Professor Dr. Dr. Gerhardt Erich Alleweldt (1927-2005) studied agriculture at the Justus-Liebig-University in Gießen from 1950, graduated in 1953 and received his doctorate in agriculture (Dr. agr. sci.) in 1956. In 1956, he began working at the Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen-Pfalz (IRZ) under the direction of the then director of the institute, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Husfeld (1900-1970), after whose death he took over the management in 1970 and continued to hold this position until his retirement in 1995.
In 1991 he became head of the Federal Institute for Breeding Research in Viticulture and Horticulture in Siebeldingen(Rhineland-Palatinate). Alleweldt held a number of other positions, such as chairman of the German Vine Breeders' Association. At the Faculty of Agriculture of the Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen (Hesse) he was authorised to teach the subject "Plant Production and Plant Breeding with Special Consideration of Viticulture and Vine Breeding".
Alleweldt dealt with fundamental questions of growth and developmental physiology of grapevines early on. In the new breeding of grape varieties, he specialised in fungus-tolerant varieties with resistance to harmful fungi such as downy mildew and powdery mildew. He created the varieties Orion, Phoenix, Regent (his most important product), Sirius and Staufer, among others. Another focus of his scientific work was early diagnosis to increase breeding efficiency and shorten the long breeding period in vines. Furthermore, in the 1980s he laid the foundation stone for the extensive, worldwide unique Internet vine database VIVC (Vitis International Variety Catalogue). Alleweldt was awarded for his special achievements, among others, the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Picture: Society for the history of wine