Landscaping thrives on recycled process wastewater at The Prisoner Wine Company.
Rooftop solar and water storage tanks for Membrane Bioreactor, which treats and filters 100% of the water from the cellar with natural biological activity and reduces potable water needs by 37% at Silver Oak Cellars, Alexander Valley.
Raised garden beds replace inefficient turf lawn at The Prisoner Wine Company.
Cakebread Cellars wanted to get a better sense of where in the winery they were using the most water. They also needed reliable daily wastewater data to pilot a cutting-edge wastewater treatment system called BioFiltro. Based on the Napa Green Winery resource audit they had concerns about their water meter accuracy. Since their meters were about 10 years old they decided it was time for an upgrade. They researched meters that could submit data electronically to an online database in near real time and settled on the Badger Meter’s AquaCUE Flow Management system.
Cakebread now has 10 active meters reporting to an online interface — one on each of the winemaking facilities in Rutherford and Oakville, two landscaping meters, two well meters, one garden meter, one wastewater meter, as well as a vineyard meter and a meter for the home onsite. They did a mix of bolt-in meters for smaller pipes (ranging in price from $300-600), which need professional installation, and clamp on meters, which have the benefit of being movable and easier to install (approximately $3,000 per meter for 3-4” pipes). The cost of each meter includes the ultrasonic data control panel and cellular device for automatic data transmission.
A few years ago, the leadership at what was then Francisan Estate, now The Prisoner Wine Company, decided to establish a “Blue Team.” This team evaluates high-water using activities, particularly cleaning and sanitation, and generates suggestions for reductions that still meet stringent quality assurance standards. One of the first opportunities identified was to use pH testing to recharge chemical cleaning solutions for reuse. During non-harvest season they are now able to reuse cleaning solutions 3-4 times.
The Blue Team also started reusing more water on the barrel line. Two of their three barrel washers now capture the final rinse at 140-150 degrees that is then used for a first rinse to remove lees and sediment. For their ozone barrel washing machine they capture the water for subsequent pressure washing of floors and other areas. Overall, water use for sanitation during non-harvest season has declined ~60%. The only challenge the team has encountered to water reuse is that captured water has to be used within two days, so reuse opportunities vary based on day-to-day tasks.
In 2016, Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville became the first commercial production winery to achieve LEED Platinum certification for an existing building. At that location, their water conservation activities include: