The largest wine encyclopedia in the world

22.810 Keywords • 48.322 Synonyms • 5.299 Translations • 7.907 Pronunciations • 152.217 Cross-references

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Vines systematics

The grapevine becomes according to the botanical taxonomy (hierarchical system) according to the lower table in the organism system. There are different systems with sometimes different grading or designations. Among other things, was by Professor dr. Bernhard Husfeld (1900-1970), the director of the institute Geilweilerhof (Siebeldingen-Pfalz), a widely recognized system. Another was in 1967 by the French Ampelographen Pierre Galet (* 1921) developed.


The following classification is based on a modern plant system. In this regard, valuable information was provided by University Professor dr. Manfred A. Fischer (Department of Botanical Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Wien , Austria) and the German diplomiologist and vine researcher Andreas Young,


Lat. Bez.

Grapevine - Explanations

domain - Eukarya (organisms with a true cell nucleus)
rich regnum Chlorobionta (chlorophyll plants) or Viridiplantae
Underdark subregnum Archegoniatae (archegonium plants) or Embryophyta
About department superdiviso Tracheophyta (vascular plants)
Department diviso Spermatophyta (seed plants)
subdivision subdiviso Angiospermophytina (Bedecktsamer)
class classis Rosopsida (three-pollen dicotyledonous)
Subclass subclassis Rosidae (Rose plants)
order ordo Vital (grape-like)
family familia Vitaceae (vine plants or also vine grape family)
genus genus Vitis (grapevines)
There are 13 more, but only Vitis is suitable for viticulture
subgenus subgenus Vitis subg. Vitis (formerly Euvitis) - includes about 60 species
Vitis subg. Muscadinia - includes 2 to 3 species
Species / species species Vitis vinifera - only 1 species with two (three) subspecies
Vitis abcdef - around 30 species - Asian varieties
Vitis abcdef - around 30 species - American varieties
subspecies subspecies Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris (european wild grapevine)
Vitis vinifera subsp. caucasica (Caucasian wild vine)
Vitis vinifera subsp. vinifera (sweet vine) - European varieties
variety varietas is reserved for wild grape populations (not cultivated vines)
shape forma is reserved for wild grape populations (not cultivated vines)
Variety / cultivar - Cabernet Sauvignon. Riesling. Traminer - 3 out of about 10,000

Historical development

The genus Vitis, to which it counts, is probably over 130, the grape-bearing variant Vitis vinifera probably over 80 million years old (there was still dinosaurs). Over 79.99 million years was the vine dioecious that is, male and female organs were arranged on separate plants. Only in the last maybe 10,000 years has man the zwitterblütigen Variants because of their unequal higher income security selected and brought heavily into cultivation. The hermaphrodite flower shape thus corresponds, so to speak, only the last milliseconds of the vine evolution. However, this also means that genetics is mainly influenced by the period of 79.99 million years. With the many spontaneous intersections that have arisen over time were through the heterozygous Property (Spalterbigkeit) of the vines the characteristics in the offspring clearly different to the parents and led to a varietal variety.


The grapevine belongs to the order of Vitales (former assignment to Rhamnales was wrong) and is one of the family of Vitaceae , the so-called vine family. This large family includes the 14 genera Acareosperma, Ampelocissus, Ampelopsis, Cayratia, Cissus (formerly a separate genus Pterocissus has been assigned here), Clematicissus, Cyphostemma, Nothocissus, Parthenocissus, Pterisanthes, Rhoicissus, Tetrastigma, Vitis and Yua. Although some other genera produce edible grapes, only the genus Vitis is important for viticulture. Ampelopsis, Cissus and Parthenocissus are often referred to as "Wild Wine", although they are not Wild vines (Wild forms of the culture vines) are. Due to remote kinship species of different genera can not cross. The genus Vitis divides into the two subgenera Vitis subg. Vitis and Vitis subg. Muscadinia . An essential difference is a different number of chromosomes.

Taxonomy - Vine Systematics

The subgenus Vitis subg. Muscadinia has 20 pairs of chromosomes (2n = 40), the nodes are without diaphragm, the tendrils unbranched, the berries are discarded individually to maturity. There is only one Muscadinia species (with three varieties) whose correct name should be Muscadinia rotundifolia . However, it is often referred to in most publications as Vitis rotundifolia designated. Although Muscadinia does not play a special role in wine production, it is due to its resistance versus phylloxera and nematodes for the breeding new grape varieties and documents Interesting. However, the different chromosomes cause great problems in crossbreeding. Some biologists argue that Muscadinia next to Vitis to raise a separate genus.

Vitis subg. Vitis has 19 pairs of chromosomes (2n = 38), the nodes have a diaphragm, the tendrils are forked, the berries remain on the grapes until ripe. The approximately 60 species of this subgenus are divided into three groups according to their geographical distribution. In the European group, there is probably only one species (species) Vitis vinifera with two subspecies as a result of the Ice Age. Subspecies Vitis vinifera subspez. sylvestris is the wild strain of today's noble vines. This was already used prehistoric, but plays no role in today's viticulture. It was made by the German botanist Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755) demarcated and after this occasionally as Vitis vinifera subspez. named sylvestris gmelin . An eastern expression is that after the Russian botanist Nikolai I. Vavilov (1887-1943) named Vitis vinifera subspez. caucasica Vavilov . But this splitting can not be reconstructed today.


The second subspecies Vitis vinifera subspez. vinifera (obsolete Vitis vinifera ssp. sativa ) is a cultivated breed gradually outgrown by man. This includes all of today's approximately 8,000 to 10,000 cultivated Europeans Vines, But only a few hundred are important for viticulture. The American group comprises around 30 species, but not all of them are important for viticulture. Of the five to six species most of the cultivated come from American vines from. A hundred of them play a role in viticulture. The Asian group also includes about 30 species, of the three to four most important come the cultivated Asians Vines from. All about 60 species of the subgenus Vitis subg. Vitis can be crossed with each other, this as Interspecific intersection designated (see also under hybrids ). Here are the EU provisions regarding Quality wine-grape varieties to be observed.

Grapevine - grape, vine and vineyard

main groups

Depending on the source (botanist, institute) there are often differences in the taxonomic Rank level assignment and also hierarchy, which also depends on the respective research and knowledge level. In addition to different assignments were made by individual botanists also different names, which led to great confusion. An extreme example is Vitis labrusca with 13 botanical names. In order to be able to determine the origin, the name of the botanist is therefore given in the botanical long name at the end of the name. Especially in recent years, due to extensive DNA analysis many new findings are gained. What was once considered a species has proven to be merely a subspecies or even a variety, and vice versa. Today, there has largely been agreement on internationally accepted terminology, although there are still differences in detail. The following species are important in grape growing and viticulture:

American vines

Asians Vines

Europeans Vines


Becoming in viticulture varieties also in technical sources often mistakenly as variety (variété, variedad, variety). Equally common is in most publications colloquially the equivalent term sport used. This is especially true when it comes to grape varieties with only slightly different berry colors. From a botanical point of view Pinot Noir. Pinot gris and Pinot Blanc the same genotype, Although strictly speaking they represent the same grape variety, they are listed as three different grape varieties (see below) Pinot ). The same applies to the variety groups muscatel and Traminer, The term "variety" may be used in botany, however, only for wild forms, but not for cultural forms.

Also, the taxonomic grade Forma below the variety is not allowed, as this refers only to minimal genetic differences such as only in a single allele (gene), which is only the case for very closely related varieties. For the crops are the names variety (grape variety) or clone correctly. According to the nomenclature rules for cultivated plants, cultivars (= varieties) may at best be called cultivars (cultivars = cv. = Originated from "cultivated variety"). A phenomenon is that especially old and widespread grape varieties often over 100 Synonyms which makes identification often difficult. Identical names must by no means indicate a relationship (see under Malvasia. Trebbiano and Vernaccia ).

It would be desirable, of course, the descent of all cultivars in the form of a Vine family tree to be able to represent; this is unfortunately not possible. See also the historical history of the cultivated grapevine below Wild vines, For the determination of the origin of a grape variety, see molecular Genetics, Complete lists of relevant keywords are available at grapevine and vineyards,

World's largest wine knowledge database, made with by our author Norbert Tischelmayer.

About the Glossary


Privacy Notice: ×

Cookies facilitate the provision of our services. By using our services, you agree that we use cookies.