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What is viticulture?
Viticulture (Latin vitis vine + English culture) is derived from the Latin word vitis for grapevine. Viticulture is the scientific study of grapes and their cultivation for both wine production and raw consumption (table grapes).
Definition of viticulture
Definition by Merriam-Webster:"the cultivation or culture of grapes especially for wine making."
Definition by Dictionary.com: "the culture or cultivation of grapevines; grape-growing."
Viticulture is often confused or interchanged with words viniculture and oenology. Viniculture is the study and science of the culture of wine-grapes and the making of those grapes into wine. Oenology is specific to the study of winemaking and wine itself.
Viticulturist is the person involved in the production of grapes. His functions include nutrient and irrigation management, pest and disease control, canopy management and pruning vines, monitoring flowering and fruit development and finally timing and coordinating harvesting.
Economic importance of viticulture
Based on the expanse of area under cultivation and its economic value, grape growing is considered as one of the major fruit crops in the world. Wine is the major end product of grapes. Apart from use as raw table grapes, grape juice production and dried grapes are important by-products.
Brief history of viticulture
In Greek mythology, Dionysus was attributed with the invention of grapevine and winepress. Patrick E. McGovern (director of the Molecular Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Museum) in his book 'Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture' proposes modern-day Georgia and Armenia as the likely sites of the domestication of the Eurasian wine grape some 8,000 years ago.
From here, the viticulture spread to northwestern Iran at Hajji Firuz Tepe by 5400 B.C. "There is also evidence of grape domestication in the Near East in the early Bronze Age, around 3200 BC."
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