Walnut Creek, California, (June 6, 2013)– AgroThermal Systems has reason to be optimistic about its revolutionary Thermal Plant Treatment process. Wine growers and universities are taking note of this technology used to increase fruit set and yields and to improve grape quality and chemistry. According to Marty Fischer, AgroThermal President and CEO, “2013 will be a huge step up in proving the numerous benefits of Thermal Plant Treatment thanks to some very large development partners who are testing thermal technology and considering broad adoption of the technology in the years ahead.” Fischer went on to discuss testing that is taking place with several major wine companies in Washington, Oregon and California. “During 2012 concept testing was limited to a few acres in Napa and Sonoma, CA in order to field test new equipment and to verify fruit set and wine quality benefits. The Company collaborated with Fresno State University researchers as part of a two-year evaluation effort. “In Oregon, Adelsheim Vineyard, one of the leading Pinot Noir brands in the West experimented with the technology,” continued Fischer.
Total acreage that received thermal treatments in 2012 was no more than 5 acres. These concept tests showed thermal technology increased fruit set when applied during bloom and, in some varietals, produced better quality wine. These results led to a much greater interest in TPT on the part of the larger winery companies. While Fischer indicated most of these growers wish to remain anonymous, in just the Southern Salinas valley alone, there are over 30 acres receiving Thermal Heat Treatments and the combined acreage controlled by these growers is in excess of 25,000 acres within California. Testing includes the major varietals tested last season, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc plus initial tests on Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. According to Fischer, the growers in California are looking for increased fruit set and larger yields and some also want to improve wine quality and chemistry. Fischer is in discussions with Fresno State University to monitor the tests by providing yield data as well as fruit quality and wine chemistry evaluations. Washington State growers have asked
Washington State University to provide evaluations on numerous benefits associated with Thermal Plant Treatment. In addition to fruit set, yield and fruit quality, wine will be made in almost all locations for taste testing and chemistry analysis.
In Oregon, Adlesheim Vineyards is expanding trials after initial test results in 2012. According to Chad Vargas, Production Manager at Adelsheim “In January and again in April we did barrel tasting of the test and control Pinot Noir wine produced during the 2012 crop year and were encouraged by the differences we experienced. The TPT process had some distinct and subtle advantages in the glass and we are now expanding our use of the technology during the 2013 season and are pleased to be designated as a Development Partner for this new approach.” According to Fischer “most growers in Oregon are less interested in increased yields on Pinot Noir as they firmly believe increased yields often lead to inferior wine quality. It was interesting that Adelsheim got a 7% increase in yield on the TPT test block vs. control, as well as an added benefit of superior quality wine. Both parties are very excited about expanding and sharing our knowledge in 2013.”
The company expects to begin obtaining fruit set results by late June and will periodically post updates as results are obtained to the AgroThermal Systems company website.