.... wine that maketh glad the heart of man ... (Psalm 104:15 KJV)




pronounced: vee-TAY-see-eye

the grape family


The type genus is Vitis, the Latin word for the grape. Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is the most notable member of the family. The grape vine originated between the Caspian and Black Seas in Asia Minor, and is one of the longest cultivated plants, especially the wine-producing varieties. There are records of grape production as far back as 2440 BC. There are many varieties (over 5,000 varieties of wine grapes), and the frontiers of wine-production have been pushed further and further from the temperate zones even into sub-tropical regions like southern Queensland, and into colder regions like England, where there has been a significant wine-growing industry since the times of the Roman occupation. There are about 14 other genera in the family, including some ornamental climbers in Ampelopsis, Cissus, and Tetrastigma, and some highly regarded medicinal plants.