How can vineyards moderate water consumption?

Jon Lawson

Wineries consume enormous amounts of water. Water is used to clean equipment before and after use, generating a tremendous amount of waste water containing high levels of organic materials and detergent residues. Most jurisdictions are now forcing wineries to monitor and treat this waste water. A study done by VITEC in Spain estimated that 4 gallons of wash water are consumed per gallon of wine made. The problem is so serious that licenses for many new operations are being held up because of waste water permit issues.

The GOfermentor is a patented wine making device that conducts fermentation inside bags. There is no washing as the bags are delivered clean, and only used once. Water usage is vastly reduced (by 90 per cent on average), making the winery more environmentally sound. No washing, no steaming, no detergents, and minimal waste water generation. 

Eliminating cleaning reduces labour so the winemaker can devote time to more productive activities. Numerous trials have shown that the GOfermentor is capable of producing superb wine with no off-odours or reductive characteristics. A press is built into each one, eliminating the need to wash a conventional press, again, saving water. After pressing, waste pomace is contained inside the fermentation bag which is then removed; the pomace can be used for compost, and the biodegradable bag is discarded. Typically, 3 to 4 bags are used per GOfermentor per season.  

The GOfermentor enables a winery to operate with minimal water. Wineries can be operated in urban and rural settings without discharge permit issues. The GOfermentor is low cost and can be installed in hours without requiring any significant infrastructure.

Interested in more drinks technology? Learn what graphene can do to whisky here.

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