Making Every Drop Count
GOAL: Reinforce our commitment to water conservation and water quality improvement in order to enhance our local watersheds
Water is one of our most important natural resources. That is why we work so hard to be more efficient with our water use in our vineyards and wine cellars.
Since 2015, we’ve reduced our water use intensity (the amount of water it takes to produce our wines) by 43% in our wineries. Through recycling, capture and conservation efforts, we saved more than 28-million gallons of water each year. That’s enough to fill more than 44 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Reduced our overall winery water use by 43% since 2008
Through our Rooted for Good commitment, we plan to do more. Over the next 10 years, we will deploy innovative water management solutions in our vineyards and wineries to save and reuse water, protect wild habitats and watersheds, and recharge our natural aquifers. Climate change and the current drought situation in California underscores the important role water plays in our community. To achieve our goal, we studied water use throughout the company and identified key spots for improvement.
It’s a way of collaborating with nature to make sure when it comes to water, every drop counts.
Saved more than 28 million gallons of water per year at our wineries
Winery Water Conservation
Barrel washing is just one example. Barrel fermentation and barrel aging are two of the key components to producing many of our most celebrated wines. In order to make sure those barrels continue to be the perfect vessel for our wines, we’ve got to keep them clean, which means washing them throughout their lifecycle. We also use more barrels than any other winery in the U.S., so we have a responsibility to make sure we’re cleaning these barrels as efficiently as possible. So, we redesigned our barrel-washing process to reuse that same water multiple times, thus using two-thirds less water. We also implemented several other solutions to minimize our water use, such as real time water metering, waterless UV tank sanitation, air cooled refrigeration, advanced irrigation, and other techniques.
In Our Vineyards
In winter months, we capture rainwater from our winery rooftops in empty wine tanks. In spring and early summer, we use that captured rainwater to clean and cool our wine cellars. That means we use less groundwater. During high run-off rainstorms, reservoirs help us capture surface water. More recently, we’ve partnered with researchers to divert floodwater into vineyards in winter months too. It’s helping recharge aquifers and improving groundwater levels and water quality.
Fish and Watershed Habitat Preservation
We’re also focused on protecting critical watershed habitats through restoration efforts to enhance stream flows and provide clean water for endangered fish populations. And in our vineyards, we’ve reduced tilling our soils, which prevents erosion and protects our waterways. We’re conserving rivers, creeks, and tributaries on and near our properties. That protects wildlife too.