Where do grape varieties — and the wines — we know of today come from? What saved European vineyards from almost extinction in the nineteen century? Why are we talking about 6000 to 8000 grape varieties but sometimes this number rises from 14000 to 20000? Sit down, relax, and explore the fascinating world of the botany of wine. Cheers!
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When, where and how did wine happen? In this video we’re traveling through space (Georgia—the country) and time (around 6000-9000 years ago) to discover how the grapevine was domesticated and the winemaking process created.
The wines presented are from Archil Guniava Wine Cellar, a small Georgian family winery in Kvaliti village, Imereti Georgia. Cheers!
Wine Botany is an holistic approach to wine, talking about the plant, its environment and human interventions before you can taste the wine in your glass. It is a great opportunity to talk about environment and health, as well as the wonderful traditions and culture of the places wine is from. Cheers !
(*) thanks to stonecropwines.com for the cover picture!
Whether your plants are outdoors or in containers, potting soil can make a huge difference. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your own potting soil mix to help your plants thrive.
Thursday November 8, 2018 – 6:30pm-8:30pm
@ The New York Botanical Garden, Edible Academy
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
At a time when environmental and health issues are in the news everyday, it is becoming obvious that eating and drinking healthier will benefit us as well as the planet.
We hear terms such as “natural”, “organic”, and “biodynamic” more and more in reference to wine, winegrowing and winemaking. But what do these words mean? Are these methods better than conventional viti/viniculture, and how? What is their impact on the environment and on our health? How do the resulting wines taste, and what is their future?
We will explore these questions and present the latest research on the subject during this new Wine Botany class at the New York Botanical Garden while tasting some of those natural wines. Join us as we dive into the fascinating ways these wines are made and discuss why these production methods are considered to be environmental and health solutions.
@ The New York Botanical Garden, Edible Academy
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
Welcome to the new Wine Botany classes at The New York Botanical Garden!
Wine is a fascinating drink made from all around the world with specificities from every place it is produced. Each class will consist of presenting the various environmental and human factors impacting all aspects of wine growing and wine making.
During each session we will compare (and taste of course!) two grape varieties and four wines coming from various part of the world to illustrate those concepts, at the beautiful newly opened NYBG Edible Academy. A great way to approach wine through a holistic view, to travel the world and to learn more about the botany of wine, its grape varieties and share winegrowers life in the vineyard. Cheers!
From NYBG: “Wine carries the flavor of the land where its grapes are grown— something the French call terroir. Regions where the same grape varieties grow differ in terms of climate and soil composition. This is partly why Chardonnay wines made in California will taste drastically different from those made in France, even though they are sourced from the same grape variety. Discuss terroir with botanist and oenophile Tremeur Arbor, while sipping samples on the deck of the newly opened New York Botanical Garden Edible Academy overlooking the Thain Family Forest and the Bronx River. Tremeur will pour different wines at each session and demonstrate the basics of wine tasting. No wine experience necessary! 21+”
About the presenter
Trémeur Arbor grew up in France, where he studied music, biology, and wine. Since moving to New York in 1998, he has worked in the food and wine industry, studied botany and herbalism, and graduated from the NYBG Botany certificate program. More recently, Trémeur created Wine Botany, which invites people to explore wine-from the plant and its terroir to its role in culture and lifestyle, and how the body reacts to its components. Through its comprehensive and holistic approach, Wine Botany cares for the planet, as well as for people’s health and wellness.
Where do grapevines come from? Can their diversity improve the resistance of grape cultivars to diseases? In a study from Cornell University–Genetic structure and domestication history of the grape–the authors support the archaeological origin of the grape, look at the relationship between its domesticated cultivars and its wild ancestor, and study its change in genetic diversity along its journey to the west, as well as how it can help finding approaches that can generate improved disease-resistant grape cultivars.
The grape, which has been domesticated since antiquity as species Vitis vinifera subsp. vinifera, is primarily processed into wine, but also as juice or consumed as table grapes. It is thought that its cultivation started 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East (in the South Caucasus between the Caspian and Black Seas, before spreading to Egypt around 5,000 years ago) from its wild ancestor, Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris. Since that time, the 10,000+ cultivars we know of today come from vegetative propagation and crosses.
This diversity, which vinifera retained at high levels since its domestication, remains relatively unexploited within an extended pedigree, and could be one solution to the various grape pathogens we witness these days, and which are subject to an extensive use of chemicals.
The authors deduct from this data that only a small number of cultivars were involved in grape breeding, and therefore that there are still a lot of possible genetic combinations that remains to be explored within vinifera due to the considerable genetic diversity which has been maintained in the grape during its long history of domestication. This concept of “hub”, pattern found in network theory in general, is represented here by a small number of cultivars being highly connected (while most cultivars have only one or two first degree connections), and representing the most used (and therefore ancient) cultivars for breeding.
Finally, the authors define the process of vegetative propagation during grape breeding as a “double-edged sword”: needed to produce quality wines by controlling genetic variability, it seems to have discouraged the breeding of new cultivars, which would at least explain partially why the worldwide grape industry is “dominated by cultivars sharing extensive coancestry” (among other factors such as diseases like phylloxera for instance).
The authors emphasize the usefulness of studies genetically characterizing the world’s germplasms collections (such as this one), and applying specific techniques (such as marker-assisted breeding) to improve the resistance of grape cultivars to diseases as well as developing an environmentally sustainable wine and grape industry.
The Wine Botany Manifesto
We believe in more knowledge. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that both oversimplifies and overcomplicates wine. We believe that everyone can enjoy wine—but it’s worth spending the time to learn about its complexities and how it’s made in order to gain a richer appreciation.
We are advocates for better wine drinking. When you take the step to learn more about wine, you open yourself up to more and better options. You can pinpoint your personal tastes, and choose higher-quality products that are better for your health and the environment.
We care for the planet and the people. The best wines come from a strong partnership between nature and people: a prosperous terroir + knowledgeable winemakers who respect the natural growing process. This is why we promote wines that care for the earth and its inhabitants.
We embrace a holistic approach to wine. We want to examine all aspects of wine—from grape cultivation and the winemaking process to environmental impact and the body’s reaction—and study how the different factors are interconnected and affect each other.
We strive for a better quality of life. Ultimately, we do what we do in order to improve our day-to-day lives. We want to share how truly good wine—as well as related topics of food, culture, and travel—can enrich our lives in small and big ways.
Wine Botany is an advocate for better wine drinking. Its mission is to help you enjoy wine to the fullest extent and to share how the wine creation process impacts your health.
Through its holistic approach to wine–which takes into consideration the whole instead of its parts independently–Wine Botany explores wine from the plant and its land—including its culture and lifestyle—to the winemaking and practical processes as well as how your body deals with its components.
Our goal is to not only help you identify the wines that match your tastes, but also the ones that are the most suitable for your health.