Niner Wine Estates, a LEED-certified, family-owned winery in Paso Robles' new Willow Creek sub appellation, announced that the winery has installed a solar array on their Heart Hill property that will provide 100% of the electrical power needs of the winery, tasting room and restaurant. Installation was carried out by REC Solar.
"It's really just another step in an ongoing process of figuring out how to make our business more environmentally sustainable," said winery president Andy Niner. Niner added that the winery owns all of its own vineyards, recycles all of its waste water, and now has an on-site restaurant that will utilize fruits, vegetables, eggs and even wheat grown on the estate property. What they don't grow themselves is sourced by Executive Chef Maegen Loring locally.
For Niner, the cost of solar is less about being part of a trend than it is about living up to the ideals upon which the winery was originally founded: "It goes along with our focus on 'estate,' says Andy Niner. "We own all of our own vineyards, we make all of our wine on-site and are developing our own estate food program. Controlling wine quality over the long-term is all about improving the quality of our land and limiting negative impacts on the environment."
Founded by Richard Niner in 2001, Niner Wine Estates produces a wide range of varietal wines from their three estate vineyard sites in San Luis Obispo County. In addition to their main LEED-certified facility, the family has a small "winery-within-a-winery" designed entirely for the production of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their Edna Valley property.