Toast of the Town The wine parties are a fitting tribute to the history of the 1914 structure, which had been the Moraga Bar ó renamed Moraga Barn during Prohibition. The building that was originally built in 1914 was completely remodeled using the latest green building practices, and was awarded its LEED Platinum certification at the end of 2010. “The building itself is a way to connect with the community,” says Canyon Construction president Chris Avant.
Canyon Construction Toast of the Town The wine parties are a fitting tribute to the history of the 1914 structure, which had been the Moraga Bar ó renamed Moraga Barn during Prohibition. The building that was originally built in 1914 was completely remodeled using the latest green building practices, and was awarded its LEED Platinum certification at the end of 2010. “The building itself is a way to connect with the community,” says Canyon Construction president Chris Avant.

When Chris Avant bought and remodeled the oldest building in town for Canyon Construction’s new office in Moraga, Calif., he thought the building would be a great place to host events, such as green seminars that would play off the remodel’s LEED Platinum status. At the time, Avant also considered opening a wine bar in the extra space on the main level.

During his research for the bar, he met with the Lamorinda Wine Growers Association, a group of six local vineyards that gets its name from the nearby cities of Lafayette, Orinda, and Moraga. Avant invited the association to use the building for its meetings and encouraged it to hold events in the space.

The group began hosting Lamorinda Libations wine tastings, holding five events in 2011 and inviting guests from the wine community. Canyon Construction also invites its clients and architects to these tastings because “there is a certain level of refinement associated with the art of wine that parallels fine home building and remodeling,” Avant says. He also sends invitations to the city council, the mayor, and the director of the planning department. And even if clients and architects don’t attend the tastings, the invitations serve as marketing outreach for the remodeler.

Canyon Construction hosts art shows in the space as well, combining them with the wine tastings, and it recently included members of an organic community garden. These larger events draw up to 150 attendees, says marketing director Katarina Tikka. Guests sign in and are added to Canyon’s contact list.

“There is a lot of cross pollination between these groups,” Avant says. “[The tastings have] really helped to increase brand awareness and connect us to the community in ways that our past building didn’t do at all.”

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.