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Vitis Grapes.jpg
Scientific Classification

Grapes are fruiting vines that have been assigned the taxonomic Genus "Vitis". The fruits are small round or oblong shaped fruit usually 1/2" to 1" in diameter, and usually juicy with a thin smooth skin, except for when they are in the form of a raisin. Raisins are simply dried out grapes that have dark wrinkled skin. Grapes can be seeded or seedless and range in color from light green to dark blue or purple. The most popular use of grapes is for them to be fermented and used in wine. Over 50% of grapes are grown for this purpose. [1] [2] [3]


Grape fruit anatomy.png

Vitis are woody vines that climb. They are different than other Vitaceae in that their petals are joined at the tip and not attached at the base causing them to fall together forming a calyptra. Depending on the species, the leaves range from 2-10" and can be lobed or unlobed. The young vines (1 year old) have smooth bark, where as old vines have loose flaky bark. They produce flowers that are small at 1/8" which grow in clusters. Again, depending on the species, the number of flowers per cluster can range anywhere from 10-30 and in some cases over 100. [4] [5] [6]


Vitis are generally self-pollinated. This pollination is done mostly by the wind, and aided slightly by insects. The flowers are unisexual and each flower produces about 4 berries. The Vitis plant itself is usually set in the spring, with each plant spaced roughly 2.5m apart. Trellises are used for the vine to climb up, giving it something to grow upon. Cultivation should go no deeper than 10cm, and the plants must be pruned on a regular basis to yield the best results. [7] [8] [9]


Grapes can be grown almost anywhere in the world, the climate in which they can grow is one that is easily found all over the globe. Anywhere that has warm summers and winters that aren't very harsh can grow them. It is better if there is not much rain during the summer months, and rains in the winter instead. Also, humid climates are not very good for growing them in, because the humidity can cause diseases to grow rapidly. [10] [11] [12]


Field of grapes ripe for the picking just before harvest time.

In the United States, the grape industry is extremely large at nearly 3 billion dollars per year. Throughout the world there are over 90 countries that produce grapes. Almost 19 million acres are dedicated to farming grapes throughout the world. Most of the world's focus is on growing grapes for wine, whereas in the United States, our focus is more on table grapes. In terms of grape production, the top ten countries are (in no particular order) Italy, Turkey, France, Iran, Spain, Argentina, USA, Australia, China, and Chile. There are many different uses for grapes. Some of the most common are for wine, table grapes, raisins, juice, and jelly. [13] [14] [15]



  • [16] James A. Duke. Handbook of Energy Crops. 1983
  • [17] Unknown Author. Wikipedia. Last modified 4-10-2009
  • [18] Mark Rieger. Introduction to Fruit Crops.