We're always trying to find innovative ways that we can make better use of the resources we have here at Tablas Creek. One resource we have (as anyone who has visited during the summer can attest) is the power of the sun, which shines about 320 days a year here. Until recently, however, we thought that installing a solar power-generating system would be prohibitively expensive.
Earlier this summer, we were approached by REC Solar with a proposal to produce enough power to satisfy a little more than half the vineyard and winery's annual needs. The investment was reasonable, and with a 10-year loan, we can finance the project with the savings on our energy bills. We installed solar panels just to the east of the winery, above the head-pruned Mourvedre near our entry gate, and below what we call "Mount Mourvedre" behind the winery.
To celebrate the launch of the solar power system, we are planning an event this weekend, which we're calling the "Summer Solstice Solar Celebration". It's an open house where we'll be giving tours of the facility, have some nice hors d'oeuvres, and some summery wines, including the 2004 Viognier that we're featuring for the month of July. You can read more about this and other upcoming winery events, or check out the details:
Saturday, June 24th 5:30-7:30PM
Summer Solstice Solar Celebration
This summer, we are taking the plunge and installing a solar power generator system that will provide the power to cover just over half the winery and office's annual requirements. We will celebrate the launch of the solar power system with a summer solstice celebration. We will enjoy hors d'oeuvres from Rochelle Harringer and summer wine specials (including our featured '04 Viognier) on our patio. Neil Collins and the folks from REC Solar will lead tours up to the solar cells above the head-pruned Mourvedre, and we will be happy to share what we've learned from the experience. The event is free to all, but RSVPs are required. Contact Nikki Getty at 805.237.1231 x39 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the solar generator works as well as we think it will, we are planning to install a second system in a few years to generate enough power to run the entire property. We're looking forward to watching our electrical meters run backwards!