“Save Water; Drink Wine” they said. But what they didn’t say is how much water is used to make a bottle of wine. The industry average is 6 liters of water; but luckily here at Avondale this has been brought down to 2.5-3 liters of water per bottle of wine. This incredible feat has been achieved through the use of both modern technology and ancient techniques guided by Mother Nature.

The sustainable, water-conscious infrastructure and methods that are followed at Avondale are applied both to the cellar and wine making processes as well as the farming practices. Avondale is blessed with a stream, which originates in the Klein Drakenstein Mountains, flowing through the farm. Despite having this water source, Avondale is ever-conscious of water wastage and this use of this precious resource. At Avondale a “whole-system approach” has been applied to ensure that water-consumption has been looked at holistically and all viable solutions explored and implemented. Interesting enough this was recently verified by an external audit which illustrated that Avondale only use 25 to 30% of what other similar sized cellars use!

Water-wise farming practices:

We’ve touched on our total water management system in the past specifically relating to alien vegetation’s management, Dams and gravity flow irrigation, Humus creation and our amazing waste water system which all contributes to the respect we have for this amazing resource. Read more:

Water-wise wine-making practices:

  • Water conservation

The design of our cellar enables an extremely efficient and clean environment which means it reduces the need for water. This said if you don’t measure you don’t know what you are using, through measuring all water inflows we have reduced our water usage long before there was any pressure through drought. Coupled to the cellar design we also control the use of water and prevent wasting water in the cellar with a system of automatic shut-off valves on all taps. The use of sterilising UV lights to supplement the cleaning of tanks and barrels also saves water and reduces wastage.

Our system has helped us achieve our usage to 2.5-3 liters of water per bottle of wine vs the industry average is 6 liters per bottle of wine.

  • Waste water system

Naturally Avondale does not only look at what we use but also what happens to the waste stream. In the Avondale cellar only cleaning agents that meet organic standards are used; they are readily biodegradable and free of harmful residues. However, waste water from the cellar is also concentrated with grape residues which would pollute the environment if introduced back without treatment. The conventional treatment of waste water from a production facility often includes chemical additives and aeration systems that use electricity. Avondale was determined to devise a waste water system that mimicked the way Nature cleans water.

Conclusion

The idea is to respect the resource, utilise it very scientifically, minimise waste and recycle the waste to be reused on the farm.

Based on the above practices Avondale have managed to reduce the water usage per bottle of wine to half of the industry average – everyone needs to play their part in ensuring this resource is protected as much as possible as it will only become scarcer.

“Save water; Drink Avondale wine.”

 

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