State of The Art Sustainable Winery At UC Davis
When we think of sustainable wines, we sometimes stop with the grapes. We think of farmers in the vineyard who have taken precautions to grow the grapes as naturally as possible whilst conserving energy and water in the process. Wine, however, is made in wineries, and they too can leave a considerable footprint. So what do wineries do to become sustainable? Plenty!
The wine making process, from the first pressing, to bottling and storage requires a lot of resources. A lot of energy is needed to run machinery, monitors, and temperature controls to ensure that the temperature inside the winery is kept at a constant level. Water is heavily utilized in cleaning operations at each stage of the process. Wine fermentation releases a considerable amount of carbon dioxide, which needs to be disposed of quickly, as this can be hazardous to the employees. The wine is bottled in glass bottles, with cork or synthetic corks and paper labels, all of which leave a mark on the environment. Finally when the wine is ready and bottled, the wine cases need to be shipped to their customers, by land, air or sea.
The ways a winery can adapt its processes to move towards a more sustainable operation are many. This trend has already started by various wineries across the globe. Yealands Estate in New Zealand was the first to be awarded the CarboNZero certification for its sustainability efforts across all areas of operations, from the vineyards, to the winery, to the delivery of the product. Other wineries have achieved similar certifications in their own countries, namely Wakefield Wines in Australia, Cono Sur Winery in Chile, and Parducci Wine Cellars in California. These wineries, and others, have zeroed their carbon emissions, either by changing their operations to make them more sustainable, by utilizing environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled glass and paper, or by offsetting emissions they have no control over, for example by producing lighter bottles to reduce the load for transportation.Continued on the next page