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Vitis vinifera

Only European grapevine species; see under European grapevine.

In the case of grapevine, only the genus Vitis is of importance for viticulture. The genus Vitis is divided into the two subgenera (subgenus) Vitis subg. Vitis (with 60 species) and Vitis subg. Muscadinia (with 1 species). The subgenus Vitis subg. Vitis is divided into an American, an Asian and a European group according to the geographical occurrence. In the European group, presumably as a result of the ice age, there is only one species Vitis vinifera, under which all wild and domesticated varieties of the European grapevine are subsumed. The name means "vine-bearing vine". The species Vitis vinifera is divided into two subspecies.

The subspecies Vitis vinifera subspez. sylvestris is the wild ancestral form of today's noble vines. It was already used in prehistoric times, but plays no role in today's viticulture. The second subspecies, Vitis vinifera subspez. vinifera (obsolete designation Vitis vinifera ssp. sativa), is a cultivated race that was gradually bred out by humans. This includes all of the approximately 8,000 to 10,000 cultivated European grape varieties, of which only a few hundred are important in viticulture. However, the abbreviated terms Vitis vinifera or Vinifera are used when referring to the origin of grape varieties.

Taxonomie - Reben-Systematik

Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris

The wild subspecies is also called Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris Gmelin (also Rhenish wild vine). The part of the name "sylvestris" means "living in the wild". Gmelin refers to the botanist Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755), who first separated this subspecies. This species is dioecious; that is, there are male and female plants, each with unisexual flower buds. Its range extends from the Caucasus to the southern Mediterranean and north to the Danube floodplains of the Lobau near Wien (Austria) and into the Rhine valley in Germany.

Europäerrebe - Vitis vinifera sylvestris

Vitis vinifera ssp. caucasica...

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Dr. Christa Hanten

For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.

Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien

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