Vitis International Variety Catalogue

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The Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) is a database of various species and varieties/cultivars of grapevine, the genus Vitis . VIVC is administered by the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding (Institut für Rebenzüchtung Geilweilerhof) in Siebeldingen, Germany, and contains information from grapevine collections existing in various institutes of viticulture around the world. As of April 2009, the information in the database brought together information from 130 institutions located in 45 countries, [1] and contains about 18,000 entries. [2]

Database organized collection of data

A database is an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system. Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal design and modeling techniques.

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined.

In botanical nomenclature, variety is a taxonomic rank below that of species and subspecies, but above that of form. As such, it gets a three-part infraspecific name. It is sometimes recommended that the subspecies rank should be used to recognize geographic distinctiveness, whereas the variety rank is appropriate if the taxon is seen throughout the geographic range of the species.

The database was started in 1983, and has been available online since 1996. [3] Its initial creation was supported by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine and the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, a forerunner of Bioversity International. The purpose of the VIVC database is to provide documentation on available grapevine genetic resources, and to be a source of information to grape breeders, viticultural researchers and others.

International Organisation of Vine and Wine

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine is an intergovernmental organization which deals with technical and scientific aspects of viticulture and winemaking. The field of OIV includes grape production for all purposes, i.e. not just wine, but also table grapes and raisin production.

Bioversity International organization

Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization with a vision – that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet. The organization delivers scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural biodiversity to attain global food and nutrition security, working with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.

The information on grape cultivars in VIVC includes basic characteristics of the cultivars, holding institutes, passport data, and all known synonyms, which are quite numerous for many grape cultivars. In some cases, photos and genetic information (microsatellite information used for DNA profiling) are included.

DNA profiling small set of DNA variations that is very likely to be different in all unrelated individuals

DNA profiling is the process of determining an individual's DNA characteristics, which are as unique as fingerprints. DNA analysis intended to identify a species, rather than an individual, is called DNA barcoding.

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<i>Vitis rotundifolia</i> species of plant

Vitis rotundifolia, or muscadine, is a grapevine species native to the southeastern and south-central United States from Florida to Delaware, west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. It has been extensively cultivated since the 16th century. The plants are well adapted to their native warm and humid climate; they need fewer chilling hours than better known varieties and they thrive on summer heat.

Trousseau gris French grape variety made into white wine

Trousseau Gris is a French grape variety made into white wine. It is occasionally found in eastern France and was once widely grown in California under the name Gray Riesling. In cool climates it can produce fresh aromatic wines. It needs gentle handling and careful winemaking to bring out its best.

Duras (grape) varietal

Duras is a traditional French variety of red wine grape that is mostly grown around the river Tarn, northeast of Toulouse. It is usually blended with other traditional varieties, but production has been declining in recent years.

Susumaniello is a variety of red wine grape from the 'heel' of Italy. It is an ancient grape variety which is grown in the province of Brindisi in the southern Italian region of Apulia.

Blauburger is a red wine grape variety that is grown a little in Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. It should not be confused with Blauburgunder, which is an Austrian synonym for Pinot noir.

Beaunoir is a traditional French variety of red wine grape that is a sibling of Chardonnay. The 'beautiful black' grape produces a thin wine and not much is grown these days.

Dameron is a traditional French variety of red wine grape that is a sibling of Gamay. Its wines are somewhat weightier than Gamay, but it is disappearing from its traditional areas in northern France. Not much is grown in France these days.

Tinta Negra Mole

Tinta Negra Mole is a red Portuguese wine grape commonly used in the production of Madeira. It is the most widely planted variety on the island of Madeira and is considered the industry's "workhorse grape".

Bical (grape) white Portuguese grape

Bical is a white Portuguese wine grape planted primarily in the Bairrada region. It can produce high acid wines and is often used in sparkling wine production.

Cayetana varietal

Cayetana or Cayetana blanca is a white Spanish wine grape. It is grown mainly in the south of Spain, especially in the Denominación de Origen of Montilla-Moriles and in the region of Extremadura and in the Jerez region where it is often distilled for use in brandy production.

Fernão Pires varietal

Fernão Pires is a white Portuguese wine grape grown throughout Portugal, especially in the Tejo and Bairrada, where it is also known as "Maria Gomes". This variety is known to produce wines with a spicy aromatic character, though often with delicate exotic fruity notes. Generally not expected to be a long-living wine, this wine is best drunk in its infancy or matured for up to 2 or 3 years. Outside of Portugal there are some significant plantings in South Africa.

Baga (grape) varietal

Baga is a red Portuguese wine grape variety planted primarily in the Bairrada DOC. As a varietal, Baga produces tannic wines with high acidity.


Ramisco is a red Portuguese wine grape variety that is planted primarily in the Colares DOC. As a varietal, Ramisco produces very tannic and astringent wines.

Juan García is a minor Spanish red grape variety. It is found mainly in the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca and in the autonomous region of Galicia. It is an authorized variety in the Denominación de Origen of Arribes and the Ribeira Sacra.

Azal Tinto or Amaral is a variety of red Portuguese wine grape. It is planted in the Minho region where it is used in red Vinho Verde, while the related Azal Branco is used for white Vinho Verde.

Hebén is a very rare white grape variety grown for wine and table grapes in Spain. It is an ancient variety found to have originated as a table grape in North Africa as Gibi. It is the parent variety of a large number of grapes grown in the Iberian Peninsula and the wider Mediterranean. It has paired with Alfrocheiro to produce the rare Portuguese varieties Trincadeira das pratas, Tinta grossa, Castelão branco, and Malvasia fina, as well as the Spanish Allarén. With Muscat of Alexandria it has produced Moscatel nunes/Nuno gomes in Portugal and Moscatel de Angüés in Spain. In Spain, it has a parent relationship with some very widely grown varieties: Airén, Cayetana, Viura, Xarel·lo, and Pedro Ximénez. In total, around 60 offspring varieties have been identified. Its sparse bunches are an attribute that can be seen some in children varieties such as Pedro Ximénez and Xarello. It produces solely female flowers, unlike the majority of self-pollinating vinifera varieties grown for wine today.

Antão Vaz

Antão Vaz is a native Portuguese white wine grape variety. Genetic testing has shown it to be a cross of the white Cayetana blanca and the almost unknown red João Domingos, which is thought to be extinct in its native Portugal. It is grown primarily in the Alentejo region, with additional plantings around Lisbon and in the Península de Setúbal. It is vigorous and productive, and requires a hot climate. The thick skins on these large loosely packed grapes enable them to withstand high heat and dehydration. It produces complex, light yellow wines with citrus and tropical aromas. Depending on the time of harvest, the wines can range from very acidic to ripe and alcoholic.

Garró is a little-known native Spanish red wine grape variety close to extinction. It has historically been grown in Baix Ebre in Catalonia, as well as in Valencia, and other parts of eastern Spain.

Taferielt is an indigenous Moroccan wine, table, and raisin grape. It produces medium to very long clusters of dense, ellipsoid/obovoid, blue-black grapes. It is a parent, along with Jaen blanco, of the Moroccan variety Blanc de Rhafsaï.

Brustiano faux is an indigenous French wine grape that is no longer in cultivation in France as of 2010. The variety is currently preserved by the Centre de Ressources Biologiques de la Vigne, a division of the INRA in France.


  1. "Vitis International Variety Catalogue, Available Information". Institut für Rebenzüchtung Geilweilerhof. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  2. "Datenbanken Rebe" (in German). Institut für Rebenzüchtung Geilweilerhof. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  3. "Vitis International Variety Catalogue, History of the database". Institut für Rebenzüchtung Geilweilerhof. Retrieved 2010-07-01.