- The problem:
Running a world-class winery is a complex business. Doing so on a self-contained well-based rural water system? Even more so. Find out how the beautiful Castillo Di Amorosa serves 1500+ guests daily, avoiding water disruptions and water loss with meter.me.
Visiting Castello Di Amorosa is an experience that will take your breath away. The busiest winery in Napa Valley is housed in an Old World-inspired castle and every detail is impeccable, from the tree-lined drive to the castle itself, built from stones transported from Italy.
The scale of Castello’s operations is vast, including winemaking operations and wine tasting tours, high-end dining, destination tourism, events, and more. On any given weekend, the property hosts over 1500 people, with peak attendance hitting 2500 for special events.
But the winery’s remote location gives the business no choice but to operate on a self-contained rural water system. And Castello can’t afford any water disruptions, which are a constant risk for rural water users, including the 3,500+ wineries in California alone.
For Georg Salzner, President of Castello Di Amorosa, a water system problem that goes unnoticed used to mean running out of water— a serious concern that has major service implications throughout the winery. No water means no bathrooms. Limited or no food service. A disrupted grape harvest. And ultimately, it means no winemaking.
Knowledge Is Key
For Georg, the key is knowing early that they have a problem developing. If the Castello staff waits until the problem is obvious, the water disruption is already happening. At that point, it’s too late to avoid service disruptions.
Depending on the source and location of the leak, the staff can sometimes divert water around the problem and pipe it directly to the castle. But even when this is possible, there’s a 20-minute gap with no water service, completely disrupting operations.
The Solution: Early Detection via meter.me
Since adopting meter.me throughout the property, Castello Di Amorosa has been able to reduce and even eliminate water disruptions.
Georg Salzner, President of Castello, put it this way: “The best thing meter.me does for us is that it allows me to manage what I don’t have the time for. If we run out of water, it is most likely at peak times, so shutting down operations for even 20 minutes to diagnose a problem could be a catastrophe.”
In one instance, a key water pump failed. Without that pump, water wasn’t flowing to the upper tank, which meant that the winery’s water reserves were dropping far too quickly. Thanks to meter.me, Castello received early warnings on two fronts, sent directly to his smartphone: the water tank sensor sent an alert about the water level dropping too quickly, and the water pump sensor indicated where exactly the problem was.
Before meter.me, the winery simply didn’t have any tools or mechanisms that could alert them of a problem early enough to avoid a disruption — let alone tell them exactly where in their water system the problem was located.
In another instance, Castello dealt with a broken water pipe between their lower and upper tanks. This unavoidable problem would’ve led to the same outcome: not enough water in the tank to maintain operations — and 20,000+ gallons of water loss.
But because Castello implemented meter.me, they knew there was a problem as soon as either tank dropped by 10 percent. Finding the leak was still a laborious process, but the castle gained a day and a half of early-warning time via meter.me and shortened the water disruption by the same length of time.
Empowering Environmental Stewardship
Castello Di Amorosa cares about water for multiple reasons. Of course the castle needs to maintain its high level of guest service and winemaking operations, but the company also cares about the land it sits on. As an environmentally conscious business, Castello enjoys the ways meter.me empowers them to steward their land and the aquifer beneath it.
No solution can fully stop water loss and water disruptions. But meter.me mitigates the costs, both environmental and financial, through early detection and detailed reporting.
At an operation the size of Castello, every single water loss event equals a lost tank — 16,000 gallons of water, minimum. Meter.me drastically reduces those losses by providing early detection after a tank drops by as little as 10 percent. That’s a savings of 10,000 gallons or more, every single time.
Castello has gone a step further with meter.me, using meter.sense devices to monitor ground well water levels. The winery makes sure they’re extracting water at sustainable levels so they don’t damage or collapse the aquifer that supports their business — and it’s possible only with meter.me.
In the end, meter.me provides an almost incalculable value to Georg and the Castello team: As Georg put it recently, “How can you put a dollar value on a guest unable to go to the bathroom?”
For meter.me clients like Castello Di Amorosa, the cost savings and water savings are important—but they aren’t the only concern. Better water knowledge and system controls allow Georg to run Castello more professionally, keeping service at the levels expected by the business’s clientele. Meter.me empowers Georg and his staff to be better prepared, giving them one less thing to worry about in an already eventful daily operation.