Vitis Vinifera, a.k.a. Wine Grapevine
Vitis vinifera, known as the grapevine, is the largest fruiting crop in the world.
But what exactly does Vitis vinifera mean?
Let's break these words down.
Vitis means vineyard grape.
Vitis is the genus of the plant kingdom that includes grapevines. There are approximately 65 native species of Vitis, the most famous of which is Vitis vinifera.
Vitis has been around for so long that fossilized grape leaves, stems, and seeds were unearthed from deposits up to 66 million years old!
Vinifera means wine-producing.
So Vitis vinifera is the grape variety used to make wine and it includes the most well-known wine grapes such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling. It produces both red and white varietal grapes.
Vitis vinifera is a woody, deciduous vine that can climb to the treetops or sprawl horizontally in shrubs. Plants grown for grape production are pruned. Grapes can vary in size, form and color, and are grown mainly for winemaking.
Vitis vinifera is native to southwestern Asia and it spread over time throughout much of Europe.