Benovia Winery Harvests Solar Energy to Reduce Costs and Carbon Footprint
SANTA ROSA, CA (Sept. 12, 2011) -- Benovia Winery has taken a major
step forward in its sustainability program with the recent
installation of solar panels that will produce most of the
electricity the winery needs, according to Mike Sullivan, Benovia's
co-owner, general manager and winemaker.
Benovia, a Russian River Valley vintner of premium Pinot Noir,
Chardonnay and Zinfandel wines, chose Real Goods Solar to install
171 photovoltaic modules on the roof of its winery, Mr. Sullivan
said. The system will produce more than 60,000 kilowatt hours of
electricity annually, reducing the winery's PG&E bill by at
least 92 percent.
Rooftop solar photovoltaic modules absorb the sun's energy and
coverts it to direct current to power Benovia Winery's
Russian River Valley winemaking facilities.
Benovia's commitment to solar power benefits the planet as well,
Mr. Sullivan said, noting the installation will reduce its
CO2 emissions by some 1180 tons over 25 years -- the
environmental equivalent of more than 20 acres of planted
"Using the same energy that ripens our grapes to power our winery
just made a lot of sense to us," Mr. Sullivan said. "We're making
our CFO happy, and at the same time doing something good for the
Also factoring into Benovia's decision were financial incentives
available from the Federal government and State of California, Mr.
Sullivan said, noting Benovia's new investment in renewable energy
will pay for itself in a little over nine years.
The solar installation pairs perfectly with Benovia's continuing
commitment to maintain good stewardship of the land and reduce the
winery's carbon footprint, Mr. Sullivan added. "We take our roles
as custodians of this beautiful Valley very seriously, " Mr.
Sullivan said. "By using environmentally sensitive technology and
farming practices, we can not only produce wines our customers
love, but give them a few more reasons to feel good about choosing
Some other initiatives Benovia Winery has undertaken in its ongoing
sustainability program at the winery and its three estate vineyards
Farming the winery's Cohn Vineyard organically
Using organic mulch and fertilizer on all estate vineyards
Erecting owl boxes and raptor roosts to encourage native
Conserving water with dry farming techniques
Controlling soil erosion with cover crops, straw mulching and
drainage system maintenance
Using wind machines instead of water for frost protection
Founded by husband and wife team Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane, and
joined by winemaker partner Mike Sullivan, Benovia Winery farms
more than 72 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel from
estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma County. The
name of the winery is derived from Joe and Mary's fathers' names,
Novian Anderson and Ben Dewane. Established in 2005, Benovia's
mission is to create iconic and thought-provoking Grand Cru quality
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel wines. Benovia wines are sold
through an allocation system direct to customers, as well as
distributed to select restaurants nationwide. Total production for
the current release (2009 vintage) is approximately 4,000 cases.
Winery tastings and tours are available daily by appointment.
Benovia Winery, 3339 Hartman Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. (707)
ABOUT REAL GOODS SOLAR
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BENOVIA MEDIA CONTACT:
Mike Sullivan (707) 526-4441