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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

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.