Why Wine Manufactures and Processors Use Product Recovery
With global wine production set to fall to its lowest in more than fifty years, recovering as much product as possible during the manufacturing process becomes ever more valuable.
Product recovery (“pigging”) is an established technology that’s widely used by companies that produce, process or bottle wine.
That’s because pigging delivers a wide range of benefits. One of the main ones is that, because pigging recovers nearly all residual product in pipelines instead of wasting it, it significantly increases product yield.
Production at Record Lows in Europe
According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), total world wine output is expected to slump 8.2 percent to about 247 million hectolitres. This is equivalent to around 3 billion fewer bottles!
Italy, the world’s largest producer of prosecco, is the hardest hit by the shortage with levels predicted to fall 19 percent to 36.7 million hectolitres. It’s a similar picture for France, which is facing the worst wine harvest since 1945 and expecting production to drop 19 percent to 36.7 million hectolitres.
One of the major regions facing a slump in production is Bordeaux, which is the largest of France’s wine regions and renowned for its rich red wines and sweet Sauternes. Bad news, especially if you enjoy Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. They’re both produced in the region and are potentially facing shortages.
What About Other Wine Producing Countries?
Although wine production may be facing an historic fifty-year low, it’s not all bad news. In fact, some other countries have been developing their wine industries – and have been more fortunate on the weather front.
In Argentina for instance, wine production is expected to increase by a quarter. Similarly, Australia is also expected to see increases in production (by about 6 per cent).
Data shows that the US also witnessed stable output levels for the majority of 2017. But, according to OIV these wine figures do not consider the destruction caused by the recent fires across Northern California’s wine country.
Bad Weather Conditions are to Blame
So, why exactly is global wine output set to slump to its lowest levels in more than 50 years?
OIV blamed extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts and cold snaps for the decline in production.
Generally speaking, grapes can be a challenging crop to grow with many factors like temperature, weather and soil affecting the quantity and quality of the fruit.
Climate conditions are shifting in many grape-growing regions, and these changes are significant enough to have an impact on crop production in the near future.
Impact of Climate Change on Wine
Climate change appears to be changing things permanently and steadily making the planet warmer. It’s estimated that since 1910 the world’s average surface temperature has gone up by approximately 1.0 degree Celsius. This has increased the risk of extreme heat, wildfires, droughts and has also had an impact on rainfall patterns.
What’s more, the rising heat has pushed harvest dates forward across the globe, causing grapes to mature and ripen earlier. Early ripening of grapes can be detrimental to wine production, because it can alter grape sugar and acid levels resulting in lower-quality wines with higher alcohol content.
Another downside to the rising heat is that grapes become more vulnerable to heat damage, over-ripening and diseases and pests. All these can result in losses occurring at wineries.
Recovering Wine and Increasing Yields
With wine production falling to its lowest levels in years, many manufacturers and processors are implementing pigging systems into their wineries to minimise wine loss and increase yields. You can find an overview of how pigging systems work here.
Whenever a process transfers liquid (such as wine) along a pipe, there’s nearly always residue that remains in the pipelines. The more viscous the product, the more residue there is.
Pigging recovers this product from the pipelines, which increases the product yield and minimises the amount of waste produced. If it wasn’t for pigging, the product would instead be sent to waste. Not only is this bad news for yields, it’s also bad news for the environment and for avid wine drinkers! Here’s a blog article which explains in more depth how pigging systems increase yields.
Additional Benefits of Pigging Systems
As well as increasing product yields, there are many other reasons why many wineries are pigging.
Because pigging systems recover product which in turn increases yield, this also equates to less waste, more efficiency, improved productivity and also increased profitability. In this way, pigging makes it possible to use less resources to achieve the same output.
Reducing water consumption is also a key benefit of pigging technology. For instance, HPS implemented a pigging solution for one of Australia’s leading wineries Orlando Wines, who estimate they are finding water savings of 40 mega-litres per year. What’s more, the systems also resulted in wine savings of 440,000 litres per year. Here’s the case study which details how pigging systems benefit wineries.
Find Out More
Are you a winery looking to increase product yields, reduce waste, save water, improve efficiencies and speed up changeovers by Pigging? Alternatively, if you pump any other product or need to improve any aspect of your liquid processing, then please get in touch.