The online platform will offer a properly structured teaching programme with courses both in Italian and in English, including online tests and practical tests in vineyards. From the starting Vine Pruner level and up through the Vine Pruner Advanced and the Vine Pruner Expert levels, the ultimate achievement for students will be the Vine Master Pruner title, for which they'll need to show their pruning skills by applying them to all training systems of the main international wine-making areas.
Lessons' topics will range from the basics of Simonit&Sirch method to vine training systems from some of the world's top wine-making hotspots, and local training systems too. «Every pruner, wine-maker, vineyard manager, wine lover or student interested in pruning can join this digital community, improve their technique, share their experience and opinions with people worldwide. The platform will be constantly updated with new courses – said Marco Simonit – I believe in sharing knowledge, that’s why we decided to build this house, big enough to welcome everyone. A house where one can observe, learn, grow, acquire knowledge and discuss with others with the goal of making our life and our profession better. Such a big house could only exist online».
Pioneers and advocates for vineyards' health
Counting eleven team members, Simonit&Sirch is the only international group specialized and accredited in manual vine pruning training. «I’ve always believed that pruning is the elixir of life for the grapevine – Marco Simonit explains – and it's my passion. My mission is to help grapevines live healthier and longer. I want to try to bring people closer to the true nature of the grapevine again and share with all the platform subscribers the effects of pruning on grapevines».
The group already founded the Italian Vine Pruning School and other pruning schools abroad, as well as D.U.T.E. – Diplôme Universitaire de Taille et Épamprage in Bordeaux (France), the world’s only university degree in pruning.
Apart from the educational branch, of course Simonit&Sirch give counseling and tutoring for vineyards in need around the world. They also created a Vine Surgery Team on call for emergencies, which is specialized in saving vineyards from the terrible esca, a trunk disease that can seriously affect grapevines and eventually lead to the plant's death, if not treated in the proper way. Over ten years, 90% of the grapevines cured with this method – called dendrosurgery – have become productive again. «We've been the first in the world to use it and we're completely satisfied with it – said Simonit – but we won't stop there because our quest is a constant work in progress».