Up here in the Bay Area where people are crazy about their wine and their green building, Gonzalez winery decided to combine both. No, the Monterey County based isn’t the first local winery to go solar but when this 170,000 square foot system gets up and running it will represent the largest solar installation at a winery.
The 1.2 megawatt solar system, built by Pacific Power Management, will provide about 50 percent of the winery’s total energy and putting those numbers into environmental benefits will be equal to planting 2500 acres of trees o put another way taking 2,083 cars off the road.
Even though we applaud the massive move toward solar we’d like to see more wineries move toward other sustainable aspects and not just energy related ones. We don’t expect all wineries to start creating organic wines, however several wineries have moved to biodynamic practices or even grow organic grapes. Some wineries continue the sustainable movement with social justice practices such as maintaining a fairly paid, year round labor force instead of hiring lower paid seasonal workers.
We’re all for the tipping a few glasses of solar produced wine but that’s only the first step in bringing a winery to the next level.