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Re-using Winery Equipment

Many consumers appreciate environmentally friendly wineries. Wine Trail Traveler has visited wineries that focus on getting LEED certification. Other wineries may use little or no pesticides or herbicides in their vineyards. However, a category that seems to be missed by many is the recycling of equipment rather than buying new equipment. What can be more environmentally friendly than a winery re-using equipment that someone no longer wants or needs? Wineries reusing equipment are saving money and resources by searching out other wineries that may have gone out of business or are no longer using equipment that is still functional. What is the incentive to buy new? Perhaps as a winery grows larger it needs larger tanks or presses that are not available secondhand. Some wineries we have visited actually use stainless steel milk tanks. These are usually horizontal tanks rather than the tall vertical tanks frequently seen in wineries.

A prime example of a winery that recycles winery equipment is Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake, Ohio. Located just outside Cleveland, this winery probably uses about 90 percent recycled winery equipment. As we walked through the winery with Lee Klingshirn, he pointed out only three or four pieces of equipment that they purchased new.

Debonné Vineyards in Ohio acquired two crushers secondhand. One from Gerber foods who used it to crush apples and then decided they didn’t want it and another from a winery that closed in the Finger Lakes.

What does this save the environment? Rather than slowly decaying and taking up room in landfills, the equipment has taken on a useful second life. The energy and resources needed to produce even one item must be significant. Our society has been a use and throw away society for decades and it needs to change. Resources are limited and wineries like Klingshirn Winery and Debonné Vineyards are showing an appreciation of this concept.

In what ways have you observed the wine industry willing to be environmentally friendly by conserving resources?

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