Install touchless technology fixtures for faucets, soap dispensers, and door hardware.
  • Install motion sensing light switches.
  • Install antimicrobial surfaces.
  • Add cleaning stations.

Did this list spark up your own ideas on how to mitigate risk your workspace? Please share your ideas in our comments section below.

If you have questions about some of the ideas we listed above, please feel free to reach out to Jason Brown, General Manager of Custom Projects. Our extended team of architects, engineers, suppliers, and subcontractors are here to support a range of projects. Our goal is to provide the best space improvement ideas available for each of your unique spaces and we would be happy to discuss possibilities with you regarding making improvements to your space.

Start your custom project today.

Nordby Announces the New Custom Projects Division
08 April, 2020

Over 40 years of building relationships with clients in the North Bay Area’s wine, hospitality, commercial, and residential markets, the Nordby Family of Companies has established a highly skilled network of capabilities to complete projects that are large, luxurious, and highly functional. We have found often times our clients need help with projects that are smaller or have more custom needs than some of the larger new builds and we wanted to be able to offer our same expertise and care to these projects as well. The Nordby Custom Projects Division was formed to respond to the demand for specialized skills to serve a wider range of our client’s construction needs.  Supported by Nordby’s team and network of construction professionals, our clients gain the high-level of expertise demonstrated throughout our companies on their smaller-scale, more specific and custom projects.

Our team of dedicated people know how to work with you to understand the intentions and concerns you have for the project you are envisioning. Once we confirm with you your intentions, we also know how to help you achieve your vision in an efficient fashion, with care for your budget, and how to make decisions to ensure the project stays on track.

It’s a win-win proposition.

We get to stay connected with our clients by helping them with all their projects, and they get to draw upon our services and resources for help with their projects, regardless of scale, which include:

  • Estimating and Preconstruction Budgeting Services
  • Supervision Services
  • Project Management
  • City and County Relationships
  • Subcontractor Relationships
  • Vendor Relationships

We have solutions for projects great and small.

The Custom Projects Division can help you take care of completing many project types, including:

  • Space Reconfigurations or Tenant Improvements
  • Home Office Conversions or Additions
  • Accessibility Improvements / Compliance
  • Structural Retrofits
  • Finish Upgrades / Space Refresh
  • Maintenance Services
  • Facility Expansions and Additions

We accommodate our clients, no matter what market they serve.We have an experienced team that can deliver a wide range of specialized support for wineries, country clubs, hotels, resorts, restaurants, offices, and warehouses. Whatever the circumstance, the Custom Projects Division will dedicate the professional team clients need to ensure their facilities and operations run smoothly.

Please contact Jason Brown, Custom Projects General Manager, at (707) 303-2611 to learn more.

5 Areas to Consider When Specifying Metal Building Construction
25 February, 2020

The Wine Country has seen its share of wildfires that have devastated businesses in the region. The areas’ wineries, breweries, cideries, and other businesses are looking for fireproof building materials to prepare for future fire events. Many business owners have turned toward metal buildings. There are many advantages of metal buildings. However, there are disadvantages that need to be addressed. This Nordby Effect highlights 5 areas that need to be carefully considered when specifying a metal building project.


1. Initial Costs are High

  • Steel is a higher cost than wood, concrete, brick and stone.
  • Price may increase due to demand in areas recovering from disaster or experiencing a high level of development.
  • Price may increase due to tariffs.

2. Corrosion

  • In the presence of moisture, finish will corrode if not protected by galvanization, or epoxy paint.
  • If metal corrodes, it will weaken over time.
  • While most steel is galvanized, it may still come in contact with a treatment that coats the outer steel skin with a sacrificial layer of zinc. As corrosive materials come into contact with the coated steel, the zinc will oxidize first. It isn’t until the zinc layer is exhausted that the iron will be susceptible to corrosion.
  • Galvalume steel, coated with an aluminum zinc coating, is less susceptible to moisture. As long as the galvanic layer is intact, the steel is protected.
  • Special paint coatings also protect against oxidation. While paint may fade or chalk, it will not impact the durability of the metal itself. It is recommended to use an epoxy paint.
  • As long as coating remains intact, the metal beneath is protected from oxidation.

3. Fire Damage

  • While less flammable than other materials, if exposed to fire for an extended period of time, it can be weakened with sustained high temperatures.
  • Steel transfers heat. Flammable materials that come into contact with hot steel will catch fire and cause it to spread, even though the metal itself is not alight.
  • Additional fireproofing may be required for complete safety. Expanded mineral coatings, concrete and intumescent materials have all been used as fire-resistant barriers. Some fireproof coatings for steel can be quite expensive, adding to the cost of the structure.
  • To protect steel from heat, it may be embedded in gypsum board or block, masonry block or clay tile to protect it from heat.

4. Fatigue

  • Steel is susceptible to fatigue. There are variations in tensile strength, causing tension and reducing strength. 
  • Choosing the correct steel during the design is key.
  • Sourcing steel from a reputable company can reduce the variability in quality within and between steel members.

5. Fabrication

  • It is not easy to make field corrections if one or more components do not fit properly.
  • While most manufacturers perform quality assurance processes, that does not totally ensure all parts of the building solution fit correctly, but in the event they do not, there is no way to “make it fit” in the field without introducing the factor of weakness into the structure.
  • Waiting for a replacement from the manufacturer will result in project schedule delays.
  • Metal buildings can be an effective way to mitigate the threat of firestorm. However, if the structure does not make the considerations listed above, the intention will be prone to weakness. When it comes to material fatigue, all building materials are vulnerable.  In this instance, steel is more durable than wood. There is no construction material that is completely safe. Steel is the closest and the disadvantages are reduced when the risk is considered.

Please contact Tony Simmons to discuss the many advantages that pre-engineered steel buildings can offer.

Craig Nordby leads the Nordby Companies Into a New Era
10 February, 2020

Celebrating 40 years of business, the Nordby Companies have seen their fair share of success and turmoil. The story of Craig Nordby is a familiar story of a family business with a bright future. He leads a group of Sonoma County’s premier construction companies, as Nordby Companies CEO. The Nordby Companies includes Construction Services, Signature Homes and Wine Caves.  He oversees more than $50 million in revenue and 42 employees in the greater North Bay area between the companies.

Born in Redwood City and raised on an apple orchard in Sebastopol, Craig Nordby witnessed firsthand the transition of Sonoma County’s Wine County. The youngest of three boys, he grew up in a home designed and built by his father, Wendell Nordby. Remembering his idyllic childhood, Craig says, “It was fun to live on a farm; we had goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens and a donkey. We had big gardens that produced fresh vegetables. I recall milking the goats and my mom would make the cheese.” In a sense, Craig’s childhood can be described as the modern “farm to table.”

Craig developed a strong work ethic during his formative years. His day started early, tending to the family farm and then catching the school bus to work on his studies. During summer breaks, while most of his buddies could be found reclining in poolside lounge chairs and goofing off, Craig could be found working as a laborer on a job site. His formative years cultivated a sense of self discipline that would prove invaluable later on in life.

Craig’s college education was mostly spent at Sonoma State University, focusing on business courses. During his final year and contemplating next steps, he decided to write his thesis paper on family-owned businesses. He learned roughly 50 percent of family-owned businesses fail in the first year and another 50 percent fail while transitioning from one generation to the next. Deciding whether he wanted to join the family business, Craig knew it would not be easy. Added to the mix, his two older brothers, Del and Rob, worked alongside his father. Upon graduating from Sonoma State University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Management and an emphasis in marketing, Craig ultimately decided to take his dad up on his job offer, saying, “I thought I went into the family business with my eyes wide open.”

Early on in his career at Nordby Construction, Craig demonstrated an aptitude in project procurement, networking, and presentations. He identified areas for business improvement, specifically in the area of insurance where he unearthed potential liabilities and gaps. Craig saw the importance of information technology and took steps to managing the company’s network and recommended next steps to expand his capabilities. Craig applied his background in marketing, which resulted in double revenues. Craig says that during his foundational career years, “I was able to pick up and focus on the areas where I could be valuable and no one else wanted to do. I believe the more value you can create, the more valuable you are.” Together with Craig’s contributions, the company continued to flourish, and he found a positive direction.

In 2006, Del and Craig purchased their father’s share of the company and they were generating an estimated $64 million in revenue. In 2007, Craig’s contributions paid off and he took over the company operations. However, the company was struggling to keep up with its commitments.  Craig anticipated mass company changes would need to happen and then the Great Recession hit. In 2008, the financial crisis provided a perfect storm that would challenge Nordby Construction.  

Work was drying up and the company’s backlog was depleting. The company needed to make cuts and get lean. To make matters worse, Nordby faced a subcontractor lawsuit, which they would end up losing. It early 2010 news broke out that Del Nordby, CEO, filed personal bankruptcy and decided to leave the company to pursue a new consulting business.  It was at this time Craig took the mantle of CEO.  Facing a critical turning point, Craig went to the company’s bank and informed them that they had two options, either wrap it up or believe in me. The bank elected to believe in Craig and the Nordby entities.

In response, Nordby Construction completely downsized. Craig did not take a paycheck for 4 years. Recalling these years, Craig says, “The company had good days and bad days. At some point, the day ahead was better than the day behind. It was never an option to quit; it was important to take responsibility.” After a series of severe layoffs, the company was left with a core team including Dave Schroeder, Tony Simmons, Rick Shone, Dennis Caldwell, Bill Baker, Bob Collins, Tyler Deckard, Darrin Rash, and Jim Birmingham. Looking back at that time Craig says, “Everyone took pay cuts - they got it. There's something special about what we have.”  The team learned a lot from this experience and, as a result, it has made the team tighter and stronger.  Together, the team set new goals for the future of the Nordby Companies. One strategy was to build strong leadership which entailed promoting Dave to President and Partner of Signature Homes and Tony Simmons to President and Partner of Nordby Construction Services.  These promotions gave Craig the autonomy to guide and implement the business goals and objectives he envisioned for the companies.

Craig acknowledges he was able to survive these challenging times with the support and encouragement of extraordinary people. He relied heavily on Chuck Peterson, a local architect, saying “he was a great sounding board throughout. He’s that guy that was always there.”  He’s grateful to his wife for taking care of the home front and the family day and night.  He adds, “I think a lot about my partners, Dave, Tony, and Rick.” Remembering their past together, he recalls giving a presentation.  He pitched, “Here’s what we’re going to do. We are going to target clients and do everything for them by creating a concierge system. This will not be a shotgun approach.” The team trusted in his leadership, stood by him during the rough times, and the companies are better for it. For Craig, the takeaway from this experience was, “do not grow beyond your means and be the best you can be in your domain.”  When he looks back, Craig is proud they were able to make it through these very challenging times.

In 2013, the Nordby Companies purchased their office building. The purchase marked a new era. Craig explains, “We were in a new place that felt good. Banks were interested in us again.” Today, the companies continue to prosper, and Craig is on a search for the next chapter. Seeking a greater sense of purpose, Craig enjoys studying the Aji discourse, dedicates his time to outside causes like the Salvation Army, and coaches kids CYO basketball. One thing is for sure, he will make his mark no matter what is on the horizon.

Written by Tony Simmons on Dec 24, 2019 1:15:00 AM

📣 Nordby Presents New Metal Building Division at the 2020 Unified Grape & Wine Symposium
28 January, 2020

Nordby is happy to announce the creation of Nordby’s Metal Building Division. This new division was formed to better address our clients needs.  As a company, we learned a lot about pre-engineered metal buildings and there are many uses for these types of structures. Initially, we had our reservations. We strategically formed a partnership with  Butler Manufacturing, which has given us the ability to manage costs, schedule and design to take care of the clients concerns at an early stage.  Together, we are able to build accomplishments that are changing the way designers and clients are looking at pre-engineered metal buildings. 

If you'd like to learn more about our metal buildings division and attending this year's Unified Grape & Wine Symposium at Cal Expo in Sacramento, make sure to stop by and see us at booth #A423. 

An Updated Checklist for Rebuilding After Disaster
26 December, 2019

Since the Tubbs Fire, we've learned a lot. As builders for our community, we believe we play a critical role in helping our community to get back to the life we once knew through rebuilding efforts. We are told that this is the new norm as ravages of wildfire continue to touch just about every corner of our beloved state. With that said, we've decided it is time to provide an updated checklist for rebuilding after disaster. 

While we do not claim to be experts in overcoming disaster, we have and continue to seek knowledge for how to approach current and future situations. In our research efforts, we felt it would be helpful to provide an outline of the information we've gathered so far. It is our hope you'll find this information helpful and share it with your families, friends, colleagues or anyone who can benefit.

Who to Notify of Loss

Insurance Agent*:

  • File claim with insurance carrier.
  • Confirm what your insurance does and does not cover. Request a copy of your insurance policy from your agent which can be emailed to you.
  • 4 parts of homeowner's policies:
    • Building – coverage for the primary home or building and anything directly attached to it. 
    • Other Structures – coverage for detached buildings like a detached garage, shed, or fences. This coverage usually amounts to 10% of Building Coverage.
    • Contents – if you took your house and shook it upside down, anything that falls out is considered its contents. This coverage usually amounts to 50% of your Building Coverage.
    • Loss of Use – coverage usually extends 12-24 months and covers lodging along with extra expenses while you are displaced. For those who are evacuated, this coverage immediately comes into effect. Often it can take up to a year or two before disaster survivors figure out what they want to do with their property. This coverage gives you the opportunity to secure a long-term rental. 
  • Do not access the damaged site until you receive official notice from the proper authorities. 
  • When allowed, conduct a walk through the site for assessment with your insurance carrier representative. Take many pictures.
  • Request a “Waiver of Itemized Contents List”. You may be able to receive a full pay out.
  • You may be able to receive an “Additional Living Expenses” advance from your carrier to cover daily necessities.
  • Confirm clean-up coverage. Understand what coverage obligation you have related to State & Federal clean-up programs.
  • Keep ALL receipts.
  • Start writing lists of everything you lost and keep updating as things come to mind.
  • Compile all photographs, records and assets.
  • Bank and credit card statements can be used as back-up for purchases that need to be replaced.
  • Ask agent whether or not you need to continue making insurance payments if home/building is a total loss.
  • Do not settle or sign any final paperwork with an insurance carrier until the entire claim is resolved and/or have an attorney review all documents.
  • If required, ask your agent if your insurance will cover septic system repairs/building code upgrades due to fire.

*All insurance information provided by InterWest Insurance Services.

Mortgage Company 

  • If you have a mortgage, determine whether you need to advise your lender of the loss.
  • Request to defer mortgage payment (lender may defer for 90 days).
  • Continue paying your mortgage and property taxes during the rebuilding process.

County Assessor

  • Submit an application to the County Assessor’s Office requesting an adjustment of the assessed value of your home as a result of the fire damage (Calamity Provisions of California Rev. and Tax Code).


  • Cancel or suspend the following:
    • PG&E service
    • Cable service
    • Landline (Ask for them to waive fee)
    • Garbage service
    • Satellite TV service
    • Internet service
    • Water service
    • Water main backflow inspection/test (notify city, town or county)

General Notification Items

  • Get a PO Box and forward mail.
  • Notify yard maintenance contractors.
  • Stop water filter/softener service.
  • Cancel or suspend pool service.
  • Cancel or suspend pest control service.
  • Update mailing address with all accounts.
  • Cancel or suspend annual septic inspection/maintenance.
  • Notify cleaning company.
  • Cancel HVAC annual inspections.

Replace Documents (if destroyed):

  • Create digital files of all documents and store on a “cloud” server.
  • Driver’s license, auto registration
  • Vehicle titles (pink slips)
  • Bankbooks (checking, savings, etc.)
  • Insurance policies
  • Military discharge papers
  • Passports
  • Birth, death and marriage certificates
  • Divorce papers
  • Social Security or Medicare cards
  • Credit cards
  • Titles to deeds
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pensions, retirement accounts and annuities.
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Medical records
  • Warranties
  • Income tax records
  • Citizenship papers
  • Prepaid burial contract
  • Animal registration papers
  • Mortgage papers

Property Clean-up:

  • Do not access property until authorities assure it is safe.
  • Assess the integrity of the foundations and retaining walls with a licensed structural engineer.
  • Assess safety of access (clear roads, inspect bridges, etc.).
  • Assess status of existing septic system & well.  Identify location with prominent markers.
  • Secure site by locking gates and perimeter fencing if possible.
  • If using private clean-up, that will be paid by owner (maintain record of costs to submit to insurer).
  • Private clean-up can expedite the process to permit submission but coordinate timeline with architect and builder so you do not waste money paying for private clean-up if the design process will take longer than waiting for County/City to clean-up.
  • Clear property of hazardous material and debris.
    • Use certified abatement company.
    • Do not attempt to clean-up yourself. 
  • Up to 6"-12” of soil may need to be remove form site; this could require importing soil after hazardous cleanup is complete.

Original Design Documents:

  • Confirm whether or not original house plans/specifications & related reports exist.
  • Contact the original architect &/or contractor for plans and any related project information.
  • Verify the rebuild project does or does not need to be current with the latest code requirements.
  • Generate a rough budget on original plans:
    • Issue budget to insurance company for review 
      • Break-out code upgrade items
      • Soft cost to be figured (i.e. architect and other design consultants)
  • Learn how much insurance will contribute 
  • Move forward with new design documents
  • Do not assume you can re-use existing foundation.  Have it inspected/tested by licensed engineer.

New Design Documents:  

  • Find an architect & builder to start coordinating with on rebuilding plans & procedures. 
  • Develop a conceptual plan with architect.
  • Develop budget based on conceptual plan with builder.
  • Review plans and budget with architect and builder. 
  • Determine whether to continue with plan to submit for permit. 
  • Or, if over budget plans will need to be revised and repeat the budget process.
  • Proceed with Permit Plan Set
  • Generate soils report or update existing.
  • Civil plans (grading & drainage)
  • Septic plans (if necessary)
  • Fire sprinkler plans
  • Architectural plans
  • Structural plans 
  • Mechanical Plans
  • Plumbing Plans
  • Electrical & Lighting Plans
  • Title 24
  • CalGreen Requirements

Fire Resistant Materials

Building Department:  

General Notes:

  • Do not get wrapped up in completing entire process quickly adding undue stresses and costs to your project.
  • Home rebuilding process, on average, will most likely take at least 2-3 years to complete.
  • Be sure that your builder of choice is licensed in the State of California and is properly insured.
  • Be cautious of working with a builder that requires payment in advance of starting work.


* This outline is being provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any legal advice or direction.  In preparing this outline, we have sought input from resources and individuals in our community with background experience and knowledge needed to begin the process of rebuilding our communities.  We have posted this outline to send to our families, associates, friends and colleagues as a checklist to help begin the rebuilding process and will continue to update the checklist as new information becomes available.  Should you have any legal questions, we strongly urge you to consult with an attorney to discuss your specific legal issues.

Be Our Guests at the 2019 WIN Expo Trade Show & Conference
08 November, 2019

If you are planning to stop by this year's 2019 North Coast Wine Industry Expo, please visit us at #123 and be our guest with complimentary trade show access. To register, visit and use our promo code NOR123.

The wine industry continues to grow and change with the new automation technologies. These innovations allow our team to advance quality for winery facilities and further demonstrate our expertise. Illustrating this point is our recent Krupp Brothers Facility Reconfiguration project. Advancements in winery facility management is making our job very exciting!

We hope you will visit us!

The Nordby Team

An Unexplored Gem: Capo Creek Ranch Winery & Wine Cave
05 September, 2019

On a whim, Mary Roy visited Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley in 2011. Mary, her husband Bob Covert, and sister Nadin Roy, were owners of Midwest Center for Advanced Imaging, a successful company located in Chicago specializing in MRI and Women’s Imaging. Mary was attending a medical conference and decided to take a little detour to Sonoma’s Wine Country. Seeking an outlet for her passion for food and wine, Mary was immediately seduced by the area’s beauty and creative spirit. So, what happened next? Mary and Bob decided to become winemakers and farmers.

Playing hooky, changed Mary's life. It did not take long after that pivotal day for Mary to chart her course, beginning with her studies in winemaking at UC Davis and, simultaneously, begin the long search of finding the right location. Mary and Bob ended up with an amazing 50-acre property in Dry Creek. They wasted no time replanting the farm, deciding to keep 8 acres of zin and replanted remaining 12 acres to predominantly Rhone varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre', Counoise, Cinsault, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Picpoul, Roussanne, and Clairette Blanc, with just enough Tempranillo and Durif to blend some magic. The vineyard is farmed completely organic.

Today, Mary Roy plays the role of chef and winemaker. Named after the device used on the neck of a guitar to shorten the strings and raise the pitch, the capo symbol represents all the simple beauties they want to embrace in this chapter of their lives, including their love of acoustic guitar along with a full on immersion with nature including the sprawling vineyards and beautiful kitchen garden. Capo Creek Ranch is nestled in between the hills of the beautiful Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. Driving along the winding West Dry Creek country road, visitors find a beckoning entry way that curves up a hill surrounded by vineyards, across the street from their historic barn, one of the most photographed in Sonoma County. 

One of the prominent features of the winery is the newly built wine cave. After extensive research, it quickly became apparent to Mary and Bob that Nordby Wine Caves was the best cave contractor for the job, particularly since the geology along West Dry Creek Road is challenging. Mary and Bob worked closely with long time cave expert Rick Shone, President of Nordby Wine Caves, to define their requirements. A variety of excavation methods were used to achieve the goals. The final underground space is both functional and adorable and truly a must see for anyone visiting the wine country. 

Capo Creek Ranch is a labor love. Owning and operating a boutique winery is not for the faint of heart. Together, Mary and Bob farm the vineyards organically, produce the wine one site, and share it with visitors during unique food and wine pairings prepared by Mary in their commercial kitchen. Visitors who have visited Napa/Sonoma for years claim this the best tasting experience they have encountered to date.

Although the bulk of the wine is sold at the winery or through their Cellar Brat Wine Club, their wines can also be found at selected restaurants in Illinois and California, including Sweet Ts, Guiso Latin Fusion, and the Trading Post. They are obsessed with quality and passionate about providing quality wine and food to theirs visitors and patrons.

Capo Creek Ranch is open to the public by appointment. Expect the unexpected, and make sure to reserve the tour of the cave and vineyards along with a delicious tasting! Contact Capo Creek Ranch by phone at (707) 608-8448 or visit their website at 

Nordby Reconfigures Krupp Brothers Winery for Performance
05 June, 2019

After selling Stagecoach in April of 2017, Jan and Bart Krupp looked to purchase a new winery and evaluated the benefits of purchasing Kitchak Cellars. One of the facility’s selling points was that it was permitted to produce more wine. Looking for a professional evaluation of the facility, they engaged Nordby Construction to offer further insight into their prospective investment. Jan says, “When I spoke with Craig, he was thorough in looking at the facility. He was not the cheapest, but customers found they could trust him.”  

Engaging Nordby Construction Services, the Krupp Brothers continued their due diligence. They found the Kitchak production building served two purposes.  The facility contained seven small tanks, which were dedicated to fermentation, and there was an area dedicated to case and barrel storage. Through the evaluation, the Krupps identified an opportunity to reconfigure the space so that they could more than double the winery’s production. 

Facility Reconfiguration to Support State-the-Art Equipment

With recent sale of Stagecoach, the Krupps had the means to transform the former Kitchak Cellars into a state-of-the-art winery facility. Once purchased, Jan Krupp wanted to clear everything out of the building and configure the space to be solely dedicated to fermentation. 

When the space was clear, the Nordby Construction Services team built new trench drains and sloped epoxy floors. A total of 18 automated fermentation tanks were installed, which allows for a production increase from 2000 to 6000 cases. Square tanks were selected to further optimizing the use of space. Facility systems are now outfitted with a new refrigeration system with all new control devices that are connected to new automated fermentation tanks that are operating with new solar power. All operations are now illuminated with LED lighting. 

Each fermentation tank has its own pumps and hoses, cutting the need to change hoses between tanks and mitigating the chance for error and bacterial contamination. Facility managers can now monitor the process through a building management system, accessible via desktop computer or mobile device. In effect, the new equipment allows the wines to be more pristine and easier to make. The new facility is also equipped with a new optical stemmer, requiring less labor. The prior winery would require 10 to 14 people to run production.  Optical stemmer only requires about 4 people.

Facilitating a Facility Reconfiguration in 5 Months

Jan purchased the property March 2017 and wanted to be ready for harvest in August.  To get a sense of the project timeline, Nordby Construction Services president, Tony Simmons, says, "We had a little over 5 months to get the design complete, project permitted and construction complete."  Together the team had to pull together to meet the challenge. 

Nordby teamed up with Mary Sikes & Associates, the architect who designed all on-site buildings. Together, we evaluated the winery site and the uses to come up with the most effective plan to address operational flows, productivity and accessibility.   Tony said, "Mary did a great job expediting the plans and worked with the building department to get it permitted." 

The rest was left up to the Nordby team. They had crews working 10 to 12 hour days and weekends to complete the project by harvest. Like most winery reconfiguration winery projects, there were unexpected hurdles. Tony Simmons added, "Nordby's site superintendent, Troy Llopis, orchestrated the project with experience.  Troy was able to promptly and effectively address these concerns with Jan to keep the project moving forward."

Maximizing an existing winery facility space requires logistical strategy that also upholds building codes. Nordby installed new catwalks and, as a result, the space required ADA upgrades in and around the existing site.  The team installed new ADA parking spots, new ADA pathways, and door hardware and plumbing fixture replacement.

According to Jan, “I was impressed with how smooth the whole process ran. Tony and his team were able to solve whatever things came up. For me, that was the best part of the process. The Nordby team could handle it smoothly.”

Did this story pique your interest in the Krupp Brothers Winery?  They have two venues in the Napa Valley. A  downtown tasting room, where visitors can drop in to enjoy a casual tasting or relax with a glass of wine. To visit their winery and estate, schedule an appointment for a tour of the vineyard and winery and a tasting including our most limited wines.  

Nordby Expands Francis Ford Coppola's Historic Inglenook
26 April, 2019

This underground project marks the winery’s 140th anniversary. 


Hi Friend,

Our underground building experts are in the process of excavating a wine cave expansion at Francis Ford Coppola’s historic Inglenook. This underground project marks the winery’s 140th anniversary and will accommodate the addition of 122 stainless steel fermenting tanks, each dedicated to one of Inglenook’s 122 vineyard parcels. The new cave expansion is expected to be completed in time for the 2020 harvest.

Did you know? Founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum as Napa’s first estate winery, Inglenook boasts an illustrious heritage, a renowned legacy of innovation and an outstanding portfolio of award-winning wines that have defined and established Napa as a world-class wine region. From Gustave Niebaum to John Daniel, Jr. to Francis Ford Coppola, Inglenook’s three principal stewards have shared a strong sense of vision and an unwavering passion to create a wine estate that hearkens back to the European tradition, producing original, distinctly Napa wines that rival the best in Europe. It remains the largest contiguous estate on the famed Rutherford Bench, Napa Valley’s finest area for producing spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you want to learn more about going underground, please visit our website or contact me at 

Rick Shone, President of Nordby Wine Caves

Nordby Wine Caves Announces Their Latest Underground Project for Booker Wines
22 February, 2019

Booker Wines is building a new tasting room with Nordby Wine Caves in Paso Robles.  

Our underground building experts are in the process of excavating a new wine cave through a portal located east of the existing winery. Designed by Signum Architecture, this underground space will serve as both a traditional barrel storage and private event venue. 

Did you know? The winery's name Booker comes from the two orphan brothers, Claude and Dick Booker, who had purchased the land in the late 1920’s. By the turn of the century the Booker brothers had acquired over 1,200 acres on Paso's Westside. Eric and Lisa Jensen purchased 100 acres of the property in 2001 with the intent of growing the best fruit for some of the best wineries in the area. The 2005 Vintage was Booker Vineyard's first release with the wines being made by owner Eric Jensen.

If you want to learn more about going underground, please visit our website or contact Rick Shone at

Compliance is top-of-mind at this year's Unified. Visit us to discuss a game plan
25 January, 2019

We invite you to visit us at booth #1010 during the 2019 Unified Grape & Wine Symposium  at the  Sacramento Convention Center, 1030 15th Street, Suite 100 , Sacramento California. 

Visit us to discuss compliance.

Did you know that Napa County is tightening limits on how much local wineries can grow? At this year’s symposium, the Nordby Team is looking to help Napa wineries develop a game plan for compliance by the March deadline.  Please stop by to learn more.

The Hudson Ranch Wine Cave Serves A Greater Purpose
16 August, 2018

Posted by Rick Shone on Aug 16, 2018 2:58:00 PM

Transforming a countryside into a long-term sustainable ranch takes imagination.  Lee Hudson, proprietor of Hudson Ranch, has cultivated a vision for farming into a tangible reality on a Carneros property in the Napa Valley. Hudson Ranch began planting in 1981 and, since then, has evolved into a fully-functioning farm that compliments the area’s natural surroundings. The ranch incorporates winemaking and hospitality facilities. While the Hudson Ranch is an interesting story of holistic farming, this Nordby Effect post discusses how their newly-built wine cave serves a greater purpose.

Lee Hudson standing proudly in the newly built Hudson Ranch wine cave.

Lee Hudson standing proudly in the newly built Hudson Ranch wine cave.

To understand Hudson Ranch, it’s important to learn the background of the man behind the vision. Lee Hudson, proprietor of Hudson Ranch came to California in 1975.  Born and raised in Houston, Hudson comes from a Texas Oil family. With a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Arizona, he worked with the esteemed Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy. He returned to the United States to begin his graduate studies in viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis. From Monterey to Mendocino, he searched the state before finally deciding on the Carneros property in the Napa Valley, that would ultimately become the Hudson Ranch.

The Hudson Ranch is focused on mindful agriculture.  The project started as a collaboration between two friends. Designed by Ned Forrest, Hudson Ranch is the third project Lee Hudson and Ned worked on together. The result is a design program that is frank, direct, devoid of frivolity. The site is a conscientious alignment between spaces and ranch processes.  From back to front-of-house activities, there was tremendous effort in creating a fluid dynamic with the highest level of intention. Hudson says, “The process needed to make sense from production to presentation and the design needed to be ergonomically, aesthetically, and visually cohesive. That meant a lot to Ned and me.”  Originally submitted for plan review in 2000, the project commenced five years ago. It’s taken 26 months to obtain the permit and 22 months to build. The ranch environment is designed to support responsible farming practices, which includes winemaking and hospitality.

Hudson Vineyards is an extension of farming practices. The winery now features a newly built wine cave. Lee Hudson’s wife, Cristina, was involved in every step of cave planning. Together, they visited between 40 to 50 caves, gathering ideas that made sense to them.  They developed a plan intended for storage, not for public visitation.  Hudson added that he does not particularly enjoy being in a cave whether it’s for hospitality or recreation.  For Hudson, the end-product is most important.

The motivation behind building the cave is that it does not need to be heated or cooled and has long-term value.  Prior to boring into the Earth, initial test borings indicated underground conditions may not be favorable for wine storage.  Fortunately, the borings were incorrect, and the underground space temperature reads 58 degrees.  The cave will be used to house a volume of red wine within a minimum amount of surface area. The space is simple and not really complicated. The building materials are very uniform. It’s equipped with a ventilation system, which is solely used for air flow. For Hudson, the cave will soon serve as production space, “We will crush in August to get ready for the 2018 Harvest. Everything will be done on the ranch and we’re lucky to have the storage.”

Hudson has learned that it is important to work with people who know what they are doing and get it done. He says, building the cave was, “…a hell of a lot fun. I love building things; I like the process. Nordby Wine Caves did a great job. They were in and out really quick. Rick Shone and his crew are very professional, which makes it all the better. When you work with people who enjoy the work, it makes it much more enjoyable. I’m very pleased.” 

To anyone who is considering a wine cave, Hudson recommends visiting a whole bunch of people and caves. He says, “Look at their site and evaluate whether it works. It’s important to do the due diligence, bore holes, and test.” He also says that not every place is conducive for a cave.  However, they are fantastic places to store wine.

Hudson Ranch will be open to the public on an appointment basis starting September 1, 2018.


3 Ways Wine Caves Are Built for Building Performance
04 June, 2018

Written by Rick Shone on May 31, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Building performance is a hot topic among design and construction professionals. This buzz phrase refers to a comprehensive approach in seeking solutions for saving energy, improving end-user comfort and reducing operational or maintenance costs.  Building performance initiatives focus on facility systems that support operational facilities. The key goals are sustainability and optimal performance throughout the structure’s lifetime.  It can be argued that a wine cave, by nature, defines building performance.

Wine Cave Performance

In this Nordby post, we explore the ways wine caves deliver results:

  1. Market and Economic Influences: Prospective wine cave owners often want to improve on inherant above-ground inefficiencies, minimize risk, and improve the value of their operations. In most cases, a wine cave’s consistent temperature range provides optimal year-round conditions for aging and storing wine. A cave’s natural humidity, ranging anywhere from 70 to 90%, reduces evaporation. Caves environments also provide a relatively still place for aging.The effects of vibration in above ground wine storage can accelerate aging and adverse effects on the chemistry and overall quality. 
  2. Energy Conservation: Above-ground buildings are among the largest energy consumers. Facility managers are under increased-pressure to conserve energy and natural resources. In most cases, wine caves are reliable and consistent in terms of temperature and humidity. As a result, these spaces do not require substantial heating, cooling, and humidifying and, therefore, provide a more efficient area for storing your wine assets. A wine cave’s natural insulation (the earth) translates into reduced operational costs.
  3. Resilience: Wine caves may face natural threats, including firestorms or earthquakes. Wine caves are resilient and built to withstand extreme conditions. During the firestorm of 2017, wineries continued the production process underground while fires raged above giving new meaning the phrase “the show must go on.” In California, earthquakes occur without notice and often lead to structural damage to above ground structures. So why are caves better in seismic events? It is easy to rationalize that a structure closer to the energy source (earthquake fault) would surely suffer more damage than a structure further away. Oh contraire!! In the words of Rod Serling - "Imagine if you will", holding a buggy whip at the base with the tip straight in the air. Now move the handle slowly and watch what happens to the tip. Move it more vigorously and observe the tip moving laterally in an exponential fashion. That is the difference between how caves see a seismic force versus a building at the surface.
And how about all those precious, racked barrels of wine? In a conventional barrel storage building, they are often "buggy whipped" to the floor. The seismic event of 2014 was great proof of that. What was also proven was the stability of wine caves and the contents therein.

While the demand for greater building performance is primarily generated by the business owner, new building codes and standards are also setting the stage for higher levels of building performance. Many California winery owners are voluntarily choosing to install systems to allow for a future expansion of cave functions, even if initial plans are for barrel storage only. Who wouldn't enjoy an enhanced wine club or industry experience?

Did you like this article? Check out more of our articles on The Nordby Effect blog.

Reliable General Contractor Partners Are Critical For Duckhorn’s Growth
17 May, 2018

Written by Zachary Rasmuson, SVP/COO of Duckhorn Wine Company 

Duckhorn Wine Company has set the standard for American fine wine for almost four decades. Today, our Duckhorn family includes Duckhorn VineyardsParaduxxGoldeneyeMigrationDecoy and Canvasback. In a number of ways, meeting our business goals for growth requires partnering together with insightful and trustworthy general contractors and tradespeople on wine facility expansion projects. More specifically, engaging reliable building professionals on one or more short-term projects is mission critical to a project’s success in terms of cost, quality, and efficiency.

Waterfowl Barrel Building, Project Completion Celebration

Waterfowl Barrel Building, Project Completion Celebration


As chief operations officer for Duckhorn Wine Company, my role is to help guide the growth of the company’s wine-making facilities while maintaining the integrity and continuity synonymous with the Duckhorn brand.  Drawing upon my winemaking experience that spans multiple appellations, brands and styles, I oversee every aspect of production including winemaking, grower relations, and production facilities in Napa Valley, Anderson Valley, Sonoma County, and Red Mountain in Washington state.  All of my efforts have one unifying theme, being a duck!

When looking for insightful general contractors, Cian Woods, Duckhorn’s vice president of asset management and facilities, brings an invaluable nuts and bolts approach. He has a wealth of experience as a mechanical engineer and construction project manager overseeing large infrastructure projects that required strong oversight of contractors and subcontractors. Fortunately, the Wine Country now benefits from his talents when he decided to make a career transition into winery operations and production. He’s run several harvests for a number of well-known brands including Saintsbury, Diageo, and Sterling Vineyards. In his sixth year of working Duckhorn, Cian is a dynamic partner. 

“As we grow in complexity, Duckhorn needs smart project teams who are honest, experienced, knowledgeable and instinctively know the Duckhorn way of doing things.”

- Cian Woods, VP of Asset Management & Facilities 

Finding reliable resources is essential for business growth. It is important for us to find likeminded contractors who treat us fairly, understand how we operate and bring new solutions. It is beneficial to have a trusted partner early on who can help offer up ideas for saving money along the way. In the case of working with Nordby Construction Company on the Goldeneye winery facility, the team delivered tangible business results for Duckhorn. The project was change order neutral and ahead of schedule. The shortened schedule provided cost-savings and allowed us to get up and running ahead of schedule.

It’s important to trust a building partner to meet project milestones. Cian says, “As we grow in complexity, Duckhorn needs smart project teams who are honest, experienced, knowledgeable and instinctively know the Duckhorn way of doing things.” Explaining further he offered up an example of working with Nordby’s Tony Simmons on Duckhorn’s Waterfowl Barrel Building, “Tony brought on a local fabricator and was able to articulate Duckhorn’s back of house focus…that was important.” Cian's role requires him to work directly with general contractors and reliability is critical for the team's success.  He says, “With every relationship, it is important for us to be able to trust. I have to be able to trust a contractor to get the job done before harvest. Milestones can become more important that cost at times.”

"It is important for us to find likeminded contractors who treat us fairly, understand how we operate and bring new ideas."

- Zach Rasmuson, COO

Balancing growth with productivity requires resources familiar with Duckhorn practices. Over the next two years, Duckhorn will require resources for four moderately large-scale projects.  This level of growth will require hiring general contractors and tradespeople who are familiar with Duckhorn building practices. It is important for us to be able to have a building partner who is able to have candid conversations and understand the nature of our business.  These interactions allow us to deepen our partnership, develop solutions, and effectively conceive a reliable plan.  We expect builders to provide regular reports on timelines and cost.  Safety is also a critical component. Ultimately, I want us to have fun with the people I work with. 

So why would we work with Nordby?  Cian explained, “One of things I really like about the Nordby team is their flexibility. They are balanced and have a high sense of customer service. At every level, they understand the relationship and do not try push their own agenda. In terms of intuitiveness, we have the right conversations at the right time.” He added, “They have a really strong team of superintendents who have a clear vision from top to bottom on what is important.  That’s really important.  Customer service is consistent at all levels.”

When it comes to working with Nordby, I find them to be trustworthy; they never come close to failing.  I’ve known Craig Nordby for many years.  He is personable and, as whole, the Nordby team is comprised of good people. 


6 Persuasive Reasons Why You Should Store Wine in a Cave
07 March, 2018

Written by Rick Shone on February 23, 2018 


You could say an underground wine cave is Earth’s answer to the wine fridge. Varying in size and use, these spaces are intriguing and, more importantly, practical for wine aging and storage. Wine caves are not new. For hundreds of years, people have used these spaces to store wine for reasons that are just as relevant today. This post covers six persuasive and practical reasons why wineries should seriously consider storing wine in a cave.

1. Wine caves provide the ideal light, humidity, temperature conditions for storage. Fluctuating weather patterns are making the stability of subterranean spaces a more attractive proposition for wine aging as opposed to their above ground counterparts. Strong light can adversely affect the phenolic compounds in wine and jeopardize the final product. A dimly lit wine cave protects your assets from these unfavorable effects. A wine cave’s consistent temperature range provides the best year-round conditions for aging and storing wine, and ideal for storing barrels without drying them out. A cave’s natural humidity reduces evaporation. Reds require a humidity over 75% and whites over 85% for ideal aging and barrel storage. Inherently, wine cave humidity will range anywhere from 70 to 90%. Additionally, there are studies that show the effects of vibration in above ground wine storage result in accelerated aging along with adverse effects on the chemistry and overall quality. Caves environments provide a relatively still place for aging.

Kenzo Estate, Wine Cave

Kenzo Estate Winery, Napa

2. Wine caves maximize a winery site’s capacity. Winery facilities include tasting facilities, offices, laboratories, production areas, and warehouses. Why not tuck them underground? Subterranean cave systems can free up a lot of land space and opens up surface area to grow more grapes or other uses which largely depend on your state’s regulations. Cave systems serve a range of purposes including wine aging, barrel storage, and guest accommodations.


Rhys Vineyards, Santa Cruz

 Rhys Vineyards, Santa Cruz


3. Wine caves provide a safe haven from wildfire, earthquakes, and other unforeseen hazards.  During the firestorm of 2017, wineries continued the production process underground while fires raged above giving new meaning the phrase “the show must go on.” In California, earthquakesoccur without notice and often lead to structural damage to above ground structures. Wine barrel racking systems have been known to tumble down and often result in the loss of wine assets.  Wine barrel racks located in a cave structures tend to withstand this type of calamity. A cave provides a more secure storage environment for your wine assets. 


Kenzo Estate Winery, Napa

  Kenzo Estate Winery, Napa

4. Wine cave spaces use less energy than their above ground counterparts. For the most part, wine caves are reliable and consistent in terms of temperature and humidity.*   As a result, these spaces do not require substantial heating, cooling, and humidifying and, therefore, provide a more efficient area for storing your assets. In effect, a wine cave’s natural insulation translates into reduced operational costs.

(Note: The earth's and corresponding cave tempature may vary seasonally)

Porter Family Vineyards, Napa

 Porter Family Vineyards, Napa

5. Wine caves are debatably more environmentally friendly than above ground structures. Along with reduced operational costs to power your storage facility, underground wine cave systems decrease your winery’s carbon footprint. Wine caves are not as susceptible to the seasonal temperature variation, resulting in a lesser draw upon energy and associated water resources. One of the tenets of being green is reuse. Wine caves appreciate the benefits of the earth's natural temperature (cooling) and do not have to deal with stormwater runoff. Winery neighbors and environmentalists tend to object when above ground structures dominate the landscape. Wine caves are out of site. With the popularity of green roofs, shouldn't wine owners promote their open space as its most beautiful feature?

Alexander Valley Vineyard, Healdsburg

Alexander Valley Vineyard, Healdsburg 

6. Wine caves transform an ordinary winery into a destination. We all know there are thousands of competing brands in wine industry. The number of wineries is the result of consumers insatiable desire to experience the romance that surrounds winemaking. It’s not uncommon for visitors to plan whole vacations around wine tastings and tours. Given these well-known facts, a wine cave is just one more way to differentiate your winery from the rest. From scenic views of vineyards to consuming the delicious fermented beverage, there is a lot to love about these dark enclaves. Wine caves provide dimly-lit romantic spaces for visitors to witness wine production, experience wine tastings and food pairings, and participate in wine auctions and special events. It is not unusual to find commercial caves that include exhibit or concert halls, wine libraries, private kitchens, and restrooms with high-end finishes like stone flooring, sculptures and artwork, mood lighting, chandeliers, fountains and waterfalls. Caves offer unique propositions for the wine connoisseur.

Roth Estate, Healdsburg

Roth Estate, Healdsburg

You could say wine caves have withstood the test of time for aging and storage. Generations of winemakers have used these spaces to effectively secure their assets. It comes as no surprise to us that they continue to be a timeless, practical, and fun solution for many wineries.

If you liked this post, you may be interested in reading 9 Things to Consider for Your Next Underground Project.

What is Due Diligence? Know the Winery Basics.
16 February, 2018

In my wildest dreams, I never imagined the Wine Country would evolve into the destination it has become today. Raised in Sonoma, I take for granted what so many find to be a desirable place to live and work. Residing in the Wine Country is a lifestyle – many people are drawn here to live out their dream of owning and operating a winery. Seduced by the lifestyle, I think it is all too easy to want to ignore sound business judgment. In this post, I offer up some helpful insight into the key areas that need to be considered for living your dream of owning a winery.

Like any other business purchase, I recommend a thorough due diligence effort. Due diligence is the process of evaluating a potential investment by gathering facts like financial records and other details that allow for making a sound business judgment. Purchasing a winery requires some specialized research. A buyer should determine whether their business goals will be met during the pre-purchase / due diligence phase. The following offers up 10 key areas to consider prior to purchasing a new winery.

  1. Identify and retain a winery due diligence team. If a buyer does not have in-house expertise, they should gather knowledgeable resources including lawyers, planners, civil engineers, general contractors, viticulturists, winemakers, environmental specialists, and well drillers who will be able to provide valuable information needed to determine the overall “fitness” of the investment. There is a direct correlation between the number of professionals and business risk. When a buyer is armed with professional insight, they are poised to make a business decision of lesser risk.
  2. Assess the topography and climate. There are many microclimates in California. When a prospective property is identified, it is important to evaluate topographical contours that might create microclimates that may affect the grape’s quality and/or production. Factor in frost control. Is there any? Is so, what kind? Is the vineyard configured in a way that takes advantage of sunlight?
  3. Unearth environmental concerns. The Wine Country is an agricultural community that requires maintaining the integrity of the environment. It is important to become acquainted with local regulations. Is there a current “Phase I” environmental report for the property? If not, this report should be obtained and carefully reviewed.
  4. Inspect the roads and infrastructure. Determine whether the property is accessible by usable roads, i.e wide enough to accommodate the vineyard and winery production equipment. Find out whether road access is purchased or dependent on an adjacent property. If dependent on an adjacent property, find out if there are recorded easements. Also, identify the existing utilities being supplied to the property.
  5. Inspect water, process waste and domestic waste. It almost goes without saying - water is a precious commodity for a vineyard. Evaluate the availability/construction water/irrigation. Is there an opportunity for water storage? Research whether there are any regulations governing ground or surface water for non-residential purposes. Ultimately, it is important to inspect and understand how the existing inflow and outflow systems (septic, process and domestic) are constructed and how they relate to current and future production levels. 
  6. Inspect the existing buildings. Buyers should carefully evaluate the conditions of existing property structures. Focus on the foundation, exterior and interior walls, roofing, doors, windows and exterior and interior finishes. Also, assess the property’s parking, landscaping, and site amenities.
    • Mechanical, Electrical and PlumbingA thorough accounting of all equipment needs to be conducted. Mechanical systems, plumbing, refrigeration, electrical and heating, ventilating and air conditioning need expert inspection. Determine how much life exists in these building systems. All equipment should be in good working condition and on-site if listed in the purchase. 
  7. Find out if there is a history of pests. Buyers need to find out if there are any pest reports on this property. Look for pest problems, noxious animal activity, noxious weeds, and disease.
  8. Permitting [Planning/Building] It is important to have an experienced company to investigate the property's permits and provide a reporting. Obtain research to determine whether the property's required permits are in place and compliant. Evaluate both building and planning permits. How do they differ? 
  9. Interview the management and staff. Get to know the winery operations by interviewing the management and personnel.  They possess historical knowledge and are intimately familiar with all the operational details.   This step allows for a greater perspective on the property's unique qualities and deficiencies. 
  10. Determine whether the property will work with your expansion plans. Before closing the deal, obtain estimates of necessary and recommended repairs and upgrades over the next 10 years of ownership. A buyer's vision and long-term goals should always be factored into the equation to ultimately determine whether this property is a "true fit."

There is a lot to consider before buying into a lifestyle. With wineries, there are many areas to consider. Ultimately, it is important to know what you are buying.


The Nordby Effect can often be described as being reassured that a project is being performed in a way that exceeds expectations.  Most websites feature finished structures. The real story happens before the project is finished. This blog covers the project story and the people who make these structures a tangible reality. 

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Reverie Vineyard & Winery, Calistoga, CA

Schramsberg Vineyards, Calistoga, CA

Vigil Vineyard Winery, Calistoga, CA

Stonetree Vineyards, Glen Ellen, CA

La Crema Tasting Room, Healdsburg, CA

Roth Estate Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Seghesio Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Simoncini Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA

Valhall Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Williams Selyem Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Waterfowl Winery, Hopland, CA

Rhys Vineyards, Los Gatos, CA

Kirkland Ranch Winery, Napa, CA

Koves Newlan Winery, Napa, CA

Miner Family Vineyards, Napa, CA

Porter Family Vineyards, Napa, CA

Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Napa, CA

Stags Leap Winery, Napa, CA

William Hill Estate Winery, Napa, CA

ZD Wines, Napa, CA

Meridian Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA

Rubicon Estates, Rutherford, CA

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA

Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery, Sebastopol, CA

Nicholson Ranch Winery, Sonoma, CA

Merus Wines, St. Helena, CA

Nine Suns, St. Helena, CA

Villa Mt. Eden Winery, St. Helena, CA

Monte de Oro Winery, Temecula, CA

Merriam Vineyards, Windsor, CA

Checkerboard Vineyards, Calistoga, CA

Flowers Vineyards & Winery, Cazadero, CA

Asti Winery, Cloverdale, CA

Chateau Souverian, Cloverdale, CA

de Lorimier Winery, Geyserville, CA

Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA

Belvedere Vineyards & Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Chalk Hill Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg, CA

Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Jordan Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Chateau St. Jean Winery, Kenwood, CA

Atlas Peak Vineyards, Napa, CA

Brown Estate Vineyards, Napa, CA

Kenzo Estate Winery, Napa, CA

Kieu Hoang Winery, Napa, CA

Halter Ranch Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA

Justin Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles, CA

Goldeneye Winery, Philo, CA

Foley Johnson Winery, Rutherford, CA

Hansen Family, Santa Rosa, CA

Jackson Family Wines, Santa Rosa, CA

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, St. Helena, CA

Beringer Vineyards, Hudson House, St. Helena, CA

Bremer Family Winery, St. Helena, CA

Catacula Lake Winery, St. Helena, CA

Franciscan Oakville Estates, St. Helena, CA

Carlisle Winery & Vineyards, Windsor, CA

Blankiet Estate Winery, Yountville, CA

Goosecross Cellars, Yountville, CA

Title Name Email Phone
President, Construction Services Tony Simmons (707) 526-4500 Ext (2630)
President, Wine Caves Rick Shone (707) 526-4500 Ext (2637)
Senior PM Bill Baker (707) 526-4500 Ext (2633)
CFO Bob Collins (707) 526-4500 Ext (2614)
CEO Craig Nordby (707) 526-4500 Ext (2604)

 Nordby Invitational & The Salvation Army

Nordby Invitational & Salvation Army

The Nordby Invitational is a special annual event to assist The Santa Rosa Salvation Army in helping those in need and lifting people out of poverty. Proceeds from the Nordby Invitational go directly to The Salvation Army to provide shelter, food, basic assistance, and youth programs to the Santa Rosa community.

The relationship between Nordby Invitational, The Salvation Army, and the Santa Rosa community is one of the great success stories in our area’s history of charitable giving. The Nordby Invitational is a special annual event to assist The Santa Rosa Salvation Army in helping those in need and lifting people out of poverty. Proceeds from the Nordby Invitational go directly to The Salvation Army to provide shelter, food, basic assistance, and youth programs to the Santa Rosa community.

Our objective this year. Our combined focus this year is to replenish and ramp up The Salvation Army’s funds for long-term recovery efforts from the October 2017 firestorm while sustaining normal services to the community.

Wildfire damages are reported to top $3 Billion. The Salvation Army looks to continue help fire survivors in years to come by offering long-term assistance with financial and housing needs, furniture and household supplies, utilities assistance, medical and dental care, work supplies needed to be replaced, school supplies needed to be replaced, vehicle repairs, and other miscellaneous needs related to the fire.

We need to replenish and ramp up funding. Fire survivor assistance is being provided in addition to The Salvation Army’s normal community services. They provide support for 160 units of low income senior housing, a senior center, 4,000 nights of transitional shelter, afterschool tutoring offered at 4 schools, gang prevention programs, and family services which offers rent, utility, and food assistance to needy families. The Salvation Army also provides seasonal assistance, giving over 9,000 Christmas toys to needy children and fire survivors. Every month The Salvation Army serves over 2,000 members of our community.

Click to learn more about participating in the Nordby Invitational.