Thursday, June 04, 2015

Word of the Day -- Viticulture

Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production, and study of grapes. It deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture. It is a branch of the science of horticulture.

While the native territory of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, ranges from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea, the vine has demonstrated high levels of adaptability and will sometimes mutate to accommodate a new environment after its introduction. For this reason, viticulture can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

Duties of the viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, fertilizing, irrigation, canopy management, monitoring fruit development and characteristics, deciding when to harvest, and vine pruning during the winter months. Viticulturists are often intimately involved with winemakers, because vineyard management and the resulting grape characteristics provide the basis from which winemaking can begin. A great number of varieties are now approved in the European Union as true grapes for wine-growing and viticulture, because of better characteristics for diseases.

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