Noted “Vinedoctor” to further develop Thermaculture® treatment services for wine grapes
Marty Fischer, CEO of Agrothermal Systems, announced that one the world’s foremost viticulturists and widely published wine industry authors, Dr. Richard Smart, will be working closely with the Company to further develop the science of Thermaculture, the Company’s patented technology. Thermaculture® treatment services is credited for improving fruit set, yields, increasing phenol and antioxidant levels in wine grapes leading to better wine flavors and nutritive values as well as helping to reduce pesticide use.
“Richard joins us as a Consultant and at a time when our commitment to wine industry research projects is expanding and our user base is rapidly growing. “He brings to us world renowned research expertise and the knowledge to better apply our technology, for the benefits of grape growers’ worldwide,” says Fischer. “I believe Richard shares our vision for this technology and the potential and dramatic change it can bring to the management of wine grape crops and the potential improvement of wine quality.”
“When I first heard of this technology it seemed too good to be true,” said Dr. Smart, “but the more I studied it and talked with the Company, its users and other scientists it became increasingly clear this could be a sustainable breakthrough the wine industry has been seeking. I want to be an integral part of this revolutionary work.” Dr. Smart is arguably one of the best-known viticulture scientists in the world, having received numerous industry recognitions and honors. Smart is major author of the classic book Sunlight Into Wine published in 1991 as a guide to winegrape canopy management. It is today one of the widest read viticulture publications in the world. With over 400 articles and publications to his credit, Smart has received two doctoral degrees, one from Cornell University in 1976 and another from the University of Stellenbosch in 1995. He has been a research scientist, educator and consultant who has worked in over 40 wine producing countries in a career spanning over 50 years.
Says Smart, “I’ve studied many approaches and techniques for canopy management to get more sunlight into the canopy to improve yield, wine quality and reduce important diseases. Enter Thermaculture, a novel technique with a different approach with some of the same benefits. The effect of hot air movement through the canopy appears to have significant effects on both disease control and flowering and fruit development as the Company has seen in numerous trials. The concept of instantaneous heat shock is a true innovation. How the plant reacts and our ability to manipulate this response is another fascinating area of study and potential crop management, for wine grapes and other agricultural plants.”
Says Fischer, “We are thrilled to have Richard working with us and know he will help expand our knowledge. His work will help us to improve upon the effectiveness of a technology that is already creating major benefits for growers who are pioneering its use.” One of Dr. Smart’s first projects is to study botrytis control at flowering, work that he plans to initiate this season in the UK. In addition, he will be involved with genomic expression research underway in Bordeaux and several pest control projects in California.
Agrothermal Systems has pioneered the use of Thermaculture® treatment services as a means to increase yields, reduce pesticide needs and improve crop qualities. The company holds patents on Thermal Pest Control and has patents pending on Thermal Plant Treatment for agricultural crops.