The sustainable vintage: How vineyards are shifting to solar

Tapanappa Vineyards has been producing fine wines with a sustainable approach since 2002. Operations Manager Sam Barlow takes us on his solar journey.

Written by Claire Spencer

Tapanappa Wines is a family-owned business in South Australia. The Croser family, owners of Tapanappa have been producing fine wines on their 16 hectares for years. They operate three vineyards- The Tiers, Whalebone and Foggy Hill and are constantly looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Like most vineyards, Tapanappa requires machinery like pumps and refrigerators to run continuously. With 8 full-time staff members and additional staff helping out during vintage and harvest months, the team recognises that wineries generally produce a lot of waste.

“In a waste heavy business like the wine industry, being sustainable is important. A vineyard is a long-term investment for future generations”.

The team were actively looking for ways to reduce production, packaging waste and their impact on the environment. Not surprisingly, Solar seemed like the right fit. They knew it would be a good option, given the roof space they had available. The only obstacle was cost.

A tailored solar solution has resulted in offsetting approximately 56 tonnes of carbon per year, and potential cash flow increase by up to $9000 in the first year.

With serendipity at play, Operations Manager Sam Barlow, was invited to a business breakfast hosted by Origin. It was there that he first learned about Solar as a Service, a new offering enabling businesses to go Solar with $0 upfront cost.  Even better are estimations that the solar electricity generated by a tailored system will offset approximately 56 tonnes of carbon per year and reduce electricity costs.

Sam learned that the winery could lock in a low solar energy rate for power produced by a new solar energy system, with the added benefit that the system would be installed, owned and maintained by Origin.

Although Sam hasn’t received his first bill yet, he’s impressed that the solar system has already produced 7-8 megawatts of power since its installation. Going forward, Sam’s looking forward to a big drop in power costs for Tapanappa, and estimates that their cash flow could increase by $8000 to $9000 a year from the savings of going solar.

This has meant that the Tapanappa team could stick to what they know best, making beautiful wines, while Origin continues to maintain their solar system. 

“My time is better spent on producing fine wine than installing and maintaining the solar panels” Operations Manager, Sam Barlow said

See how much you can save using Solar as a Service.

About the author

Claire has been with Origin for 9 years and working in Digital for 20 years. A self-confessed lover of food, travel, tech and all things mindful, she also runs the Lojong Meditation school with her husband Tamkey, a former Tibetan Buddhist monk. Together they have a 3 year old son and are currently building their eco-dream-home in Daylesford. 

Solar: the sustainable way to do business

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