The incredible grape
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The Vitaceae or vine family has representatives in most parts of the world. It includes nearly 450 species, of which Vitis vinifera is without a doubt the most historically significant. After thousands of years of selection, this vining plant now provides us with a rich assortment of grapes for eating and wine making. Grapes are generally described as either white or black. White grapes are any shade between green and a transparent amber-yellow. Black grapes can range from red to deep blue-black. The taste of grapes has a lot to do with their skins; which can be tough or tender, and high or low in tannin content. Scent and flavor are both dependent to some extent on the area where the grapes are grown, vines being very sensitive to climate and soil. The more slowly they ripen, the richer their aroma. Grapes grown furthest from the Equator in both hemispheres are the most fragrant. Grapes originated in the Middle East/Western Asia, North, Central and South America, and
Vitis is by far the largest collection at the
Use GRIN Global to search for more information on Vitis and the accessions in the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS).
Questions about grapes should be directed to Bernie Prins
Links to non-federal grape related sites:
Some information for this page was obtained from: The Complete Book of Fruits. D. Pijpers, J.G. Constant, and K. Jansen. Gallery Books,
Actinidia (kiwifruit) Diospyros (persimmon) Ficus (fig) Juglans (walnut) Olea (olives) Morus (mulberry) Pistacia (pistachio) Prunus (peach, plum, apricot, cherry, almond, and related species) Punica (pomegranate) Vitis (grape)