Resources? Identifying Wine Grape Varieties

Discussion in 'Grapes and Grape Vines' started by Sharon S, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Sharon S

    Sharon S Member

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    I have just helped friends prune over 50 vines of wine grapes at their recently purchased home in Sacramento, CA. Unknown varieties, at least two different I could tell by differences in the spurs and vines. Anyone know of good (narrowed) online source to search for pictures of leaves and eventually grape clusters to help us identify or narrow down the possibilities. So far I'm guessing Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Last year's "raisens" : small sized grape bunches, similar cluster type but some with two seeds, others with single seed. Thanks for recommendations- Sharon S
     
  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Not exactly "narrow" but try this:

    http://www.genres.de/idb/vitis/
    Vitis International Variety Catalogue

    Select "Prime Name" in the first search box and select your most likely suspects.

    Ralph
     
  3. Sharon S

    Sharon S Member

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    Thank you Ralph, for the website you recommended. I really appreciate your expertise and responses. My "layered" vine starts from last year are looking healthy with new sprouts, and ready to plant.
    I can see I will need to spend some time at the website making guesses and looking at the leaves more closely as they mature, and then the grape clusters later in the year. First look at pictures aren't quite same as what I saw on the vines. - Sharon S
     
  4. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Ralph, thanks for the link, but are there only a very few pictures of most varieties?. - Millet
     
  5. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Unfortunately yes. Most are illustrated by a growing tip, a mature leaf, and a bunch. As most will know, there can be large variations even from the same plant, but these photos are supposed to be "representative". If you read the description for instance of the growing tip being hairy on the underside then you would expect most to be hairy, but you might find some that were less so. Another factor can be nutrition, where a leaf margin is typically turned under in a given variety, some deficiencies can give the same effect and lead you astray in your quest to identify.

    I use the genres site photos along with Galet's "Ampelography" descriptions to confirm an identity I am already 99% sure of, but if someone handed me a chunk of a vine and a bunch of grapes I'd have to allow a rather large margin for error. Fortunately for the mysteries of life, it takes dedication and a lot of experience and the "gift" to get really good at this (and a lot of other things too).

    Ralph
     

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