Wine-oriented businesses are staying up to date on technology, using it to improve speed, quality control and their environmental footprint.
Here are three ways wineries across the United States are using the newest tech available to save money, help the environment and make better wine.
Improving speed and quality control
Lost Draw Cellars in Fredericksburg, Texas has invested in making production more efficient — something it expects will help in 2022.
“We retrofitted our entire winery operation this past year to have the ability to receive fruit in gondolas, which takes about a tenth of the time as a standard fruit bin,” co-founder Andrew Sides said.
In Napa Valley, Girard has also made equipment upgrades to help it continue its upward trajectory.
“Investments have been made in state-of-the-art equipment, such as a Pellenc Grape Destemmer and Sorter, a Gold Standard in our industry,” Head Winemaker Glenn Hugo said. “In conjunction with hand-sorting techniques, it allows for greater precision and speed while also resulting in higher quality fruit and wine.”
Staying out of the landfill
Fox Run Vineyards in New York is keeping glass bottles out of landfills in the Finger Lakes.
The Finger Lakes winery produces more than 240,000 bottles of wine a year, but it has mitigated its impact on the environment after purchasing a machine that crushes bottles into environmentally usable sand. The GLSand Bottle Crusher is at its tasting room, and Fox Run president and co-owner Scott Osborn says it can crush any clean glass container up to 2 liters in size within seconds.
Fox Run is the first winery in New York state to add the machine to its tool kit, Osborn said.
“It’s my hope that all New York wineries will adopt this technology,” Osborn offered. “It’s one of the best solutions out there for extended producer responsibility.”
Clearing the air
Trefethen Family Vineyards, a family-owned estate winery in Napa Valley, is participating in a pilot project with Earthly Labs focused on capturing carbon dioxide emitted from the winery’s fermentation.
Earthly Labs’ approach to carbon capture enables Trefethen to process and scrub CO2 in a winery setting.
The CiCi system is the size of a large refrigerator and was installed alongside the Trefethen fermentation tanks. The CO2 exchange program allows companies to capture and sell waste carbon dioxide to create value.