Jackson Family Wines to Cut Water Use 70% by Recycling

Jackson Family Wines to Cut Water Use 70% by Recycling

Jackson Family Wines is introducing the wine industry to a new era in winery water recycling and energy-use reduction that, if adopted by even 35% of California wineries, could result in conserving as much as one billion gallons of water annually.

Jackson Family Wines, best known for its flagship label Kendall-Jackson, recently completed a yearlong “proof of concept” pilot program that confirmed the technology’s high efficiency and quality standards in using filtered rinse water that is recycled from a number of winery uses.

The technology was adapted to winery operations through a cooperative initiative among Jackson Family Wines, the Napa-based Civil Engineering firm Riechers Spence and Associates, and winery wastewater specialists Heritage Systems, with the University of California at Davis providing independent third-party validation of testing results.

The process will be applied to water used for rinsing wine barrels and tanks along with other uses that together represent about 70% of a winery’s water use. In addition to water savings, the new process also provides multiple energy benefits.

The system returns 90 percent of water enabling a winery to reuse its rinse water up to ten times. Since the recycled water also retains 75 percent of its heat properties, the new process will also reduce energy use and cost. This highly efficient technology can dramatically reduce water use and energy used in the acquisition, heating, transfer, cleaning and dispersal of water.

The high quality of the recycled water more than satisfies applicable drinking water standards. The wine material removed from rinse- and process-water as part of the filtering process has the possibility for secondary beneficial uses including co-composting with other organic materials, use as a natural fertilizer, or energy creation in a bio-digester system.

“This is the first time that the wine industry has seen a water filtration system that is so efficient and cost effective,” said Jess Jackson, founder and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines. “We expect this to have a major beneficial impact on water and energy use not only in the wine industry, but in many industries throughout the state. As a family business, we remain committed to being a leader in responsible stewardship of our natural resources.”

Jackson Family Wines is now in the process of moving from the pilot test to commercial operation at its Kendall-Jackson winery in Sonoma County, California.

In this one winery alone, the system, when implemented, is expected to result in annual reductions of 6,000,000 gallons of water, 133,000 kWh of electricity, and 73,000 therms of natural gas. Jackson Family Wines is also seeking grants to help accelerate the adoption of this process by the rest of the wine industry.

The Jackson Family Wines Sustainability Program is focused on the triple bottom line and takes into account the environmental, social, and economic needs of the world. Over the last year, the Jackson family’s investment in energy efficiency initiatives has resulted in electricity savings of 9,000,000 kWh per year (equal to 1,300 homes usage).