This pioneering study permits the relationship between consumption and production at each winery to be analysed and allows the wineries to compare their consumption with other wineries of the same size or with similar levels of production. The Vitec Technological Innovation Centre will make specific recommendations for each winery on how to minimise water use and atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions.
How much water and electricity is consumed for each bottle that leaves the winery? What can be done to reduce environmental and financial costs? These are the two questions being answered by Vitec’s Sustainable Winery Study which will be completed at the end of next year. As part of an agreement with the Tarragona Provincial Council and “La Caixa” Foundation Social Welfare Projects, the wine technology centre Vitec in Falset is analysing the consumption of some 20 wineries in the DOs of the counties of Tarragona (DOQ Priorat, DO Montsant, DO Terra Alta, DO Conca de Barberà, DO Penedès, DO Tarragona and DO Catalunya).
Using software designed specifically for this study, the wineries enter water and electricity consumption data as well as other information about their production, treatment of waste water, their machinery, etc. – in other words, all of the relevant data needed to carry out the study. The application then provides each winery with information on their exact expenditures (water and electricity) per litre of wine, per kilo of grapes, or for every bottle of wine produced. “The most important thing is that the wineries can compare results with the other wineries who take part in the study while maintaining their anonymity”, explained Sergi de Lamo, executive director of Vitec. That means they can compare consumption with other wineries of a similar size, or with similar levels of production − i.e. with their competition – and conduct analyses using reliable data on whether their consumption is above or below average.
Once the data has been entered and it has been compared and analysed by Vitec technicians, specific recommendations will be made for each winery to help them reduce consumption. Suggestions for improvement might include the construction of drains and collection chambers on taps, the need to use pressurised water jets for cleaning or the possibility of installing lights with timers in passageways, etc. The Vitec technology innovation centre is also creating a manual of good practises to reduce the environmental impact of the winemaking process, with general suggestions to promote reduced water and electricity consumption that help make wineries more sustainable.
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