Cellar waste minimization in the wine industry: a systems approach
Waste minimization is slowly being adopted in the wine industry, owing to a combination of powerful drivers, which are either internally or externally motivated. However, these waste minimization practices in the wine industry are still carried out in an ad hoc fashion and have proven to be inefficient in many cases. The lack of a systematic methodology of synthesizing and targeting specific waste streams by the industry has been identified as a major cause of failure in realizing the full potential of waste minimization in the wine industry. This paper discusses a systems approach framework based on three fundamental concepts, viz. the identification of waste sources, detailed causative analysis of the wastes, as well as the derivation of feasible waste minimization alternatives based on the qualitative data and information obtained during process flowsheet evaluations. The application of the qualitative waste minimization methodology described in this study, led to the identification of 90 waste minimization strategies. Approximately 48% of the total number of strategies targeting intrinsic and extrinsic wastes falls in the category of process execution and management (operating practices). On the basis of these findings, waste minimization can yield considerable benefits to the wine industry on condition that it is incorporated as an integral part of the entire vinification process.