Friday, February 3, 2012

The "greenest" winery of the planet

 This past Wednesday (02/01/12) we had the opportunity to visit UC Davis in California.

This is what was posted on the MW website to promote the event:

"This one-day professional development programme brings together Faculty from UC Davis Oenology and Viticulture Program and renowned North American Masters of Wine (Joel Butler, Jean-Michel Valette, Lisa Granik, and Peter Marks were there) to discuss, illustrate and exchange views with the audience on how education in the wine industry is pursued, taught and evaluated.
Throughout the day, panel members will present a synopsis of their respective programmes, including:
  • the academic and Master of Wine approaches to wine evaluation
  • a practical session showcasing and contrasting the sensory approach to tasting and the Master of Wine blind tasting
  • a presentation by a Master of Wine on the current state of the US wine market, and wines, in the global context
  • presentations by UC Davis Faculty highlighting current research areas and hot topics
  • the academic viewpoint on teaching sensory perception at the Graduate level: sensory science and the aesthetics of quality wine
  • The Sustainable Winery: an exploration of the world’s only LEED platinum winery at UC Davis and Masters of Wine discussing on the issue of sustainability from a commercial perspective"
As you can see, we had an amazing day, but in this article we will focus on the last item of the program: UC Davi's self-sustainable winery. 

We were led by Dr. Roger B. Boulton (Professor & Chemical Engineer Stephen Sinclair Scott Endowed Chair in Enology Department of Viticulture and Enology Agricultural and Environmental Science at UC Davis)

About the Building 

The 34,000-square-foot facility, funded entirely by private donations, includes the Teaching and Research Winery and the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. It is designed to LEED Platinum building and construction standards — the highest certification granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the hallmark of sustainability in the architecture and construction world.

The facility, located on Old Davis road near UC Davis’ south entry from Interstate 80, complements the other three buildings of the Robert Mondavi Institute. Construction was completed in 2010.
It houses the world’s first LEED Platinum winery, first LEED Platinum brewery and first LEED Platinum food processing pilot plant and milk-processing lab. It is the first LEED Platinum building on the UC Davis campus and only the third built by UC. (The other two are UC Davis’ Tahoe Center for the Environmental Sciences in Incline Village, Nev., and UC Santa Barbara’s Bren Hall.)
Built to accommodate the many teaching and research activities involved with brewing, winemaking and food processing, the building is one of the most complex facilities on campus. Shared by the Department of Viticulture and Enology and the Department of Food Science and Technology, it comprises two attached wings. The north wing houses the Teaching and Research Winery, and the south wing houses the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory.
“It will not only meet the highest environmental design and construction standards, it will go even further to demonstrate how environmentally responsible technologies can be incorporated into the daily operations of food and beverage processing facilities,” said enology professor Roger Boulton, the Stephen Sinclair Scott endowed chair in enology, who specializes in the chemical and biochemical engineering aspects of winemaking.

Overall Facility
If funding is available, the new brewery, winery and foods facility also will be used to:
  • Develop real-time “footprints” that quantify the energy and water use of an advanced teaching and research facility;
  • Demonstrate the use of a photo-voltaic-hydrogen fuel cell hybrid for generating self-sustainable energy;
  • Produce metrics that quantify the operations of a self-sustainable winery and brewery complex that uses a rainwater recovery and re-use system;
  • Demonstrate how carbon dioxide can be captured and sequestered in a winery to prevent contributing to global climate change; and
  • Develop dynamic models based on climatic conditions and actual energy use in a LEED Platinum research facility. With regard to brewing, we continue to investigate alternative procedures that enable the production of beer with reduced inputs of water and energy and with reduced need to deal with co-products.
Phrase of the day (1): "If you don't do it, you're going to be out of business" Roger Boulton

Phrase of the day (2): "Water in the winery: Use as little as possible. Use it as effectively as possible" Roger Boulton

I plan to cover the other topics of the program after we're done with the MW seminar here in Napa.



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