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The wedding feast in Cana

250px-Ancient_GalileeA well known story celebrating water and wine took place at a wedding feast in Cana, near Nazareth.  Like Alesia in ancient Gaul, the exact location of Cana is not exactly known and there are several contenders. Making wine in more modern times requires the use of water.  Mostly for washing and cleaning purposes, water is of great value in a wine cellar.  Generally water is not added to wine, although some wines are described as watery.  Water is used to clean floors and equipment, rinse pipes and wash down walls. Until fairly recently most South African cellars did not accurately measure water usage in the production of wine.  This trend has changed significantly and there is now some pretty accurate data available. In general water usage peaks during the harvest season.  Throughout the year there is constantly a demand for water. The benchmark water usage is a parameter that provides an indication of annual water demand for the production of wine. flow-distribution In South Africa, the benchmark water usage is measured as litres of water used to produce one litre of wine per year.  The benchmark value decreases with cellar size.  This makes sense as equipment is cleaned daily, regardless of usage.  Typically the very large cellars (>15 000 annual ton production) use as little as 1 litre of water per litre of wine produced per year.  For very small cellars the benchmark usage is closer to 10.  Note that the benchmark value does not include the water used for irrigation. A cellar that processes 600 tons of grapes per annum, will typically use 2.5 million litres of water.

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