This summer solstice, wineries at the heart of the solar power trend in California Wine Country will celebrate the day of the year when the sun shines the longest with the first “Solarbration.”
On June 21, from 5:30 p.m. until sunset, ZD Wines, Honig Vineyard & Winery and Peju Province Winery will host a solstice celebration, with special wine tastings, sustainably grown gourmet cuisine and live entertainment at each of the facilities.
Guests will be invited on behind-the-scenes tours of the solar energy systems that power the wineries. The ticket price includes entry to all three wineries. All proceeds will be donated to The Land Trust of Napa County, and Land Trust personnel will be at the wineries to answer questions about their land-saving work.
ZD is the latest Rutherford winery to adopt solar power, with the installation of a 125 kW system earlier this year. The 712-module design supplies 100 percent of the energy used in ZD’s production.
Honig’s solar power system — or its “electricity farm,” as they like to call it –is one of the largest in Napa County. The 146 kW system consists of 819 modules, generating 100 percent of the facility’s power.
At Peju, 720 panels were installed above the winery’s crush pad, barrel room, tank area and offices. The 126 kW system provides 36 percent of Peju’s energy needs.
Collectively, the adoption of solar power by the wineries will spare the emission of nearly 11,000 tons of CO2 over the next 30 years — equivalent to the carbon captured by 100 acres of forest — while saving more than $132,000 in electricity costs in the coming year alone.
While Napa County as a whole tops the Northern California Solar Energy Association’s list of Bay Area counties with over 51 watts of photovoltaic power installed per capita — about twice the amount of No. 2 Sonoma with 26 watts per capita — Rutherford now has more than 1,000 solar watts per capita. ZD, Honig and Peju are launching Solarbration to commemorate Rutherford’s status as the “most solar town” in the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to Sunlight Electric, Napa County wineries have adopted solar energy 42 times faster than California businesses overall. “Within Napa, Rutherford wineries are at the forefront of this trend,” says CEO Rob Erlichman.
*** What: 1st Solarbration
*** When: Saturday, June 21, 2008, 5:30 p.m. until sunset
*** Where: Rutherford, Napa Valley
*** Tickets: $50
*** Beneficiary: All proceeds donated to The Land Trust of Napa County
*** Includes: wine, appetizers, live entertainment and solar power tours
Guests may purchase tickets in-person on the day of the event (if available) or online through the participating wineries: