'Solar powered' wine more than a gimmick

The Robert Keenan Winery has come up with something it labels with the phrase "Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed."

The California operation's 2006 Napa Valley Summer Blend Chardonnay ($22) is its first release bearing the words. It's a combination of Chardonnay and small amounts of Viognier and Marsanne. When its reds are released in the fall they will carry the same phrase on the label.

Keenan can back up the claim. In a move to become more eco-friendly, it recently completed a solar power system to supply all its power needs.

The winery is located on Spring Mountain in the Mayacamas Range 1,700 feet above the Napa Valley floor. It focuses on three varietals -- Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot -- and produces nearly 10,000 cases per year.

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