Here’s an interesting note from the road.
A reader with an electric car drove up to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville earlier in the week, knowing that the winery has two public charging stations. But when he got there, all three parking spots with access to those chargers were filled with gas guzzlers. Even though the parking lot had plenty of empty spaces.
He waited 30 minutes for someone to vacate a spot, only to find out that the charge would cost him $2.50 an hour, more than he would have paid for an equivalent amount of gas, he said.
Back at Coppola, General Manager Corey Beck said the charging stations were installed about two years ago as part of the winery’s overall sustainability effort. Plus Francis Coppola owns an EV and needed someplace to charge his own car after driving over from his home in Rutherford.
Beck apologized for our reader’s recent experience, adding that “we have someone monitoring the lot on a regular basis and try to leave at least one spot open. We don’t have good signs on the spots because we have an attendant.”
He promised to have a conversation with the parking lot attendant and get a better answer about the reason behind the winery’s pricing structure. And yes, he said, the hourly rate of an electric charge is $2.50.
We found a few other local wineries with EV chargers, including Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, Clos du Bois in Geyserville, Hudson Street Wineries in Healdsburg, Inman Family Wines and Hall Wines in St. Helena.
Charger use is free to tasting room customers at Hudson and Hall. Chateau Montelena in Calistoga has two chargers, both of which are complimentary, plus the winery throws in free $20 per person tastings to visitors who arrive in electric vehicles.