St. Jorge Winery, nestled between sprawling rows of vineyards and languishing trees, is offering something no one else within 60 miles of Lodi can — an electric car charging station.
The station, which is currently charging a Chevrolet Volt, will be on display at Lodi’s Wine & Chocolate Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
This newest addition to the piazza-style winery is just a piece of the ever-expanding environmentally conscious efforts of owner Vern Vierra.
“This is the wave of the future,” he said. “We want to add more of these so that there are multiple stations for everyone to use ... (the Wine & Chocolate Weekend) is a great place to show this off.”
Vierra, whose Portuguese family has been growing food and making wine for hundreds of years, he was instilled with a respect for the land he toils.
In fact, the winery he now owns and operates used to be his father’s dairy farm.
And along with preserving the land for future generations to use, Vierra has created conservation efforts with his wine to ensure he and his customers get the most out of his product.
For example, Vierra purchased an evaporated cooler to keep his wine in the winery’s basement a cool 50 degrees before it is ready to be bottled.
Keeping his Portuguese wines at room temperature could result in the loss of a gallon of wine per barrel, but with this energy-saving option, Vierra only loses about a pint of wine per barrel.
The evaporated cooler also saves Vierra a lot of money — he says he only has to pay $15 a month in utility fees.
In addition to his electric car and charger display, Vierra also uses an electric forklift.
The forklift has a battery similar to the one in your car, but bigger and stronger.
The forklifts are usually designed to last for at least one standard shift before needing a recharge.
Vierra particularly likes to use his electric forklift because it is ideal for indoor use, like at a winery, as it does not generate emissions.
“We really are trying to do something different here,” he said. “We are saving money and we are doing something that is environmentally conscious.”
Contact Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.