University of California

Outline of ampelography for the vinifera grapes in California


Frederic T. Bioletti

Author Affiliations

Frederic T. Bioletti was Professor of Viticulture, Emeritus.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 11(6):227-293. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v11n06p227. June 1938.

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The word “ampelography” by its derivation from ampelos—vine—and graphe—writing—means the description of vines. In actual modern usage it is usually confined to what may be called the horticultural description of grapes. It differs both in purpose and material from botanical description. The taxonomic botanist deals with species, each consisting of a group of like plants which are more similar to one another than to the members of any other species; the horticultural ampelographist deals principally with variations among seedlings of the same species.

The species of the botanist is a group of like individuals, usually seedlings; the variety of the ampelographist is a single individual—the clone—or the totality of all the plants derived by vegetative propagation from a single seedling3 and constituted therefore simply of parts of the same individual. The variations of the seedlings of a species in nature are comparatively rare and tend to disappear in competition with the type most suited to the environment. Under culture, any of these variations which are found desirable by man are propagated and preserved and in time may become very numerous.

In their Ampelographie, Viala and Vermorel4 list 24,000 names and synonyms of grapes representing about 5,000 varieties, derived principally from one species, Vitis vinifera.

Bioletti F. 1938. Outline of ampelography for the vinifera grapes in California. Hilgardia 11(6):227-293. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v11n06p227
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