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Late harvest while the leafes show first autumn colours Sonnenmulde wine bottles View towards the illuminated winery at night Autumn colored vineyards around Gols Vineyard next to a forest, autumn colored leafes Hillside vineyard with autumn colored leafes Barrique casks View towards the winery Barrique storage People at manual wine harvest View of vineards starting to change leafe colours in autumn Sun rises through ground fog while wind turbines tower above the vineyards Andreas and Kathrin Trailer filled with fresh grapes at the harvest

Energy Transition in Winemaking

Thursday, July 4, 2019

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Solar panels on top of our winery.

A lot has to change if we want to avert the oncoming climate crisis and continue to make a living from creating fine wines here in Gols. Wine production naturally needs power too - fuel as well as electricity. And as every organic farm should, we’re thinking a lot about how to make things less harmful for our planet.

We use quite a lot of electricity, mostly for cooling purposes during summer and the harvest. Setting up some solar panels is therefore a simple and logical step. We can control our cooling needs so that the power is only used when the sun is shining and the temperatures are at their highest. No need for grid power at all! Unfortunately that’s not possible during the harvest, when we also need power at night. But for the moment it is great and we’re already looking into storage solutions.

Bio-Weingartenblitz - Solar powered E-Cargo-Trike as seen from the front.

Mobility and transportation are another key factor. We can probably never convert our tractors to electric. There are no storage solutions in sight that can deliver that amount of power for a full work day of 12 and more hours. But even if nothing is developed, tractors can always run on biofuels. There are many questions about using precious farmland for fuel production instead of food. But while it seems pretty stupid to use our food ressources for personal transportation, investing them in more food production is a very different story. This is where biofules can and should be used and that’s our plan for the future.

Bio-Weingartenblitz - Solar powered E-Cargo-Trike as seen from the back.

Cars will be elecrified much quicker than many people think and things are changing fast. But even electric cars waste a lot of energy if you don’t actually need to transport many people for long distances. To solve that problem we have just aquired something new that we call our “Bio-Weingartenblitz” (vineyard-lightning). It is small enough to drive between the vines, can transport a decent share and even produces its own solar power. We think that is hard to top and are using it more than we thought we would. Not only because it is really green, but because driving it is actually a lot of fun too!

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