Lake Chelan WA viticulture veteran to offer application services and expertise to regional growers.

Tom Pettigrew of Amos Rome Vineyards in partnership with Eddie Rodriguez of Eddie’s Vineyard Management, and Patrick Baker, VP Sales of Agrothermal Systems® of Napa, CA jointly announce a strategic relationship to expand Thermaculture® use in the Lake Chelan AVA and surrounding vineyard regions of Washington.

Eddie Rodriguez has been on the leading edge of vineyard management and development for 20+ years in the Lake Chelan region. He planted the original commercial vineyards in the Lake Chelan AVA in 1998 and has been planting and managing vineyards since, making him one of the most experienced vineyard managers in the state of Washington. Tom Pettigrew owns and operates Amos Rome Vineyards in the Lake Chelan AVA and holds a Viticulture Certificate Degree from WSU. Their practical knowledge, coupled with up to date scientific insights from the WSU Viticulture and Enology program plus some of the latest vineyard equipment innovations, provide their customers with unparalleled vineyard management expertise.

Eddie's Vineyard Management will now offer the state of the art Agrotherm XT™ for vineyard operations. The Agrotherm XT™ is a propane gas-operated, hydraulic fan heater system that generates a 300+ degree hot air stream through the vineyard canopy. Benefits include up to 30% greater yields, improved phenolic development, reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and mitigation of the effects of cool growing seasons/harvest.

According to Baker “As a native Washingtonian myself, I see this as a win-win for growers and consumers of WA wines. This technology sets the bar higher in Washington for sustainable growing practices and improved wine quality. Thermaculture controls powdery mildew while meeting consumers’ quest for wine with fewer farming impact on soils. Working with Tom and Eddie has been great to develop specific equipment that best applies the proven technology and suits the needs of smaller and more diverse vineyards.”

For Pettigrew, “This just seems like a natural step for me to take at this point in my career. Eddie has experience with so many Lake Chelan wine grape growers; introducing them to new technologies like Thermaculture is both exciting and challenging.” In talking about the benefits of Thermaculture, Pettigrew went on to say, “We’re intrigued to see the net effect of this technology in our unique and diverse region. We’re convinced that we’ll be able to offer our customers solid benefits with the use of Thermaculture. Research has shown that heat-treatments create abiotic stress and this leads to increased phenolic development and antioxidants in the wine to enhance flavor and provide greater human health benefits. Reducing the need for pesticides is extremely attractive.”

Agrothermal Systems is also a pioneer in the use of heat-treatment for other Washington crops for which past trials have shown grower benefits from the use of Thermaculture. These include cane berries, cherries and various trellised orchard crops. In addition to the US, Agrothermal has equipment in the EU, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand and South Africa and is expanding to other parts of the world in 2018 and beyond.

Agrothermal Systems is based in Napa, California and is a dba of Lazo TPC Global, Inc. a California Corporation. Agrothermal pioneered the use of Thermaculture as a means to increase yields, reduce pesticide needs, manage crop damage from inclement weather events and improve crop qualities. The company holds patents on Thermal Pest Control and has patents pending on other aspects of heat-treatment for agricultural crops.

Amos Rome Vineyards is a thirteen-acre vineyard located in Manson, Washington that grows Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Chardonnay.

Eddie’s Vineyard Management is the premier vineyard management company in Lake Chelan and North Central Washington State with expertise built over 20 years.

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