Steven Rogstad
 
May 4, 2015 | Steven Rogstad

How We Optimize Our Water Usage During the Drought

With the drought being a prominent topic of conversation in the news today, we'd like to share some "fun facts" on our water usage and what we do to make sure that we are utilizing every last drop:

  • Cuvaison uses about ~2.5 to 3 gallons of water to produce one gallon of wine, which is well below industry averages of 6 gallons of water per gallon of wine.
     
  • In addition, all of our process wash water is recycled back into our irrigation system after being treated in our wastewater bio-digester. The primary use of water is for tank and barrel washing, general sanitation, cooling and refrigeration and operating our bottling line.
     
  • On the vineyard front we control water use by weekly monitoring of the vine/water status and employing deficit irrigation strategies (i.e only watering the vines when they show signs of water stress). This greatly reduces the amount of water we would use if we employed conventional evapo-transpiration rates for determining irrigation regimes.
     
  • We also use drip irrigation to limit water use and loss and we never use water for frost protection as is often done in the Russian River area and along stretches of the Napa River.
     
  • Both our vineyards are extensively covered in drain-tile so that any excess rain or irrigation water is re-captured and returned to our reservoirs for use.
     
  • Lastly, we are members of the Los Carneros Water District, a group of land and vineyard owners in this district who have self-assessed themselves ~$20 million in property taxes to bring recycled water from the City of Napa to be used for vineyard and landscape irrigation. This system has just broken ground and we should be tied into it by 2016 to early 2017.

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