Wines from heat-treated grapes exhibit consistent and significant taste advantages with more complexity and youthfulness.
For the second year running, Oregon winery, Adelsheim Vineyard, conducted a blind tasting with Pinot Noir wines made from grapes treated with Agrothermal Systems patented Thermaculture® treatment services. Adelsheim viticulturist, Chad Vargas has worked closely with Agrothermal Systems to trial this innovative technology since 2012. In the first trial year, wine made from heat treated blocks, when compared to control block wine, resulted in a subtle but distinctly different tasting wine with fruitier aroma and a more complex, longer on the palate, youthful taste. Encouraged by the 2012 experience, Adelsheim expanded its trials to two blocks in 2013. On June 12th barrel tastings of these Pinot Noir treated vs. control blocks have supported the prior year conclusions, showing youthful, bright complexity.
The June 12th blind tasting was attended by Adelsheim viticulturist, Chad Vargas; winemaker, David Paige and assistant winemaker Gina Hennen. Agrothermal CEO, Marty Fischer and Master of Wine, Philip Goodband were part of the Agrothermal team in attendance. Mr. Goodband, wine consultant to Agrothermal, expressed the consensus of the participants regarding the quality of wine treated with Thermaculture, “We were all struck by the difference between the samples, well outside any simple fermentation vat or single cask variation.”
Aroma, flavor, mouthfeel and color were some of the characteristics used to judge the differences between the three blocks of Pinot noir. Winemaker, David Paige said “We are seeing a consistent directional difference in the 2012 and 2013 heat treated block wines with that youthful complexity that we look for in Adelsheim’s Pinot noir.”
This recent blind tastings is good news for Agrothermal Systems and cool—climate wine growing regions. Oregon occasionally experiences cool rainy weather during bloom, with applications of Thermaculture providing a more consistent fruit set, as well as the potential benefit of a distinctly complex and youthful flavor profile. Marty Fischer, Agrothermal CEO stated “ We know that heat treatment can be used to increase fruit set and ultimately yields in cool—climate wine growing regions like Oregon to assure a decent sized crop, but the biggest benefit from our 2013 trials in both Oregon and California was the consistent change to superior wine quality characteristics”
Earlier this year Adelsheim Vineyards purchased Agrothermal equipment to expand its use through further testing with the 2014 crop. Chad Vargas said “We are still learning how to perfect this technique, but what we have seen so far is a new vineyard tool with potentially significant benefits.”
Agrothermal Systems has pioneered the use of Thermaculture® treatment services as a means to increase yields, reduce pesticide needs and improve crop qualities.