Wind-powered Rioja winery nets savings, cuts C02

A wind turbine now powers the Pierola Group's Bodegas Fernandez near Álava in the Rioja region. Photo:
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• Pierola winery generates 250,000 KW from wind, double annual power needs
• New turbine will cut 150,000 kilos of CO2 emissions from the winery each year

Virtually any conversation about Spain could easily include discussion about wine and sunshine … but, a conversation about wine and wind?

Why not, now that Spanish winemakers Piérola have established the first-ever fully wind-powered wine-making operation in Spain, and perhaps worldwide, located at the Grupo Piérola bodega in Moreda, in the province of Álava in the Rioja region.

Situated at 550 meters above sea level in an area with plenty of wind, the 20-year-old Pierola group’s Bodegas Fernandez has just set in motion a wind turbine generator that delivers 250,000 kilowatts of power — nearly double the amount of energy required to power the entire wine-making operation.

At just 10-15 percent of the annual sales of Rioja-denominated wine from this one winery, the 400,000 euro price tag of the wind-generation project was a bargain for the firm, owner Carlos Bujanda told the Spanish news agency EFE.

Selling its Rioja wine in Spain and in over 20 countries worldwide from a million kilos of mainly Tempranillo grapes produced each year by the winery, savings from the wind-generated power will not only improve the winery’s bottom line, but will also cut 150,000 kilos of CO2 emissions from the its energy budget, Bujanda said.

► Read More in Spanish at La Rioja and El Correo …

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