Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Vitis, the genus of the plant kingdom which includes the vine (see botanical classification). Vitis is one of 14 genera in the family Vitaceae and contains in turn about 60 species. Centres of Vitis diversity are equally divided between the east and south east of North America and Asia, mainly in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere, with a few in the tropics. The most important species for wine production is the single European species (strictly, Eurasian) Vitis vinifera, often written V. vinifera, described in detail in vinifera.