Refrigeration is absolutely critical in commercial winemaking and is by far the major consumer of electricity. Alas, electricity that drives refrigeration is a very expensive commodity, both financially and environmentally.
First and foremost, Mills Reef chose to buy power from a company that generates entirely from sustainable resources, with no greenhouse gas emissions.
Mills Reef Winery then sought ways to reduce the cost and environmental footprint through “thinking outside of the square” to reduce the amount of electrical energy used. The obvious place for us to start was the barrel hall, where temperature needs to be maintained at a steady 13-15 degrees C throughout the year, for optimum aging.
After discussion with our refrigeration engineers, a system was installed that draws cold night air into the barrel hall. As the exterior temperature warms during the day, the unit switches off, and the glycol cooling system kicks in.
Other initiatives involve the increasing use of innovative technologies wherever appropriate, such as Selective Tartrate Removal System (STARS), or new Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC) formulations that inhibit tartrate formation, instead of the conventional use of refrigeration for cold stabilisation. Hence, we achieve a significant reduction in both our electricity use and demand on the environment