Cave Spring Cellars, a recognized leader in sustainable winemaking operations, is the well-deserved recipient of a prestigious 2016 Premier’s Award for excellence in environmental innovation.
Cave Spring received the honour for becoming Canada’s first winery – and the country’s first food and beverage processor – to install the BioGill wastewater management system.
“We put a lot of pride and commitment into producing excellent wine, and we recognize that our customers care about the environment as much as we do, “ said Cave Spring owner Len Pennachetti in a news release. “It simply makes sense to better manage our resources. It saves us money and protects the environment.”
In 30 years since opening in the Village of Jordan, Cave Spring has grown from producing 2,000 cases per year to more than 70,000. Operations Manager Dave Hooper said little attention was paid to water management practices as the business expanded.
“That’s a key part of our sustainable winemaking culture today. We now have a much better understanding on the ‘ins, outs and in-betweens’ of integrated water management, especially when it comes to keeping solids out of our drains,” Hooper said.
The Regional Municipality of Niagara encourages wineries like Cave Spring to implement on-site water management solutions. It greatly reduces odours and the costs of treating high-strength wastewater at their centralized plants, and helps to defer capital investments in municipal water infrastructure.
This innovation was borne out of a pilot project completed in 2015 and is part of the award-winning Water & Wine initiative BLOOM is delivering in collaboration with the Wine Council of Ontario. The Water & Wine portal provides wineries with practical resources, tools and instructional videos they can use to improve their water use and management practices.
“We know there is a strong desire among Ontario winemakers to be good water stewards,” said Kevin Jones, President and CEO of BLOOM.
“Cave Spring is a role model for all wineries looking to implement practical and affordable water management solutions. I congratulate Cave Spring for its commitment to ‘walking the talk’ for this well-deserved Premier’s Award. ”
Jim Bradley, the Ontario MPP for St. Catharines who presented the Premier’s Award to Dave Hooper, agreed that the Cave Spring results will have an impact across the province.
“Cave Spring Cellars is to be commended for this ground-breaking project. I wish you well as this system serves as a positive example to other food and beverage processing businesses in our province, “Bradley said in a statement.
The annual Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence are Ontario’s highest honour for outstanding contributions in innovation to the province’s agri-food sector.