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Ancient grape varieties

Many of today's grape varieties probably carry genetic material from old vines that were already cultivated in antiquity by the Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians. However, most of the grapevine varieties still in existence today probably only emerged in the Middle Ages or later centuries from the varieties that existed at that time. Most of the ancient grape varieties had a blue or black berry colour. The red, yellow and green varieties arose later through mutation and were maintained as independent colour varieties through vegetative propagation. Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Meunier, for example, were created by bud mutations on Pinot. Which varieties were actually cultivated by the Romans can only be guessed at today, because there are only Latin names and rough descriptions of the Roman varieties. The map shows the Roman Empire at the time of its greatest expansion at the end of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (53-117).

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