Botanical Classification

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

botanical classification, a system of classifying plants—including vines, yeasts, and the organisms responsible for fungal diseases of the vine—which shows their relationship one to the other, and which also allows them to be uniquely described and identified. The basic unit of classification is the species; related species are sometimes grouped into genera (plural of genus); related genera into families; and related families into orders. In turn, species can be divided into subspecies, when different types have developed naturally, and into varieties, or occasionally cultivars (a contraction of cultivated variety), when different types have been selected by human hands. vine varieties can be further divided into three proles, according to their geographical origins. Different clones of individual varieties have also been selected. To summarize: