The Sun That Nurtures New York’s Grapes Now Powers Many New York Wineries

by Kathleen Willcox & Robin Shreeves for

The ritual of popping a cork on a bottle of wine after a long day at work or before a weekend meal comes with many things. Your favorite corkscrew. Your favorite glassware. The feeling of stress leaving your body when you hear the cork pop, you pour the wine, and then inhale the captivating aromas. The indescribable satisfaction of the first sip. What that ritual probably doesn’t come with is the question in your mind: I wonder if this wine was made using solar energy?

Wine is often described as bottled poetry, a product of the sun, soil, and water, we don’t often think about the sun also powering the cellar that ferments and ages that poetry…

At Silver Thread Winery on Seneca Lake, current owners Shannon and Paul Brock bought the property already set up for solar. The winery’s original owner built the building with solar panels in mind back in the 1990s, but at that time, it was too cost prohibitive to install them.

When the Brocks added solar, many of the barriers to solar installation were gone…

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