Diamond Estates’ Sustainable Winemaking Practices
Diamond Estates - The Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake ON)
Insulated Tanks Reduce Energy Consumption and Increased Efficiency of the Cooling System by 300%
Six years have passed since we first conducted an energy audit within our various wineries (Lakeview Cellars and EastDell Estates). The energy audit clearly indicated the energy sinks (energy used inefficiently) in Retail, Administration and Production. A large sink was evident in our glycol jackets, used to maintain constant temperature during fermentation, and during cold stabilization. It was estimated that 50% of the energy was being lost to the environment. Thus, a proactive plan to insulate both indoor and outdoor tanks was implemented. We effectively raised our energy efficiency three-fold. This energy conservation practice is also followed at our Diamond Estates Winery Facility.
Diamond Estates Winemaking Facility Uses Low flow/No Flow Washroom Facilities to Reduce Water Consumption
As the environmental sustainability of our industry continues to be on the forefront of both owners, operators and also the consumer, water consumption and also waste water treatment is one of the key environmental concerns. At the Diamond Estates Winemaking facility in NOTL, we have low flow/no flow washroom facilities that have reduced water consumption within the facility.
Pigging System is Being Repaired to Reduce Our Water Usage by 50% During Harvest Peak Season
The hygienic pigging system is an effective tool in the reduction of water usage and resulting waste water required to adequately clean the processing equipment during our peak harvest period. The use of the pigging system to evacuate the production line eliminates the need for a lengthy water flush, significantly reducing the usage of water. The reduction of cleaning times, associated waste and corresponding reduction in waste water removal and treatment reduces the company’s direct and indirect carbon footprint.
STARS Electrodialysis System Reduces Electricity Use during Cold Stabilization of Wines
Cold Stabilization is carried out to remove traces of tartaric acid, which is the most abundant natural grape acid found in wines. These acids are unstable at low temperatures and will form glass like crystals (known as wine diamonds – Potassium Tartrate (KHT)) in the bottles if not removed prior to bottling. These tartrate crystals can slowly reappear in the bottle over time. Wineries will cold stabilize their wines prior to bottling to prevent this issue from occurring.
Traditionally this occurs prior to bottling and requires cold temperatures to precipitate the natural acids (tartaric and malic acid) from wine. This requires an enormous amount of energy to cool wines down to -4 celcius for a period of time lasting as long as 3 weeks. Diamond Estates The Winery has made a large investment in new technology known as STARS (Selective Tartrate Removal System) Electrodialysis (ED) system. In the STARS ED system, wine passes through anionic and cationic membranes and the potassium (K+) ions and the tartrate substrate (T-) ions are removed from the wine to a stable level that prevents precipitation. This process occurs in a single pass process results in a reduction of a wineries electrical usage by as much as 95%, while maintaining wine quality.
Leased Solar Panels on 36,000 ft2 Rooftop Surface Area
Renewable energy is the buzz around town. With renewable energy programs and the increasingly efficient technology that is available, we have entered into a partnership with Enfinity to utilize our 36,000 ft2 of available rooftop space for solar energy generation. A rooftop lease program will benefit us with supplemental revenue while transforming our vacant rooftop into an important asset. The rooftop space will be leased to a tenant who will install and operate a solar panel array to produce clean, renewable energy. The estimated solar panel array will have a capacity of 282 kilowatt peak output. The benefits:
- guaranteed long-term revenue for space that is never used;
- no capital investment or risk;
- does not penetrate the rooftop, so neither obstructive nor intrusive;
- specifically designed not to impact the esthetics of the building or property;
- demonstrates Diamond’s environmental leadership.
Diamond Estates V.P. Winemaking, Tom Green served as the past Chair of Sustainable Winemaking in Ontario; helping the Ontario Wine industry create the first Ontario Sustainable Winemaking manual where wineries can now be certified as adhering to sustainable winemaking practises.