In the early 2010’s, Adega de Vargellas had a disproportionate water consumption to winemaking context. At the time, reception and winemaking equipment, as well as storage capacity, did not respond to requirements, reflected in higher than expected water consumption. The pipelines that provided masses to mills were made of stainless steel (AISI316) with a 110 mm diameter. There were about 150 meters of pipeline supplying open and closed fermentation tanks.
In 2012 and 2013, measures were taken to reduce inadequate water consumption, and all permanent and temporary employees were trained to adopt rationalization and consumption good practices.
Filling and washing hoses were identified as points of considerable water loss and taps or pressure guns were placed on the end of hoses, while squeegees were purchased for floor washing. These measures resulted in a reduction in the daily consumption average (m3 / day) and in the ratio of water per litre of wine produced (L/L) compared to previous years.
In 2014, grape reception equipment was updated and must pipelines adapted to the winemaking Cellar context.
Pipelines were reduced to 1/3 of their length (from 145 meters to 50 meters) and their diameter was reduced from 100mm to 76mm. This measure enabled a reduction of about 91 m3 of water per vintage.
In addition to improving the must pipes, a water recirculation washing machine was acquired (operating without running water) and the refrigeration circuit for the entire cellar modified, as well as stainless-steel capacity and wooden casks for the vintage.
Through its commitment to reducing water consumption and implementing a set of measures from 2011 onwards, Adega de Vargellas has achieved excellent performance reflected in:
• Reduction in total water consumption during the vintage of nearly 50%,
• Reduction in daily average consumption of about 66%,
• Reduction in the litre of water per litre of wine produced ratio of about 63%.
The experience and good results achieved at Adega de Vargellas enabled the replication of these measures in other Cellars, notably Adega da Roêda, Panascal and Nogueira between 2014 and 2018.