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The Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen (Pfalz-Germany) emerged from two institutions that were founded independently of each other in the 1920s. In 1924, August Ludowici (1866-1945), the last private owner of the Geilweilerhof, donated vineyards to the Palatinate Wine Growers' Association free of charge. Two years later, Peter Morio (1887-1960), a councillor of agriculture, founded the branch "vine breeding" of the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture, Fruit Growing and Horticulture in Würzburg on this property. In the same year, Dr. Erwin Baur (1875-1933) founded the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Breeding Research in Müncheberg (Mark Brandenburg), and Dr. Bernhard Husfeld (1900-1970) became head of the vine breeding department. Both Morio and Husfeld subsequently worked intensively on breeding grape varieties resistant to phylloxera and both types of mildew. After the Second World War Husfeld moved his breeding material to the Geilweilerhof. The company he founded leased the farm and founded the "Research Institute for Grapevine Breeding". Husfeld headed the institute until 1970, after which his assistant of many years, Dr. Gerhardt Alleweldt (1927-2005), took over the management.

Geilweilerhof - während der Mandelblüte

Alleweldt headed the Geilweilerhof branch office until 1995, when he was succeeded by Professor Dr. Reinhard Töpfer. Since 1996, special efforts have been made to inventory, identify, describe and evaluate the old landraces of the German-speaking countries. In the institute's own herbarium, rare and almost extinct varieties are reactivated and thus secured. In the VIVC (Vitis International Variety Catalogue), with well over 20,000 entries, almost all the grape varieties of the world are listed with their synonyms. The Institute has a high level of scientific competence in the reliable molecular genetic identification of grape varieties. In this respect, the identification of the parents of Müller-Thurgau should be mentioned.

In the past decades, many new varieties, some of them very successful, have been created at the Institute. These were Bacchus, Calandro, Carmina, Castor, Comtessa, Diana, Domina, Dr. Deckerrebe, Felicia, Forta, Gloria, Morio-Muscat, Noblessa, Optima, Orion, Phoenix, Pollux, Sirius, Staufer, Reberger, Regent and Villaris. After some changes in the responsibility and ownership structure, the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) was finally founded in 2008, which also includes the Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof.

Picture: By Dr. Manfred Holz - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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