APRIL 29, 2025 | Charles Krug Winery, Carriage House


Water is gold in California, where we continue to face increasingly frequent and intense droughts tied to our changing climate. The good news is that efficient, targeted vineyard irrigation is critical to grape quality. In order to make exceptional wines growers have to provide vines with just the right amount of water at just the right time. And some growers have customized their vineyards and management to allow for dry farming – no irrigation after the first few years when the vines are established.

Water is not only dripping in the vineyard; it is also flowing in the winery. While no water is added to wine it takes a lot of water to clean tanks, barrels and other equipment. Imagine the mess during harvest and crush! Napa Green baselines and tracks the water use of all of our members, with an emphasis on the connections between water, energy, and the bottom line.

Here are some examples of water efficiency opportunities in vineyards and wineries:

  • Soil and plant sampling to determine vine water stress
  • Doing irrigation assessments to catch any leaks or clogs and maximize efficiency of the drip irrigation
  • Install technologies like Tule and/or Ranch Systems that provide real-time water stress and weather data to precisely target irrigation
  • Using steam to clean barrels and bottling lines
  • Using new products and technologies that dramatically reduce the amount of water needed to clean tanks (e.g. Destainex, FilmAway, BlueMorph UV)
  • Install native, drought-tolerant landscaping and remove or limit lawn
  • Only water during early-morning and apply mulch to prevent evaporation
  • Track and review water use monthly to quickly catch any leaks (leaks are not uncommon, particularly in landscaping!)
  • Install new water meters that allow managers to track water use in real-time from their desks (e.g. Badger AquaCUE)