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Wineries Making the Switch to Solar

Increasingly, businesses are realizing the benefits of generating solar energy on their own properties as solar installations continue to rise in the United States, and California is leading the way. In 2016, California accounted for 43 percent of the nation’s small-scale solar output installations, and solar energy generation is becoming more common in the industrial, agricultural, and commercial sectors.

Another critical area where California leads the nation is wine production! In fact, as of 2021, California accounts for 81 percent of US wine production and is the fourth largest wine-producing region in the world.

Solar Panels on rooftop in Wine Vineyard in Napa County

With both solar power and wineries on the rise in California, is it any surprise that grape growing and generating solar power pair well with each other?

Finding ways to protect the environment, slow climate change, and reduce production costs through sustainability is critical for the future of California wineries. As of 2021, 33 percent of California’s winegrape acres are Certified Sustainable, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to environmental responsibility. More and more wineries add information about their sustainability practices to the labels on their wine bottles because it’s a key selling point for wine lovers. For a growing number of vintners, solar is an essential piece of their sustainability strategy, and can help reduce or even eliminate the need for grid-supplied energy.

Is Solar Powered Wine Worth the Investment?

California is one of the sunniest states in the country, so solar panels here operate at peak efficiency for most of the year. While all of the state offers ample sunlight, going solar to lower energy costs in the wine industry is an especially smart choice in the Napa Valley, where there are more than 400 wineries and an average of 260 sunny days each year. Many wineries in California have already installed solar systems and realized significant benefits, with some wineries becoming completely independent from local power grids.

Growing, harvesting, and processing grapes to make wine is very energy intensive. The machinery and equipment involved at each step all along the way require a lot of energy to ensure the speed and quality of the winemaking process.

The steps in the process of creating fine wines include irrigation, crushing the grapes, fermentation, pressing, filtering, aging, and storing. Using grid-supplied power to meet the energy needs of each of these steps can be very expensive and eat into profits. And each of these steps presents a money-saving opportunity.

By installing solar panels, wineries and vineyards can produce their own energy and significantly reduce or eliminate their energy bills. These savings can increase winery and vineyard profits, which can be used to reinvest in the business, expand operations, and create a competitive advantage.

Customers will Appreciate Your “Solar Vibes”

Along with reducing expenses, protecting profits and providing resiliency, solar panels can also improve a business’ image. Many consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their carbon footprint. This includes knowing where their wine comes from and how sustainably it is sourced and made.

By installing solar panels, many wineries and vineyards can demonstrate their commitment to reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint. Solar panels will not only be providing energy, but they will also be a physical reminder that your business is doing its part to help protect the environment, and customers will certainly notice.

Powering your vineyard or winery with a solar array can make a difference in whether someone comes to a tasting at your location or goes elsewhere. Wine bloggers and travel writers create lists and tour itineraries noting the most sustainable wineries. Because it’s part of the buyer’s decision-making process, some wineries even stamp the words “Solar Powered” or “Sustainably Farmed” on their wines.

Solar panels on winery roof

Could Going Solar Make a Difference to Your Bottom Line?

The economic benefits of solar energy for Napa Valley wineries and vineyards are huge. Not only can solar panels cut energy costs, but they can also increase and protect profits.

More and more wineries and vineyards in Napa are installing solar energy. To them, solar just makes sense. The benefits of solar energy, as well as the current incentives for businesses and agriculture, have convinced them the time to go solar is today.

Could solar energy be a good solution for your winery or vineyard? How much money could you save with solar? We can help answer all these questions and more. Talk to one of our solar energy experts today.

We know that making the transition to solar is a decision that impacts many facets of your winery. A large-scale production winery has different needs than a boutique winery and tasting room. We customize solar solutions to fit your business. We work with you from day one to help you (and your customers) realize the value of your solar investment quickly.