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Vitis (grapevines) is a genus of about 60 species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hemisphere. It is economically important as the source of grapes, both for direct consumption of the fruit and for fermentation to produce wine. Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture. It is one branch of the science of horticulture.
The grape vine (typically Vitis vinifera) has been used as a symbol since ancient times. In Greek mythology, Dionysius (and with the Romans Bacchus) was god of the vintage and, therefore, a grape vine with bunches of the fruit are among their attributes. Their attendants on the Bacchanalian festivals - the Bacchanals - hence had the vine as an attribute, together with the thyrsus, the latter often entwined with vine branches.
February 10th, 2012
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