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Vines systematics

The grapevine is according to the botanical taxonomy (hierarchical classification) according to the table below in the organism system. There are different systems, some with different levels or designations. Among other things, Professor Dr. Bernhard Husfeld (1900-1970), the head of the institute dated Geilweilerhof (Siebeldingen-Pfalz), a widely recognized system. Another was made in 1967 by the French ampelographer Pierre Galet (1921-2019).


The following system is based on a modern plant system. University professor Dr. Manfred A. Fischer (Department of Botanical Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Wien , Austria) and the German graduate biologist and vine researcher Andreas Young,


Lat. Bez.

Grapevine - Explanations

domain - Eukarya (organisms with a real 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)
great classis Rosopsida (three-furrow pollen-dicotyledonous)
Subclass subclassis Rosidae (rose plants)
order ordo Vitales
family familia Vitaceae (vines or grapevines)
genus genus Vitis (grapevines)
there are 13 more, but only Vitis is suitable for viticulture
subgenus subgenus Vitis subg. Vitis (formerly euvitis) - comprises around 60 species
Vitis subg. Muscadinia - comprises 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 wine vine)
Vitis vinifera subsp. caucasica (wild boar)
Vitis vinifera subsp. vinifera (Edelrebe) - European varieties
variety varietas is reserved for wild vine populations (not cultivated vines)
shape forma is reserved for wild vine populations (not cultivated vines)
Variety / cultivar - Cabernet Sauvignon. Riesling. Traminer - 3 out of around 10,000

Historical development

The genus Vitis, to which it belongs, is probably over 130, the grape-bearing variant Vitis vinifera probably over 80 million years old (there were still dinosaurs). The vine was over 79.99 million years old dioecious, that is, male and female organs were arranged on separate plants. It has only been in the last maybe 10,000 years that humans have zwitterblütigen Variants because of their much higher income security selected and heavily grown. The hermaphrodite flower shape thus corresponds, so to speak, only to the last milliseconds of the vine evolution. But this also means that genetics are mainly shaped by the period of 79.99 million years. With the many spontaneous ones intersections that have arisen over time were created by the heterozygous Characteristic (split inheritance) of the vines the characteristics of the offspring clearly different from the parents and led to a variety of varieties.


The grapevine belongs to the order of the Vitales (earlier assignment to Rhamnales was wrong) and belongs to the Vitaceae family, the so-called vine plants. This large family includes the 14 genera Acareosperma, Ampelocissus, Ampelopsis, Cayratia, Cissus (the formerly independent genus Pterocissus was assigned here), Clematicissus, Cyphostemma, Nothocissus, Parthenocissus, Pterisanthes, Rhoicissus, Tetrastigma, Vitis and Yua. Although some other varieties also produce edible grapes, only the Vitis genus is important for viticulture. Ampelopsis, Cissus and Parthenocissus are often referred to as "wild wine", although they are not Wild vines (Wild forms of cultivated vines). Because of their distant relationship, species of different genera cannot be crossed. The genus Vitis is divided into the two subgenera Vitis subg. Vitis (formerly Vitis subg. Euvitis) and Vitis subg. Muscadinia . The main difference is the 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 thrown off individually when ripe. There is only one Muscadinia species (with three varieties), the correct name of which should be Muscadinia rotundifolia . However, in most publications it is often referred to as Vitis rotundifolia designated. Muscadinia does not play a special role in wine production, but it is due to its resistance against phylloxera and nematodes for the breeding new grape varieties and documents Interesting. However, the different chromosomes cause great problems at crossings. Some biologists advocate making Muscadinia a separate genus alongside Vitis.

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 they are ripe. The approximately 60 species of this subgenus are divided into three groups according to their geographical distribution. As a result of the ice age, there is probably only one species (species) Vitis vinifera in the European group with two subspecies. The subspecies Vitis vinifera subspec. sylvestris is the wild stem form of today's noble vines. This was already used prehistorically, but plays no role in today's viticulture. It was created by the German botanist Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755) delimited and after this also as Vitis vinifera subspec. Sylvestris Gmelin named. An eastern version is that according to the Russian botanist Nikolai I. Vavilov (1887-1943) named Vitis vinifera subspec. caucasica Vavilov . However, this split can no longer be understood today.


The second subspecies Vitis vinifera subspec. vinifera (obsolete Vitis vinifera ssp. sativa ) is a cultural breed that has gradually been bred by humans. This includes all around 8,000 to 10,000 cultivated today Europeans Vines, Only a few hundred are important for viticulture. The American group comprises around 30 species, but not all of them are important for viticulture. The majority of the cultivated comes from around five to six species American vines from. A maximum of a hundred play a role in viticulture. The Asian group also includes around 30 species, of which the three to four most important are cultivated Asians Vines from. All around 60 species of the subgenus Vitis subg. Vitis can be crossed with each other, whereby this is called interspecific crossing referred to (see also under hybrids ). Here are the EU regulations regarding Quality wine-grape varieties to consider.

Grapevine - grape, vine and vineyard

main groups

Depending on the source (botanist, institute) there are often differences in the taxonomic Ranking and hierarchy, which also depends on the level of research and knowledge. In addition to different assignments, different names were given by individual botanists, 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 botanical name is given in the botanical long name at the end of the name. Especially in recent years, due to extensive DNA analysis many new insights are gained. What used to be regarded as a species has only proven to be a subspecies or even a variety and vice versa. Today, an internationally valid terminology has been largely agreed, although there are still differences in the details. The following species are important in grape growing and viticulture:

American vines

Asians Vines

Europeans Vines


In viticulture varieties often incorrectly referred to in technical sources as variety (variété, variedad, variety). The term with the same meaning is used just as frequently in most publications sport used. This is particularly the case when it comes to grape varieties with only slightly different berry colors. Own 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 managed as three different grape varieties (see under Pinot ). The same applies to the variety groups muscatel and Traminer, In botany, however, the term "variety" may only be used for wild forms, but not for cultivated forms.

The taxonomic rank forma below the variety is also not permitted, since this only refers to minimal genetic differences, such as only in one single allele (gene), which is only the case with very closely related varieties. For cultivated plants, the terms are variety (grape variety) or clone correctly. According to the nomenclature rules for cultivated plants, cultivars (= cultivars) may only be called cultivars (English cultivars = cv. = Originated from "cultivated variety"). One phenomenon is that particularly old and widespread grape varieties are often over 100 Synonyms have, which often makes identification difficult. The same names do not have to indicate a relationship (see under Malvasia. Trebbiano and Vernaccia ).

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

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