MENDOCINO COUNTY, April 21, 2017 — This Earth Day, sustainability pioneer Fetzer Vineyards announces completion of its revolutionary BIDA® wastewater treatment system, which relies on billions of worms to clean up the winery’s process water. The California vintner’s worms — which work in tandem with microbes to digest contaminants in greywater — are at the heart of a natural system from BioFiltro that uses 85% less energy to clean winery water, regenerating up to 17 million gallons annually for re-use in vineyards and landscaping. The new system is one of a number of Earth-friendly innovations Fetzer Vineyards has recently introduced in an effort to preserve vital resources and find ever-more-efficient ways to put planet conservation on an even playing field with premium winemaking.
To celebrate the BIDA® system’s completion, Fetzer Vineyards created a video that showcases how the worm system works. The vintner also celebrated the system’s completion at an annual employee Earth Day celebration April 20th at its certified ZeroWaste, CarbonNeutral® winery in Hopland, California. In addition to feting the launch of the worm-powered system, Fetzer Vineyards employees enjoyed a pie baking contest and planted an employee garden, organic produce from which will nourish many of their families throughout the year. “From our worms to our winemakers, we have an incredible team that comes together to create innovative ways to make great wine while giving back to the Earth,” said Josh Prigge, Fetzer Vineyards’ Director of Regenerative Development. “Earth Day is a chance for us to celebrate and remember what’s most important – a healthy environment and healthy communities.”
Working with Worms & Big Data to Conserve Energy, Water
Fetzer Vineyards – which crafts a portfolio of premium California wines including its flagship Fetzer collection of wines, available nationally – is the first American winery to use the BIDA® System to treat 100% of its wastewater. In January of this year, the winery announced another important sustainability milestone for wine: installation of a fleet of APANA® smart water meters at its Mendocino winery, where Internet-of-Things technology and cloud computing will allow winemakers and facilities teams to spot water leaks in real time, reducing waste. Fetzer Vineyards is the first U.S. winery to install this innovative technology, using big data to save as much as 25% more water. From worms to the latest Internet-of-Things technology, this California vintner’s Earth-friendly efforts aim to be as innovative as they are effective.
To share more about its sustainability initiatives, including how worms are an essential part of its plan to preserve resources and be good for the Earth, Fetzer Vineyards developed a new page on its website containing facts about planet-friendly practices. Visit fetzer.com/commitment for more on Fetzer Vineyards’ regenerative practices, including its novel partnership with worms in the BIDA®treatment system, the winery’s B Corp certification and its support for conservation efforts more broadly.
About Fetzer Vineyards
A pioneer in regenerative winemaking, Fetzer Vineyards continues its legacy of hard work, rebellious thinking and crafting wines that make a difference. Since its founding in 1968, Fetzer Vineyards has consistently developed and implemented practices that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible and ultimately regenerative, becoming the world’s largest winery to receive B Corporation certification, in 2015. B Corp certification standards, developed by the non-profit B Lab, are widely recognized as the highest standards for social and environmental responsibility in business. Ultimately, Fetzer Vineyards strives for the perfect relationship between land, climate and vine to regenerate communities and bring wines of remarkable quality and character to the table. Fetzer.com
About the BioFiltro BIDA® System
BioFiltro’s patented BIDA® System is a passive aerobic bioreactor that catalyzes the digestive power of microbes and selected species of red earthworms to naturally remove up to 99% of contaminants from wastewater, in as little as four hours. The chemical-free system consumes significantly less electricity than traditional wastewater treatment technologies like aeration ponds, which require constant electricity to pump and circulate water. The BIDA® System works efficiently year-round in spite of seasonal fluctuations in wastewater flow like those seen in the wine industry, and generates compost-enhancing castings from worm digestion, returning nutrients to the soil. The BIDA®System is currently operating in over 130 plants worldwide and has filtered more than 27 billion gallons of sanitary and industrial organic liquid waste. BioFiltro.com