Located in the heart of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, Quivira Vineyards. a small family owned winery, is recognized for farming biodynamically and organically and having a committment to sustainable development of Zinfandel and Rhone varietals.
Quivira Vineyards is also a solar winery, utilizing a 55 kilowatt solar electric system, which should supply 100% percent of the winery’s electrical needs.
When the sun is providing them with more than enough of their power needs, the remaining power is exported to the utility and they are credited for that extra accumulation of energy. When their usage is higher than normal, or if the sun is not available, that can use up their credits by importing energy back from the utility.
The solar array consists of 297 Sharp solar panels, each of them boasting a 185 watt power rating. The panels feed six inverters that convert the DC voltage to AC voltage. A ‘net’ meter installed by the electric utility keeps track of how much their system has contributed (sold to the power grid) and they receive a statement each month reflecting the balance.
To demonstrate Biodynamic farming practices to visitors, Quivira has created a one-acre Biodynamic mini-farm at the front of the property where guests can witness a working organic market and garden, complete with chickens.
Quivira was recently named winner of Sonoma County’s Business Environmental Alliance’s 2008 Best Practices Award for their commitment to organic farming, solar power, and the Wine Creek restoration project.