Red Caboose Winery in Meridian, Texas uses a rainwater harvesting system as part of an overall green philosophy.
A lot of thought was put into the green design of Red Caboose Winery. Excessive heat can spoil the flavors of a wine. Geothermal wells, thick stone walls, and a hillside built around the outside of the storage room keep the indoor temperature even year round. Solar panels on the roof provide electricity.
The winery also has a rainwater harvesting system in place. Red Caboose Winery relies on wells to supply their water. During a regular Texas summer, the rainwater supplements irrigation and reduces pressure on the well. The severe Texas drought still going on makes rainwater harvesting even more of a necessity.
Just 3.1 inches of rain can send 19,000 gallons across the roof of the winery. Several tanks store the rainwater for later use.
The tanks are installed on a platform so that the water flow will be assisted by gravity. The platforms are not very high, maybe six inches to a foot. There are two platforms and I eyeballed the height when I visited.
The vines grow on a gentle slope and the winery, with rainwater storage tanks, is at the top of the slope.
Use of rainwater has several advantages. One already mentioned is that it leaves more water in the well for later use — it is a wonderful water conservation tool. Another is that rainwater has a neutral pH, which affects the health of the vines and the flavor of the wine (and their wines are quite good).
A third advantage is in case of fire a large quantity of water is waiting to be used. The local fire department appreciates that.
Rainwater harvesting is a win-win for the Red Caboose Winery.