Flora Springs Converts Red Wine Production to Solar

Historic stone winery now powered by the sun

by Wines & Vines staff
Flora Springs Converts Red Wine Production to Solar
Flora Springs' new solar array.
St. Helena, Calif. -- The Komes and Garvey families, owners of Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, today announced the implementation of solar power at their historic stone winery in St. Helena.

"Everything we do is in honor of our mother and grandmother, Flora, for whom the winery is named," said third-generation vintner and marketing and communications manager Sean Garvey. "She's a strong believer in being both a good steward of the land, and a good neighbor. Converting our red wine production facilities to solar power helps us to do both."

Flora Springs contracted with Integrated Power Corporation to install a total of 435 Sun Tech 170W solar panels on the hillside behind its stone winery. The panels take up approximately 6,500 square feet, and are mounted on a custom-designed structure that doubles as a storage and shade area. The panels will generate 100,000kW hours annually, which will cover all of the energy needed for Flora Springs' red wine production.

Flora Springs' solar panels are located near the natural spring that provides water for the 90 acres of vineyards planted on the Flora Springs home estate, Komes Ranch. The stone winery, which was built by Scottish immigrants and aspiring winemakers James and William Rennie in 1888, houses all of Flora Springs' red wine production, along with a 1,000-linear-foot cave, which was carved into the hillside behind the winery in 2003. Flora Springs white wines are produced at a second winery on the property.

Solar power is part of Flora Springs' ongoing green efforts. All of the winery's estate vineyards, which total 650 acres throughout the Napa Valley, have been sustainably farmed for years, and are undergoing organic certification. Twenty percent of the vineyards owned and managed by Flora Springs will have completed the three-year organic certification process in 2008, with another 50% to be completed in 2009.

"Upgrading our practices at the winery with the solar energy is the next step in ensuring our winery is a viable business that resides harmoniously with the land and community where it exists," said Flora Springs president and co-founder John Komes.
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