Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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clone in a viticultural context is a single vine or a population of vines all derived by vegetative propagation from cuttings or buds from a single ‘mother vine’ by deliberate clonal selection.

Vine nurseries may sell a range of different clones of each vine variety, each with different attributes and characteristics and individually identified by numbers and/or names. In Germany, for example, there is a formal process of clonal evaluation and a systematic numbering system. Normally government agencies are involved in selection, evaluation, and distribution to nurserymen, and often the availability of clones and their acceptance varies regionally. Some clones are so outstanding that they become internationally distributed. Clones of Riesling from geisenheim in Germany are examples of this. In the 1990s, there was considerable interest in Burgundian (sometimes called Dijon) clones; see particularly chardonnay and pinot noir.