Wine curiosities and varieties
Grapes are sweet little juicy fruits that grow on a woody grapevine. The grapevine belongs to the Vitaceae family. Grapes grow in clusters and they can be blue, black, golden, green, purple-red and white. They can be eaten raw or used for making grape juice, jelly, wine, and grape seed oil. Raisins are the dried fruit of the grapevine, and the name actually comes from the French word for "grape". Wild grapevines are often considered a “nuisance weed”, as they cover other plants with their usually rather aggressive growth.
It is known that there is a huge quantity of different grapes and wines. Some of the most known and used are listed above:
Vitis vinifera: It’s the European winemaking grapevine. Native to most places in Europe.
Vitis labrusca: The North American table and grape juice grapevines, sometimes used for wine. There can be found in Canada and the Eastern U.S.A.
Vitis riparia: a wild vine of North America, sometimes used for winemaking and for some jam. It grows, generally in the Eastern U.S. north to Quebec.
Vitis rotundifolia: Also known and “muscadines”, used for jams and wine. Easily found in the Southeastern U.S.A. from places like Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico.
Vitis aestivalis: the variety “Norton” is used for winemaking
Vitis lincecumii: AKA Vitis aestivalis or Vitis lincecumii), Vitis berlandieri (also called Vitis cinerea var. helleri), Vitis cinerea, Vitis rupestris are employed for making hybrid grapevines and for Pest-Resistant Rootstocks.
Vitis arizonica: A desert grapevine found, commonly, in the southwestern US and it is used for wines.
Vitis californica: A quite much important grapevine to the Californian wine industry, due to its rootstock which is able to withstand pests and cooler weather. Native to California and Oregon.
Vitis vulpina Frost Grape: Found on the Midwest east to the coast up through New York.
There are many varieties of grapevines; most are cultivars of V. vinifera.
According to the "Food and Agriculture Organization"(FAO), 75866 square KM of the world is dedicated to grapes and grapevine culture. Approximately 71% of grape world production is used for wine, 27% just as fresh fruit and 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be used as a “sweetener” for canned fruits "with no added sugar" and "100% natural". The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year.