The vine subgenus Vitis subg. Vitis is divided into an American, an Asian and a European group according to the geographic occurrence. The European group is probably due to the Ice Age only one species (species) Vitis vinifera , under which all wild and domesticated grape varieties of European grapevines are subsumed. The name literally means the "wine-bearing vine".
There are two subspecies below. Subspecies Vitis vinifera subspez. sylvestris is the wild strain of today's noble vines. It was already used prehistorically, but plays no role in today's viticulture. The second subspecies Vitis vinifera subspez. vinifera (outdated district Vitis vinifera ssp. sativa) is a cultivated breed gradually outgrown by man. Under this species are understood all about 10,000 cultivated European varieties, of which only a few hundred have meaning.
The wild subspecies is also often called Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris Gmelin (also called Rheinische Wildrebe). The surname "sylvestris" means "living in the wild". The last part of the name refers to the German botanist Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755), who separated these subspecies for the first time. This species is dioecious (dioecious); that is, there are male and female plants with unisexual flowers. The term "secondarily sexual" means that the species is originally sexually bisexual, but one sex is suppressed. Their area extends from the Caucasus to the southern Mediterranean and north to the Danubian floodplain Lobau Wien (Austria) and to Germany in the Rhine Valley.