New Zealand Based EIT Analysis Validates Wine Chemistry Benefits of Thermaculture®.
During the 2016/17 season in New Zealand, trials were conducted by Agrothermal Systems® at Villa Maria Estates in Hawkes Bay. Two blocks of Merlot grapes were used with the trial block receiving heat-treatments every 12 days and the control block left alone with no heat-treatments. At harvest, the test grapes and matching control block grapes were sent to The Eastern Institute of Technology, a university in nearby Napier, from which wine was made and evaluated for chemistry differences.
The chemistry analysis showed 44.4% more total tannins and 13% higher phenolics evident in the heat-treated grapes. In addition, higher pigmented tannin and free anthocyanin were found, indicating either a thicker skin or greater skin to pulp ratio. All of these flavonoids in wine contribute to a greater mouth feel, fruitiness, darker color and intensity.
This study further confirms the findings of work done on Cabernet Franc in 2013 at Mission Estates Winery, also in Napier. The 2013 study found that the wine treated with heat had 45% more tannin, 23% more Phenolics and 26% more anthocyanin.
The conclusions to all these tests are that Thermaculture significantly affects overall wine sensory characteristics.
Marty Fischer, CEO of Agrothermal Systems comments, “These finding confirm that heat applied periodically to the plant during the growing cycle does in fact increase the phenol and antioxidant levels. We’ve reported many evaluations of blind tasting results confirming that Thermaculture positively improves the sensory characteristics of the resulting wine. The two New Zealand studies further add confidence that these improvements are the results of higher flavonoids triggered by Instantaneous Heat Shocking of the plants."
Agrothermal consultant and Master of Wine, Philip Goodband adds, “Previous tastings made independently and with the winemakers and their teams have consistently shown grapes produced with Thermaculture create wines with better fruit definition, complexity and, for the reds, a more textured mouth feel which I firmly believe is due to improved levels of antioxidants and balanced tannin structure. Now these studies provide a clear understanding as to how and why these improvements are occurring.”
Fischer concludes “A study recently published in the Journal of Medicinally Active Plants evaluated Pinot Noir wine from three consecutive years of heat-treated vs control block wines. It confirmed significantly higher phenols and antioxidants in the wines derived from heat-treated grapes. We now confidently know that Thermaculture produces a wine that not only is preferred in the glass, but that also contains higher levels of flavonoids that also enhance human health potential."
Agrothermal Systems is based in Napa, California and is a DBA of Lazo TPC Global, Inc. a California Corporation. Agrothermal Systems has pioneered the use of Thermaculture treatment services as a sustainable, low cost technology to increase yields, reduce pesticide needs and improve crop qualities. The company holds patents on Thermal Pest Control and has patents pending on other aspects of the technology.
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