The science about varieties (ampelos = grch. Weinstock) is a part of the oenology, According to Greek mythology, the body of the man killed during hunting satyrs Ampelos the first grapevine, His companion Dionysos first planted it in a bird bone. When this became too small, in a lion's bone, and finally in a donkey's bone. So he could take the vine anywhere. Grape varieties were already distinguished in Roman antiquity tried and already Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) found that the same grape variety can often be hidden behind different regional names. Already from the later Middle Ages, lists of authors with the names of regionally grown grape varieties have survived. However, the descriptions are often inaccurate, so that one can only speculate about the actual grape varieties.
After the establishment of book printing and the establishment of modern botanical and zoological taxonomy Carl von Linné (1707-1778) also began to develop ampelography into the botanical science of grape varieties. The word creation comes from the botanist Philipp Jakob Sachs from Löwenheim (1627-1672), who titled his extensive work on the vine published in 1661 with "Ampelographia". However, it took around 150 years for this term to become the name for an independent scientific area. After him Balthasar created sprinkler (1724-1791) from the Cistercian abbey Maulbronn is a three-volume work on viticulture with many hundreds of detailed descriptions of grape varieties.
Ampelography includes the description of the phenotypic and genotypic Characteristics of the grape varieties and the characterization through differentiating, varietal Characteristics. This also includes the evaluation of the viticultural characteristics, the description of the cloning diversity, as well as the detection of the lineage of historical varieties of unknown origin. The Varieties determination takes place due to the habitus (external characteristics) and vegetation cyclic Properties like Blossom-. Austriebs- or Maturity date, through DNA analysis the parentage can be clarified. The heyday was in the 19th century. Extensive descriptions of the grape varieties were made, especially in France, Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary. Famous ampelographers in German-speaking countries were, for example, Karl Friedrich Gok (1776-1849), Johann Philipp Bronner (1792-1864), Johann Butcher (1789-1852) or August-Wilhelm Freiherr von Babo (1827-1894), Victor in France Pulliat (1827-1896) and Thomas Volney in the United States Munson (1843-1913).
In Italy in 1877, Giuseppe di Rovasenda (1824-1913) composed "Saggio di Ampelografia Universale", in which 3,666 grape varieties from the world's largest collection of grape varieties near Turin in Piedmont are described. Hermann set in the German-speaking countries Goethe (1837-1911) culminated with the publication of his second edition of the Handbook for Ampelography in 1887. To crown this ampelographic era, the seven-volume work "Ampélographie" by the two French ampelographers Victor was at the beginning of the 20th century Vermorel (1848-1927) and Pierre Viala (1859-1936) published. In it, several French authors describe the previously known European grape varieties, with around 24,000 grape variety names and their associated ones synonyms, Even if not without errors, this plant is still the most comprehensive standard work on traditional grape varieties in Europe. The book published in 2012 “ Wine grapes "(Jancis Robinson, José Vouillamoz, Julia Harding ) is considered the standard work today.
The descriptions in the 18th century mainly focused on the aspects of grapes and berries, which were primarily used for identification. This method was still relatively error-prone and uncertain. But that started in the 19th century sheet as an organ for sort differentiation increasingly in the foreground. By the middle of the 19th century, the entire morphology of the grape varieties (stem, wood, leaf, shoot tip, grape, berry) are meticulously described and used for identification. The grape varieties were divided and classified into groups according to certain characteristics (berry shape, berry color, hair on the leaf, shape of the end tooth), numerous regional ones Synonyms enlightened and documented. Although Hermann Goethe Already in 1876, this had suggested that ampelometric criteria such as the measured ratio of length and width of certain leaf structures or the angle sizes between the main nerves were only used to a greater extent in the 20th century. Well-known modern ampelographers include the French Pierre Galet (1921-2019) and Paul Truel (* 1924), which in Montpellier were active. Both recognized hundreds of grape varieties at first glance.
Comprehensive databases are VIVC (Vitis International Variety Catalog) and VITIS-VEA des Julius Kühn Institute, The criteria for describing the characteristics of grape varieties are today in the characteristics catalogs of the international associations OIV and UPOV Are defined. The most important organs for variety differentiation are the shoot tip, the leaf, the grape and the berry. Criteria are color, shape, hair on the shoot tip and leaves, size and character of the grapes, as well as shape, color, taste and seed content of the berries. With the development of modern laboratory methods, attempts are made to use grape varieties also with content components (iso-enzymes) and DNA profiles to differentiate and molecular genetics to identify. Since 1995 there has been the technique of genetic fingerprinting (microsatellite analysis) with which grape varieties can be clearly recognized.
All well-known Viticulture Institute the world are concerned with grape varieties based on the genetic DNA profiles molecular genetics to characterize and define reference profiles The final comparison of the grape varieties available in the different countries is still ongoing. The method has now been standardized so that the genetic fingerprints of different work groups can now be compared more easily. That is why new insights are constantly to be expected. The fact that identification problems can still arise, despite clear criteria, is due to the tedious, decades-long process of clarifying the paternity of the variety Müller-Thurgau described there. See also under grapevine,