Case Study: Cliff Lede VineyardsReturn To Main →

Established in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards encompasses sixty acres in the famed Stags Leap District.

Owner Cliff Lede, viticulturalist David Abreu, Winemaker Kale Anderson and Consulting Winemaker Philippe Melka have come together to form an unrivalled team, making the most of this remarkable property.

Completed in 2005, the state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Château Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. No corner has been cut.

The customer wanted to accomplish two things in this project: Install a system that would eliminate their PG&E electric bill and consolidate the Winery and Administrative systems in a single infrastructure. Once the engineering started, we realized that their preferred installation location for the 344.5 kW DC ground mount system was over a leech field that sloped down toward the vineyard. This required environmental engineering in addition to the normal electrical engineering required by the building department.

One of the key issues was to install the PV poles with no more than an 18” distance between them and the septic field boxes. There were over 120 of them in the field. To insure compliance with the environmental requirement s of the building department, our layout had to be precise. Our team spent extra time and effort to insure the exact locations before any construction activity started. In parallel, our engineering, and construction teams worked closely with our product suppliers to insure that our solution would hold up to any environmental issues that might arise.

We then approached the building department of Napa County, and worked with them to insure that any and all of their concerns were addressed and overcome. We asked them to visit the site during construction on multiple occasions to perform “informal inspections.” This open communication process for the construction and installation process activity resulted in a project permit sign off on the first visit. A white paper on the processes and workflows we utilized was published to the Napa County Building Department as part of our final permit submittal.
Project Details

Business: Cliff Lede Vineyards
Location: Napa, CA
System Specifications:
Ground Mount System
System Size: 344.5 kW DC
Modules: 1,498 Hyundai-230SG
Inverter: 28 Fronius-IG Plus
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Bishop Ranch 3
2603 Camino Ramon, Suite 200
San Ramon, CA 94583
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