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5 awesome green wineries

Feb. 18, 2010, 4:41 p.m.
grapevines at Rodney Strong Vineyards

Photo: Iason/flickr

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Rodney Strong Vineyards

In 2005, Shafer Vineyards set the green example in California's Wine Country when it became the first to switch to 100 percent solar power. Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma County went above and beyond that, installing a 766-kilowatt, 4,032-panel solar-electric system—the largest solar array in the wine industry. Instead of zapping energy from the grid, the vineyard's solar panels generate enough electricity during the day to power almost 800 homes.

And over the next 25 years, the vineyard's solar-generated electricity will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 89,700 tons, which the equivalent of planting 2,500 acres of trees or not driving 22 million miles on California's roadways. The winery has more than just solar vision, too. Certified by Fish Friendly Farming, they take active measures to restore and protect nearby fish and wildlife habitats.