According to The Washington Post, the number of wineries around the United States has grown from about 2,000 in 2000 to approximately 8,000 in 2014. In addition, while they tended to be limited to a handful of states 15 years ago, every state, including Alaska, now boasts at least one winery.


The Post pointed to the increased number of wineries in three states in its readership region: Maryland went from 12 to 61, Virginia from 59 to 230, and New York from 118 to 328. 


In the heart of wine country, Long Electric, Napa, Calif., has a lot of experience doing work for wineries. In fact, according to project manager Tom Long, the company has worked on more than 50 winery projects in the last quarter-century.


“Many wineries are family-owned and are looking for a contractor that will provide them with a certain level of attention and service,” he said.


Long Electric’s experience makes it appealing to wineries.


“A contractor needs to consistently demonstrate a knowledge of electrical controls for all of the winery equipment related to production, including tanks, bottling lines, etc.,” Long said. Experience surrounding the installation of aluminum rigid and stainless supports and hardware also is paramount.


Long Electric’s most recent project was for the new visitor center at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. The project scope for the tasting room included lighting and lighting controls; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; power; fire alarm; security; and data.


“Winery owners are using their tasting rooms as a showcase for the facility,” Long said. “This often results in complex installation to accommodate intricate architectural designs.” 


Some of the more difficult installations that the project team encountered involved in-ground light-emitting diode (LED) wall-wash fixtures, undercabinet LED fixtures at the concrete wine bar, and LED fixtures installed above a wooden slat ceiling. 


Long Electric sees opportunities for improving energy efficiency, as well. Wineries are taking advantage of opportunities in solar, LED lighting and controls, and electric- vehicle charging stations.


Long admitted that the market is very competitive and challenging. However, he said there is one added benefit: it typically provides some of the most beautiful job-site views that a contractor could ask for.