A holistic approach to the indoor climate in a winery

A holistic approach to the indoor climate in a winery

An introduction to Vie de Romans winery

This family owned winery is called Vie di Romans and is located in Northern Italy, outside Udine, close to the Slovenian border. This region, as well as many other areas along the same latitude, is known for its excellent soil for growing grapes. However, this particular region is suitable for viticulture specifically because a cool and dry wind sweeps in from the Slovenian mountains which gives favourable temperature variations and longer solar exposure, favourable for a slow ripening of the fruits.

Vie di Romans is mostly known for its white wines, but a selection of fine red wines are produced here as well. The grapes are planted over six acres of land and the wine is matured in wooden barrels 10 m underground in wine cellars, barricayas, of a total of 2 500 m2. The winery estate also houses an office and a hospitality building of about 1 500 m2.

Clear indoor climate requirements

Grapes for wine making are known to be delicate, but they are in fact not overly sensitive to changing weather conditions. However, they need a perfect combination of cool and warm, dry and humid over time to mature perfectly. Less variation, or in fact no variation at all, is allowed when the wine goes through the fermentation process. Some wineries control temperature and humidity during this procedure by using metal tanks, but Vie di Romans use wooden barrels.

In everyday life, it is reasonable to say that an indoor space is separated from the outdoor weather changes. It is at the same time, well known that an indoor environment is affected by the outside, for instance by temperature or humidity. This project was focused to create a perfect indoor climate in the new barricaya, Vie di Romans set clear requirements for a stable humidity level of 80% and a constant temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. The indoor climate needed to be strictly controlled for a continuous success of the winery.

Productivity and comfort for people to thrive

Not only was a new barricaya needed for storage of wine barrels, but new office and hospitality buildings were also planned in this project. Obviously, these indoor spaces had completely different requirements, both from the ”wine cellar” but also from each other. People want to be productive in an office which requires a temperature of about 21 degrees Celsius in winter and a little higher in the summer. Visitors in the hospitality area are most likely longing for a comfortable stay and can accept higher and varying temperatures. At the same time, sustainability was an important factor for this family business, and it was reflected both on the construction characteristics of the buildings and on the requests for the best suitable solutions for ventilation, heating and cooling in the winery’s different indoor environments.


Learn more in our indoor climate guide

A holistic approach for continuous wine making

With the scope of the barricaya, office and hotel, the Gallo family had a few different suppliers in mind for their expansion project. At Swegon, we were able to take a step forward and propose a solution where we looked at the entire project and offered a solution with a holistic approach. We saw that our wide range of products combined with our own, tailor made, control system was not only an answer to the critical requirements of the indoor climate but that it was also in line with the sustainability ambitions of Vie di Romans.


Why Swegon?

Behind an excellent glass of wine, there is a perfect indoor climate
Pierantonio Carraro, HVAC Systems Development Manager at Swegon Italy, when asked to describe what is needed beside the wine makers' hard work and endless passion

Ventilation and humidity by the means of air handling units

As a first step, we supplied the barricaya with two air handling units (AHUs), type GOLD RX 040, with recirculation sections and CO2 sensors. The required indoor temperature for the barricaya is constant at 15 degrees Celsius which means that it in the summer time, often is much lower than the outside temperature. When the indoor air is recirculated, energy can be saved as cooling of the air is not needed as if the warmer outside air was taken in on a continuous basis. The CO2 sensors monitor the air quality constantly and increases the rate of external air when necessary. This energy efficient way of using tempered air is suitable for various indoor environments, different sensors can ensure good air quality, and it obviously suits an application like a wine cellar very well.

The AHUs were then connected to an external pressurised-water humidifier with direct misting in the room, controlled by IQLogic, to ensure the required humidity. Mostly used during the winter season. All in all, these two units provide the needed air and moisture for the 2 500 m2 wine cellar.

For the office and hospitality buildings, another AHU of type GOLD RX 040 delivers fresh air through 20 Swegon WISE dampers. The latter also control VOC, CO2 and humidity to ensure a productive and comfortable indoor climate.


For more information about dampers

Learn more about IQLogic

Temperature and control

Now, in order for the wine to mature as planned the above air handlers were needed to be accompanied by units for heating and/or cooling as well as by a system for monitoring and control. We provided the winery’s barricaya with four reversible heat pump units from our BlueBox range, model ZETA Sky HP 6.2. Correspondingly, two ZETA Sky HP 8.2 heat pumps were provided the office building and the hospitality area. 

To finish off this solution for ventilation and heating/cooling, we installed a WISE system including a number of products which simplify control, minimise energy consumption and ease maintenance procedures considerably - no matter the product in the system. WISE comes with the SuperWISE interface which gives a complete overview of how the system is performing during commissioning and daily operation. SuperWISE allows for interaction and communication with products and the system as a whole, and it is possible to get notifications, make various analysis and much more. SuperWISE supports a sustainable operation both in terms of cost, time and environment.


Learn more about SuperWISE

Products and systems

Here are some of the products and systems provided to this project


Air handling unit with rotary heat exchanger and with controls.


Chillers and reversible units with hermetic scroll compressors and plate heat exchanger. 


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