Influence of Winemaking Practices on the Characteristics of Winery Wastewater and Water Usage of Wineries

  • A. Conradie Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602
  • G.O. Sigge Department of Food Science, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602
  • T.E. Cloete Department of Microbiology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602


The winemaking industry produces large volumes of wastewater that pose an environmental threat if
not treated correctly. The increasing numbers of wineries and the demand for wine around the world
are adding to the growing problem. The vinification process includes all steps of the winemaking
process, from the receipt of grapes to the final packaged product in the bottle. To fully understand all
the aspects of winery wastewater it is important to know the winemaking processes before considering
possible treatments. Winemaking is seen as an art and all wineries are individual, hence treatment
solutions should be different. Furthermore, wastewater also differs from one winery to another
regarding its volume and composition and therefore is it vital for a detailed characterisation of the
wastewater to fully understand the problem before managing it. However, prevention is better than
cure. There are a number of winemaking practices that can help lower the volume of the wastewater
produced to decrease the work load of the treatment system and increase the efficiency of treatment.


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