Winery Water and Energy Savings

Two Technologies to Achieve Water and Energy Efficiency in the Wine Industry

Regents of the University of California, Davis


Davis, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The agreement completed in March 2020. This project laid the groundwork for further commercial development. Each technology presented unique opportunities for energy and water savings. The water treatment and reuse system (VSEP) yielded an average of 75% water recovery from the raw influent and formal optimization procedures showed even higher potential percent recovery of water achieving up to 84% recovery. The second technology, the wine-to-wine heat exchanger system, was able to reduce energy costs by up to 88% and has shown that it can operate within the required performance specifications. The demonstration site, Jackson Family Wines is interested in expanding the use of these technologies in its operations and the VSEP technology vendor continues to expand its presence in the wine industry. Information on this project was shared with IOU representatives who expressed interest in the wine-to-wine heat exchanger and could consider the technology for future IOU incentive programs.

The Issue

California is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world. The California wine industry is the second largest consumer of electricity in the food and beverage industry and is a significant water consumer. As the wine industry and its associated water and energy use continue to expand, efficiency technologies will become increasingly important. Water supply is limited and energy bills will become a larger portion of operating costs if not contained. Water reuse and novel heat recovery can significantly decrease fresh water and energy use in wine production, but data on technical and economic feasibility is limited.

Project Innovation

This project demonstrated two energy and water saving technologies at a winery facility in northern California. The first technology is a water treatment and reuse system to recycle wastewater for indoor barrel washing. The second is a wine-to-wine heat exchanger for the cold-stabilization process -- a process through which white wine is cooled to a low 28 degrees Fahrenheit and then heated back up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Both technologies were installed and underwent monitoring and verification testing at the Jackson Family Wines botting facility in Sonoma County.

Project Benefits

The demonstrations showed the potential savings and benefits for the wine industry. The water treatment and reuse system uses reverse osmosis to treat water to potable standards. This technology is used in alternative markets, but not at wineries. This project demonstrated that the technology can be used in the winery industry with the treated water used for barrel washing and resulting in average water savings of 75% annually and 84% recovery when optimized. The second technology is an innovative wine-to-wine heat exchanger for the cold-stabilization of the white wine that recovers the thermal potential of existing cooling and heating streams and reduces the amount of energy used for processing white wine. Cold stabilization is one of the most energy intensive processes in the wine industry and can significantly benefit from the simple wine-to-wine heat exchanger technology.

Lower Costs


Water and energy savings are expected to reduce energy bills, leading to lower operating costs for winemakers and bottling plants. Treating and reusing barrel wash water results in energy savings by reducing electricity costs associated with pumping water from wells. The wine-to-wine heat exchanger technology for the cold-stabilization of wines offers significant electricity and natural gas savings through heat recovery and reuse. The estimated overall annual energy cost savings for this project is $54,418.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

This project is expected to reduce the amount of fresh groundwater used for barrel washing by at least 75 percent annually with potential for 84% or higher with further optimization. Reuse of the treated wastewater for barrel washing is expected to save 1.4 million gallons of fresh water annually. In addition, the wine-to-wine heat exchanger technology can result in energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. If optimized, the annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction for the overall project is estimated to be over 35,000 pounds of CO2e, based on electricity, natural gas, and water savings.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Frank Loge

Dir. of Center for Water-Energy Efficiency (CWEE)



Jackson Family Wines


Match Partners


Jackson Family Wines


Contact the Team