Ampelography
Overview
 
Ampelography is the field of botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 concerned with the identification and classification of grapevines, Vitis spp.
Vitis
Vitis is a genus of about 60 species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hemisphere. It is economically important as the source of grapes, both for direct consumption of the fruit and for fermentation to produce...

Traditionally this has been done by comparing the shape and colour of the vine leaves and grape berries; more recently the study of vines has been revolutionised by DNA fingerprinting.
The grape vine is an extremely variable species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and some varieties, such as Pinot
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

, mutate particularly frequently.
Encyclopedia
Ampelography is the field of botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 concerned with the identification and classification of grapevines, Vitis spp.
Vitis
Vitis is a genus of about 60 species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hemisphere. It is economically important as the source of grapes, both for direct consumption of the fruit and for fermentation to produce...

Traditionally this has been done by comparing the shape and colour of the vine leaves and grape berries; more recently the study of vines has been revolutionised by DNA fingerprinting.

Early history

The grape vine is an extremely variable species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and some varieties, such as Pinot
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

, mutate particularly frequently. At the same time, the wine and table grape industries have been important since ancient times, so large sums of money can depend on the correct identification of different varieties and clones of grapevines.

The science of ampelography began seriously in the 19th century, when it suddenly became important to understand more about the different species of vine, as they had very different resistance to disease and pests such as phylloxera
Phylloxera
Grape phylloxera ; originally described in France as Phylloxera vastatrix; equated to the previously described Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, Phylloxera vitifoliae; commonly just called phylloxera is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America...

.

Many vine identification books were published at this time, of which one of the greatest is Victor Rendu's Ampélographie française of 1857, featuring beautiful hand-coloured lithographs by Eugene Grobon.

Pierre Galet

Up until the Second World War, ampelography had been an art. Then Pierre Galet
Pierre Galet
Pierre Galet is a French ampelographer and author who was an influential figure within ampelography in the 20th century and before DNA typing was widely introduced...

 of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

 made a systematic assembly of criteria for the identification of vines. The Galet system was based on the shape and contours of the leaves, the characteristics of growing shoots, shoot tips, petioles, the sex of the flowers, the shape of the grape clusters and the colour, size and pips of the grapes themselves. The grapes are less affected by environmental factors than the leaves and the shoots, but are obviously not around for as long. He even included grape flavour as a criterion, but this is rather subjective.

Galet then published the definitive book, Ampélographie Pratique, in 1952, featuring 9600 types of vine. Ampélographie Pratique was translated into English by Lucie Morton and published in 1979; it was later updated in 2000.

Illustrated Historical Universal Ampelography

In 2012, Italian publisher L'Artistica Editrice, will publish Illustrated Historical Universal Ampelography a three volume set which contains the most important books edited in France and Italy between 1800 and 1900: the Ampélographie of Pierre Viala and Victor Vermorel, the grapes section of Pomona Italiana by Count Giorgio Gallesio and the Ampelografia Itliana of the Italian Ministry of Agricolture.
The Illustrated Historical Universal Ampelography will be edited by Anna Schneider, Giusi Mainardi and Stefano Raimondi, with an introduction by Pierre Galet
Pierre Galet
Pierre Galet is a French ampelographer and author who was an influential figure within ampelography in the 20th century and before DNA typing was widely introduced...

. It will collect 551 color plates of grapes from all over the world, with texts in Italian and English, which describes the morphological and agricultural characteristics of each vine variety, as well as their synonyms and historical curiosities.

DNA

Dr. Carole Meredith
Carole Meredith
Carole P. Meredith is an American grape geneticist who was a professor at the Department of Viticulture and Enology of University of California, Davis before she retired in 2003...

 at the University of California, Davis
University of California, Davis
The University of California, Davis is a public teaching and research university established in 1905 and located in Davis, California, USA. Spanning over , the campus is the largest within the University of California system and third largest by enrollment...

 pioneered the use of genetic fingerprinting
Genetic fingerprinting
DNA profiling is a technique employed by forensic scientists to assist in the identification of individuals by their respective DNA profiles. DNA profiles are encrypted sets of numbers that reflect a person's DNA makeup, which can also be used as the person's identifier...

 for vine identification. Famous successes with the technique include proving the identity of Zinfandel
Zinfandel
Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards. DNA fingerprinting revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Puglia , where it was introduced in the 18th century...

, Primitivo, and Crljenak Kaštelanski, and identifying the parents of Sangiovese
Sangiovese
Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove"...

 as Ciliegiolo and Calabrese Montenuovo. Such exercises are giving valuable insight into historical patterns of trade and migration.

DNA fingerprinting uses segments of DNA that do not affect the look or taste of the grapes. More recent work has identified the genes responsible for the differences between grape varieties, such as the VvMYBA1 and VvMYBA2 genes that control grape colour, or the VvGAI1 gene that is mutated in some cells of Pinot meunier
Pinot meunier
Pinot Meunier, , also known as Meunier or Black Riesling, is a variety of black wine grape most noted for being one of the three main grapes used in the production of champagne...

 compared to Pinot noir
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

.

Further reading

The original Galet Ampélographie Pratique is the definitive book, either in French or in English translation, but has long been out of print and does not include any DNA evidence.
  • Rendu,Victor (1857) Ampélographie française Paris
  • Galet, Pierre (1952) Précis d’Ampélographie Pratique
  • Galet, Pierre trans. Lucie Morton (1979) A Practical Ampelography: Grapevine Identification Cornell University Press (English translation)
  • Galet, Pierre ed. Pierre Roller (2000) Dictionnaire encyclopédique des cépages Hachette ISBN 2012363318 is an updated version
  • Galet, Pierre (2002) Grape Varieties: A Study of Wine, Hachette Wine Library (Cassell), ISBN 0304364096 is a decent summary in English.
  • Schneider, Anna; Mainardi, Giusi; Raimondi, Stefano; ed. (2012) Illustrated Historical Universal Ampelography, L'Artistica Editrice, Savigliano.
  • Kerridge, George & Antcliff, Allan (1999) Wine Grape Varieties CSIRO Publishing, ISBN 0643059822 is a good book from Australia aimed at growers
  • Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes (OUP, ISBN 0198600984) is a cut-down version of her earlier Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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