Winery Raises Glass to Hemp Cellar, Net-Zero Building

Hemp is used in hundreds of products, but here’s a new one: a hemp wine cellar.

Chateau Maris, a bio-dynamic and organic French winery, has created a net-zero energy building by using bricks made from organic hemp and lime. Topped by a green roof with solar panels, it produces as much energy as it consumes.

The bricks create a 9,000-square-foot wine cellar that’s both energy self-sufficient and biodegradable. They not only maintain consistent temperature and humidity, they also absorb carbon from the surrounding environment. And there’s no need for systems that heat, cool or ventilate the structure.

Hemp has amazing qualities — the material both insulates and is “breathable” — keeping the building warm in winter and cool in the summer at a consistent 54 to 63 degrees F. Two exterior walls connected by an air tunnel also insulate against extreme temperatures. If more airflow is needed to lower the heat created by fermentation, a manual duct in the cellar’s roof can be opened and closed.

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