Wine Institute and the American Vineyard Foundation, in partnership with the National Grape & Wine Initiative, recently published a new Comprehensive Guide to Sustainable Management of Winery Water and Associated Energy.

The document gives wineries of all sizes the tools for self-assessment to make improvements in environmental performance and to lower overall production costs for water and energy use.

These practices include steps to reduce source water use in cleaning and sanitation; minimize use of cleaning products and other chemicals; decrease the volume and strength of wastewater produced and associated energy required for treatment; minimize the water and energy needed for heating and cooling operations; and optimize the effectiveness of land application systems for wastewater treatment.

This document -- developed by Kennedy/Jenks Consultants and underwritten, in part, by the American Vineyard Foundation and Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) -- builds on research and other activities undertaken by the Wine Institute Environmental Working Group of the Technical Committee, which guided the development of this publication for managing winery water and energy.

“The guide demonstrates the California wine industry's continued commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership in sustainable winegrowing,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “Because natural resources are limited, the industry recognizes the need to be at the forefront of conserving and discharging water of high quality and using energy and other resources in a socially responsible manner.”

Workshops on how to use the guide will be provided by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and PG&E. For details on post-harvest winery water workshops and other sustainability educational events, visit www.sustainablewinegrowing.org to view the workshop calendar.

Workshop participants will also receive information on PG&E programs including free-of-charge winery energy audits, equipment rebates, and technical support services.

For a pdf copy of the guide and associated excel-based worksheets, contact info@sustainablewinegrowing.org.

Established in 1934, the Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,100 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine.