California is America’s top wine producing state, making 90 percent of all wine in the country. But did you know, with the help of the California Energy Commission, the wine industry has made significant strides in energy efficiency?
Part of winemaking involves removing tartrates, tiny crystals that form when tartaric acid and potassium bind together and create sediment in a wine bottle. To remove tartrates, producers have traditionally used an energy-intensive process called cold stabilization.
Electrodialysis, however, can also remove the crystals and it uses a lot less energy. Winesecrets, a Sebastopol company, recognized this process and imported it from Europe. Winesecrets secured a $300,000 grant from the Energy Commission to demonstrate the process and document the costs and benefits. The process is called Selective Tartrate Removal System (STARS). Winesecrets showed winemakers STARS would more than pay for itself by saving wineries energy, water, and other business expenses, all while preserving wine quality.