Peju's Green Efforts
Harvesting the Sun
There are now two generations of the Peju family working in the winery: Tony and Herta who started the winery in 1982 and now their daughters, Lisa and Ariana, have joined the winery team. The entire family is deeply committed to sustainable farming practices to ensure that the land, that produces award-winning wines, will be preserved for future generations. Peju's H.B. Vineyard in Rutherford is certified organic while the Persephone Vineyard (Pope Valley) and Wappo Vineyard (Dutch Henry Canyon) are sustainably farmed with organic certification goals set within the next few years. With the sun as a plentiful partner in the Napa Valley, Ariana Peju launched the "Harvesting of the Sun" project by taking Peju solar in 2006. Caring for the air, as well as the land she grew up on, is her priority. To date, 720 panels have been installed over 10,000 square feet of the winery's roof. They will generate power throughout the winery. A total of 36% percent of the annual energy used will be solar generated. During the 30-year lifetime of the system, greenhouse gases and air pollutants will be greatly reduced with this socially responsible and environmentally sound step into the future.
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What is the size of Peju's solar power system?
Peju's solar power system produces 126 kW AC for its winery facilities. The system is located atop our crush pad, barrel room, tank area and administrative offices. This figure will change with the installation of the additional modules.
How does solar power work?
Solar power systems turn sunlight into electricity. When the sun shines, you can generate more power than you consume (your meter will really spin backwards). At night you'll draw on utility company power, essentially using the electrical grid as a giant storage battery.
How long will a solar power module continue to produce electricity?
Solar power modules are generally guaranteed to produce electricity for at least 25 - 30 years at their rated power. For comparison, some of the original solar electric cells developed by Bell Labs (in 1954) are still operating and producing power.
"Going Organic in the Vineyard"
In September, 2007, Peju earned Organic Certification for its Rutherford Estate Vineyard from the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Peju has been moving towards organic farming practices in all three of its Napa Valley vineyards which include the H.B. Vineyard in Rutherford, the Persephone Vineyard in Pope Valley and the Wappo Vineyard in Dutch Henry Canyon. Currently, the Persephone and Wappo Vineyards practice sustainable farming, with organic certification goals set within the next three years pending regulatory approval.
The Rutherford Vineyard's organic certification is instrumental in Peju's commitment to increase its environmental initiatives moving into the future to help protect the land in the Napa Valley and beyond. The organic farming practices avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and plant growth regulators while relying on crop rotation, compost and ecological-based cultivation to maintain soil productivity. In return, Peju is helping to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems in the land and the surrounding areas.
"As part of the wine industry, we're not only in the business of harvesting the land, but we're also committed to protecting and preserving it for generations to come," Ariana Peju said. "Practicing organic farming in Rutherford is a vital piece in our environmental plan that will not only improve our health and ecological system, but will also yield high quality fruit in the vineyard."
"A Green Business"
While Peju Winemaker Sara Fowler has headed organic farming efforts in the vineyard, Ariana Peju spearheaded the Winery's environmental program in its daily business operations. In April, 2009 Peju was certified as a Napa County Green Winery & Bay Area Green Business after achieving all standards in pollution prevention, conservation of resources and environmental compliance. In 2007, Owner Tony Peju offered long-term Peju employees a $2,000 cash incentive to purchase a hybrid vehicle.