BLOOM visited the four wine regions of Ontario, Niagara, South Shore, North Shore, and Prince Edward County, to present a workshop on how to implement water monitoring successfully and cost-effectively. Water & Wine was developed to provide wineries with complete information for them to adopt water and wastewater reduction techniques, not just because it feels good, but it also cuts costs and reduces risk.
The priority for most wineries was measuring water used in cellar operations, with the goal of reducing water use. Another shared concern was wastewater treatment options. It was an eye opening opportunity for many wineries because they had the chance to share the issues they’re facing and see that many of their peers faced these same issues.
If you could not make it to the workshops, the information can be found at www.waterandwine.ca, specifically the water use monitoring module.
A welcome side effect of these workshops was the sharing that went on between wineries. See below for the top 3 tips that came out of these discussions.
- Wash water can be reused. It can clean multiple tanks or barrels, so structuring washing in batches can reduce water dramatically. Bonus: if you can refill barrels after washing and forgo storage time there is no need to hydrate them again.
- Measuring water use is the first step. Many participants found they could relate to stories of wineries being surprised by water challenges, in terms of supply or wastewater. Having good water use data can help wineries avoid these situations and plan ahead to find optimal solutions.
- Constantly ask why and be creative. Wine making is a very personal process, and no one wants to force someone to change their habits or affect their time honoured processes. But some wineries are realizing that the way it used to be, don’t mean it’s the most effective. One example was questioning how much time is needed for barrel washing; try reducing the time and then taking a sample from the barrel. You may find that is the full wash time is not needed for most barrels. Monitoring water use can help identify opportunities and track your progress.
The tips above are all part of the holistic approach to becoming a more efficient and profitable winery.