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Depending on the venue, you might expect to find a lot of concrete and steel in hospitality applications, such as entertainment, hotels, and wineries. But that isn’t always the case. Some hospitality venues prefer to welcome their guests with the natural beauty of real wood, as outlined in the following examples.


Sonoma Raceway

Located in the heart of Sonoma Valley wine country, Sonoma Raceway is Northern California’s premier destination for motorsports events. Featuring a world-class 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, and a packed annual race schedule, the facility is in use nearly 365 days of the year.

One thing Sonoma Raceway lacks? Trees and shade. Extensive use of redwood timbers for pergolas and shade structures helps provide shade and beautiful spaces for guests to enjoy the track. The Real. Strong. Humboldt Redwood Deck above the Turn 2 Terrace seating area serves as a premium ticketing option for the annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race.

“Our ability to take the redwood material that’s so native to Northern California and incorporate it into our raceway was something we thought was going to be a great benefit for our fans,” according to Jill Gregory, executive vice president and general manager at Sonoma Raceway.


Hook & Ladder Winery

Hook & Ladder Winery in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California was launched in 2003 by Cecil and Christine De Loach. Cecil is a former San Francisco firefighter. The winery produces several varietals and is a local favorite.

Hook and Ladder Winery.

Upgraded outdoor spaces with 6”x6” redwood timbers anchoring large fabric shade sails are an important part of the guest experience at Hook & Ladder Winery. Photo © BOURNE Photo, click to enlarge.

Between 2020 and 2021 the property underwent a wide-ranging remodeling effort to improve guest amenities. As many visitors wish to sit outside and enjoy the beauty of the property, upgraded shade structures and plentiful seating were a must-have. Revamping the tasting room was also important to accommodate visitors more comfortably.

Featuring prominently in the remodel are redwood lumber and timbers. Numerous 6”x6” redwood timbers support large fabric shade sails that keep guests cool on hot days. A redwood deck was installed on top of a critical irrigation system with the ability to lift and move sections of the top of the deck to retain access to the system. A heavier decking material, such as Ipe, would not be feasible to lift and move.

Inside, the tasting room was outfitted with two bar areas to accommodate visitors, both constructed out of redwood. In a playful twist on the winery’s name, a redwood ladder was installed across a wall of wine giving tasting room staff easy access to the wines for pours and product sales.

“I don’t think you could visit Hook & Ladder Winery and not notice the redwood,” states Devin Ruddick, vice president, national sales manager. “Humboldt Sawmill really took our experience to a whole new level. When people come to our vineyard they look around and in a world of social media, find so many different areas in which to capture a great day that they are having.”


Jeriko Estate

Situated in California’s northern most wine growing region, Mendocino, Jeriko Estate is a certified organic winery that doubles as a resort. The property offers a private estate home and cottages with vineyard views for rent. It is also a popular destination for weddings and events.

Jeriko Estate.

Jeriko Estate offers guests the opportunity to taste wine and stay on the property. Redwood pergolas can be found outside the main tasting room as well as on two cottages available for rent. Photo © Pine Photo and Video

To maximize guest enjoyment of the property, three redwood pergolas were installed, one outside the main tasting room, and on two cottages on the property. Jeriko Estate owner Danny Fetzer chose redwood for its durability, “Redwood can withstand the elements of time and weather.” He also values redwood’s beauty, “We decided on redwood pergolas largely because of the aesthetics.”

Fetzer also valued the sustainability of the wood. Redwood trees are native to California, growing along a narrow, coastal band from the Oregon border in the north to Big Sur in the south. The total size of the redwood region is relatively small at about 2.2 million acres, the majority of which is privately owned and zoned for timber production. Large redwood producers, such as Humboldt Sawmill, have taken the extra step of environmentally certifying its holdings. Humboldt Sawmill redwood products are certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC C013133) and eligible for credit achievement under both the LEED and SITES programs.