Ampelography


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Ampelography

 

the science of the species and strains of grapes and of the laws governing the changes of their properties under environmental influences and deliberate human actions.

Ampelography arose as a separate branch of applied botany in the early 19th century. In 1873 an international commission of ampelography was set up in Vienna. The commission adopted a unified system for describing strains of grapes which was later adopted by all ampelographers. The science is divided into general and specialized ampelography. General ampelography studies the taxonomy of the grape family, the origin, spread, and changes of the various species and strains, and the methods of research. Specialized ampelography includes botanical description of grape strains and clones (genetically uniform vegetative progeny of one individual), their biological properties, and their economic use. Ampelography seeks to explain the scientific basis for the selection and strain regionalization of grapes, studies their spread to new regions, and devises methods for determining strains. In the USSR ampelographical research is conducted at industrial and agricultural vineyards and at experimental ampelography institutions. The Magarach All-Union Research Institute for Wine-making and Viticulture (Crimea, Yalta), which was founded in 1814, has one of the largest collections (as many as 1,000 strains). Systematic ampelographic research of the grape strains grown in the USSR has revealed the most valuable strains that were used in the regionalization of strains and in selection.

Academician S. I. Korzhinskii’s Ampelography of the Crimea was published in Russia in 1904 and 1910–11. The six-volume USSR Ampelography was published in 1946–56, and the four-volume USSR Ampelography (Rare Strains of Grapes) in 1962–67. Unlike previous works, the last two present a comprehensive description of each strain in all the regions where it grows. USSR Ampelography includes descriptions of more than 1,500 local and 1,000 imported strains of grape.

Work in ampelography is conducted in almost all countries that have viticulture and produce wine. Books on ampelography have been published in France (P. Viala and V. Vermorel, 1901–10), Italy (G. Molon, 1906), Hungary (S. Bulich, 1949), and other countries.

A. M. NEGRUL’

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Being a lover of old books, I especially appreciated the faithful reproduction of the watercolor paintings of bunches and leaves from the magnificent French ampelography by Viala and Vermorel, dating back to 1901.
The concept of combining commercial wine experience over an extensive geographical scale, with traditional ampelography and recent genetic studies is so truly comprehensive that it beggars comparison with any other.
Olmo says that at the time, Maynard Amerine, the famed university enologist who had little knowledge of ampelography, would often leave vine and fruit samples from around the state in brown paper bags on Olmo's desk, labeled only with the location of the vineyard from which they came.
She was graduated from the viticulture portion at Montpellier and translated Pierre Galet's ampelography into English.
Proceedings from the 1998 seminar and workshop on "Black Goo Symptoms of Occurrence of Grape Declines" are available from the International Ampelography Society (IAS).
For an ampelography of Viognier, the best place to look is in "Cepage et Vignobles de France (Volume II) L'Ampelographie Francaise.
In 1995 I plan to focus on new practical approaches to ampelography that marry classica ampelography with modern technology, and that include the identification of clones within a variety.
We are now doing extensive ampelography, identifying winemaking lots in the upper Douro.