France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, juice, grape seed extract, raisins and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit occurring in clusters; the cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine; the earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia. The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC. By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East, thus it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, history attests to the ancient Greeks and Romans growing purple grapes for both eating and wine production.
The growing of grapes would spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, in North America. In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the genus Vitis proliferate in the wild across the continent, were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by early European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. In the 19th century, Ephraim Bull of Concord, cultivated seeds from wild Vitis labrusca vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States. Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, can be crimson, dark blue, green and pink. "White" grapes are green in color, are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.
Grapes are an ellipsoid shape resembling a prolate spheroid. Most grapes come from cultivars of Vitis vinifera, the European grapevine native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Minor amounts of fruit and wine come from American and Asian species such as: Vitis amurensis, the most important Asian species Vitis labrusca, the North American table and grape juice grapevines, sometimes used for wine, are native to the Eastern United States and Canada. Vitis mustangensis, found in Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma Vitis riparia, a wild vine of North America, is sometimes used for winemaking and for jam, it is native to the entire Eastern U. S. and north to Quebec. Vitis rotundifolia used for jams and wine, are native to the Southeastern United States from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned "with no added sugar" and "100% natural".
The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year. There are no reliable statistics, it is believed that the most planted variety is Sultana known as Thompson Seedless, with at least 3,600 km2 dedicated to it. The second most common variety is Airén. Other popular varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. Commercially cultivated grapes can be classified as either table or wine grapes, based on their intended method of consumption: eaten raw or used to make wine. While all of them belong to the same species, Vitis vinifera and wine grapes have significant differences, brought about through selective breeding. Table grape cultivars tend to have large, seedless fruit with thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller seeded, have thick skins. Wine grapes tend to be sweet: they are harvested at the time when their juice is 24% sugar by weight. By comparison, commercially produced "100% grape juice", made from table grapes, is around 15% sugar by weight.
Seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction, it is an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques. There are several sources of the seedlessness trait, all commercial cultivators get it from one of three sources: Thompson Seedless, Russian Seedless, Black Monukka, all being cultivars of Vitis vinifera. There are more than a dozen varieties of seedless grapes. Several, such as Einset Seedless, Benjamin Gunnels's Prime seedless grapes and Venus, have been cultivated for hardiness and quality in the cold climates of northeastern United States and southern Ontario. An offset to the improved eating quality of seedlessness is the loss of potential health benefits provided by the enriched phytochemical conten
In biology, a mutation is the permanent alteration of the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA or other genetic elements. Mutations result from errors during DNA replication or other types of damage to DNA, which may undergo error-prone repair, or cause an error during other forms of repair, or else may cause an error during replication. Mutations may result from insertion or deletion of segments of DNA due to mobile genetic elements. Mutations may or may not produce discernible changes in the observable characteristics of an organism. Mutations play a part in both normal and abnormal biological processes including: evolution and the development of the immune system, including junctional diversity; the genomes of RNA viruses are based on RNA rather than DNA. The RNA viral genome can be double single stranded. In some of these viruses replication occurs and there are no mechanisms to check the genome for accuracy; this error-prone process results in mutations.
Mutation can result in many different types of change in sequences. Mutations in genes can either have no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Mutations can occur in nongenic regions. One study on genetic variations between different species of Drosophila suggests that, if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, the result is to be harmful, with an estimated 70 percent of amino acid polymorphisms that have damaging effects, the remainder being either neutral or marginally beneficial. Due to the damaging effects that mutations can have on genes, organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to prevent or correct mutations by reverting the mutated sequence back to its original state. Mutations can involve the duplication of large sections of DNA through genetic recombination; these duplications are a major source of raw material for evolving new genes, with tens to hundreds of genes duplicated in animal genomes every million years.
Most genes belong to larger gene families of shared ancestry. Novel genes are produced by several methods through the duplication and mutation of an ancestral gene, or by recombining parts of different genes to form new combinations with new functions. Here, protein domains act as modules, each with a particular and independent function, that can be mixed together to produce genes encoding new proteins with novel properties. For example, the human eye uses four genes to make structures that sense light: three for cone cell or color vision and one for rod cell or night vision. Another advantage of duplicating a gene is. Other types of mutation create new genes from noncoding DNA. Changes in chromosome number may involve larger mutations, where segments of the DNA within chromosomes break and rearrange. For example, in the Homininae, two chromosomes fused to produce human chromosome 2. In evolution, the most important role of such chromosomal rearrangements may be to accelerate the divergence of a population into new species by making populations less to interbreed, thereby preserving genetic differences between these populations.
Sequences of DNA that can move about the genome, such as transposons, make up a major fraction of the genetic material of plants and animals, may have been important in the evolution of genomes. For example, more than a million copies of the Alu sequence are present in the human genome, these sequences have now been recruited to perform functions such as regulating gene expression. Another effect of these mobile DNA sequences is that when they move within a genome, they can mutate or delete existing genes and thereby produce genetic diversity. Nonlethal mutations increase the amount of genetic variation; the abundance of some genetic changes within the gene pool can be reduced by natural selection, while other "more favorable" mutations may accumulate and result in adaptive changes. For example, a butterfly may produce offspring with new mutations; the majority of these mutations will have no effect. If this color change is advantageous, the chances of this butterfly's surviving and producing its own offspring are a little better, over time the number of butterflies with this mutation may form a larger percentage of the population.
Neutral mutations are defined as mutations whose effects do not influence the fitness of an individual. These can increase in frequency over time due to genetic drift, it is believed that the overwhelming majority of mutations have no significant effect on an organism's fitness. DNA repair mechanisms are able to mend most changes before they become permanent mutations, many organisms have mechanisms for eliminating otherwise-permanently mutated somatic cells. Beneficial mutations can improve reproductive success. Mutationism is one of several alternatives to evolution by natural selection that have existed both before and after the publication of Charles Darwin's 1859 book, On the Origin of Species. In the theory, mutation was the source of novelty
Basque Country (greater region)
The Basque Country is the name given to the home of the Basque people. The Basque country is located in the western Pyrenees, straddling the border between France and Spain on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. Euskal Herria is the oldest documented Basque name for the area they inhabit, dating from the 16th century, it comprises the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and the Northern Basque Country in France. The region is home to the Basque people, their language and traditions; the area is neither linguistically nor culturally homogeneous, certain areas have a majority of people who do not consider themselves Basque, such as the south of Navarre. The name in Basque is Euskal Herria; the name is difficult to translate into other languages due to the wide range of meanings of the Basque word herri. It can be translated as nation; the first part, Euskal, is the adjectival form of Euskara "the Basque language". Thus a more literal translation would be "country/nation/people/settlement of the Basque language", a concept difficult to render into a single word in most other languages.
The two earliest references are in Joan Perez de Lazarraga's manuscript, dated around 1564–1567 as eusquel erria and eusquel erriau and heuscal herrian and Heuscal-Herrian in Joanes Leizarraga's Bible translation, published in 1571. The term Basque Country refers to a collection of regions inhabited by the Basque people, known as Euskal Herria in Basque language, it is first attested as including seven traditional territories in Axular's literary work Gero, in the early 17th century; some Basques refer to the seven traditional districts collectively as Zazpiak Bat, meaning "The Seven One", a motto coined in the late 19th century. The Northern Basque Country, known in Basque as Iparralde is the part of the Basque Country that lies within France as part of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques départment of France, as such it is usually known as French Basque Country. In most contemporary sources it covers the arrondissement of Bayonne and the cantons of Mauléon-Licharre and Tardets-Sorholus, but sources disagree on the status of the village of Esquiule.
Within these conventions, the area of Northern Basque Country is 2,995 square kilometres. The French Basque Country is traditionally subdivided into three provinces: Labourd, historical capital Ustaritz, main settlement today Bayonne Lower Navarre, historical capitals Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Saint-Palais, main settlement today Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Soule, historical capital Mauléon However, this summary presentation makes it hard to justify the inclusion of a few communes in the lower Adour region; as emphasized by Jean Goyhenetche, it would be more accurate to depict it as the reunion of five entities: Labourd, Lower Navarre, Soule but Bayonne and Gramont. The Southern Basque Country, known in Basque as Hegoalde is the part of the Basque region that lies within Spain, as such it is also known as Spanish Basque Country, it is the largest and most populated part of the Basque Country. It includes two main regions: the Basque Autonomous Community and the Chartered Community of Navarre; the Basque Autonomous Community consists of three provinces designated "historical territories": Álava Biscay Gipuzkoa The Chartered Community of Navarre is a single-province autonomous community.
Its name refers to the Fueros of Navarre. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 states that Navarre may become a part of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country if it is so decided by its people and institutions. To date, there has been no implementation of this law. Despite demands for a referendum by minority leftist forces and Basque nationalists in Navarre, it has been opposed by mainstream Spanish parties and Navarrese People's Union; the latter has asked for an amendment to the Constitution to remove this clause. In addition to those, two enclaves located outside of the respective autonomous community are cited as being part of both the Basque Autonomous Community and the Basque Country: The Treviño enclave, a Castilian enclave in Álava Valle de Villaverde, a Cantabrian exclave in Biscay Navarre holds two small administrative strips in Aragon, organised as Petilla de Aragón; the Basque Country region is dominated by a warm and wet oceanic climate and the coastal area is part of Green Spain and by extension it affects Bayonne and Biarritz as well.
Inland areas in Navarre and the southern regions of the autonomous community are transitional with continental mediterranean climate with somewhat larger temperature swings between seasons. The list only sources locations in Spain, but Bayonne/Biarritz have a similar climate as nearby Hondarribia on the Spanish side of the border; the values do not apply to San Sebastián since its weather station is at a higher elevation than the urban core where temperatures are higher year-round and similar to those in Bilbao and Hon
Gros Manseng is a white wine grape variety, grown in South West France, is part of the Manseng family. It produces dry wines in the Béarn regions of Southwest France. In Gascony it is permitted in the Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Appellation d'origine contrôlée, in the Côtes de Gascogne and in the Floc de Gascogne. While the grape vines of Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng look similar to each other, there are distinct differences. Gros Manseng's berries are less susceptible to coulure; the vine produces much higher yields but the resulting wine is less elegant and rich than wine made from Petit Manseng. On its own, Gros Manseng has the potential to produce intensely flavored wines with high acidity and quince fruit along with spicy and floral notes; the time of harvest will play a large role in the type of wine. When it is picked at a potential alcohol level of 11.5-12%, the resulting wine will have more characteristics of fresh fruit and flowers. If picked at a potential alcohol content of 12.5-13.5, the flavors will be much more intense and powerful.
Despite its thick skin, the grape does need gentle handling in the winemaking process. Unlike many wine grapes, the juice of the Gros Manseng is grey in color which means that it is prone to produce golden colored wines with minimal skin contact. If the grapes are pressed too or the grapes are left in extended contact with the skins, the resulting wine will be coarse with excessive levels of tannins and polyphenols; some winemakers are experimenting with making botrytized wine aged in oak that have drawn favorable comparisons to made wine from Sémillon. That style wine is prized for its food matching ability with foie gras. Gros Manseng is known under the synonyms Gros Mansenc Blanc, Gros Manseng Blanc, Ichiriota Zuria Handia, Ichiriota Zuriahandla, Manseng Gros Blanc, Petit-Mansenc
The Muscat family of grapes includes over 200 grape varieties belonging to the Vitis vinifera species that have been used in wine production and as raisin and table grapes around the globe for many centuries. Their colors range from white, to pink to near black. Muscat grapes and wines always have a pronounced sweet floral aroma; the breadth and number of varieties of Muscat suggest that it is the oldest domesticated grape variety, there are theories that most families within the Vitis vinifera grape variety are descended from the Muscat variety. Among the most notable members of the Muscat family are Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, the primary grape variety used in the production of the Italian sparkling wine Asti made in the Piedmont region, it is used in the production of many of the French fortified wines known as vin doux naturels. In Australia, this is the main grape used in the production of Liqueur Muscat, from the Victorian wine region of Rutherglen. Young and unfortified examples of Muscat blanc tend to exhibit the characteristic Muscat "grapey" aroma as well as citrus and peach notes.
Fortified and aged examples tend to be dark in color due to oxidation with aroma notes of coffee, fruit cake and toffee. Muscat of Alexandria is another Muscat variety used in the production of French vin doux naturel, but it is found in Spain, where it is used to make many of the fortified Spanish Moscatels. Elsewhere it is used to make off-dry to sweet white wines labeled as Moscato in Australia and South Africa. In Alsace and parts of Central Europe, Muscat Ottonel is used to produce dry and perfumed wines. Theories about the origins of Muscat grapes date ancestors of the varieties back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians of early antiquity while some ampelographers, such as Pierre Galet, believe that the family of Muscat varieties were propagated during the period of classical antiquity by the Greeks and Romans. However, while domestic wine production had a long history in ancient Egypt and Persia and classical writers such as Columella and Pliny the Elder did describe "muscat-like" grape varieties such as Anathelicon Moschaton and Apianae that were sweet and attractive to bees, there is no solid historical evidence that these early wine grapes were members of the Muscat family.
The first documented mention of grapes called "muscat" was in the works of the English Franciscan scholar Bartholomeus Anglicus who wrote of wine made from Muscat grapes in his work De proprietatibus rerum written between 1230 and 1240 while Anglicus was studying in what is now modern Saxony in Germany. Anglicus' Latin work was translated into French in 1372 with the wine being described by Anglicus as "vin extrait de raisins muscats"; because the exact origins of the Muscat family cannot be pinpointed, the theories as to the origins of the name "Muscat" are numerous. The most cited belief is the name is derived from the Persian word muchk. Similar etymology follows Latin muscus and French musc. In Italy, the Italian word mosca for fly could be one possibility with the sweet aroma and high sugar levels of Muscat grapes being a common attractant for insects such as fruit flies. Other theories suggest that the grape family originated in the Arabian country of Oman and was named after the city of Muscat located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman.
Another city, sometimes suggested as a potential birthplace/namesake is the Greek city of Moschato, located southwest of Athens in Attica with Moschato being a common synonym in Greece for Muscat varieties. Of the more than 200 grape varieties sharing "Muscat" in their name, the majority are not related to each other; the exception are the members of the Muscat blanc à Petits Muscat of Alexandria families. In the early 21st century, DNA analysis showed that Muscat of Alexandria was, itself, a natural crossing of Muscat blanc à Petits Grains and a black-skinned table grape variety from the Greek islands known as Axina de Tres Bias. Seen outside of Greece, Axina de Tres Bias is grown in Malta and Sardinia. Muscat blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria, have crossed and have produced at least 14 different grape varieties, 5 of which are cultivated in South America and 9 still found in Italy though none are of major use in wine production. More notable and planted offspring have come from Muscat blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria crossing with other grape varieties, such as the Argentine wine grapes of Cereza, Torrontés Riojano and Torrontés Sanjuanino, stemming from a cross of Muscat of Alexandria with "Listán negro" Muscat of Alexandria has been crossed with the German / Italian wine grape Trollinger to produce Muscat of Hamburg and Malvasia del Lazio, with the Italian wine grapes Catarratto bianco and Bombino bianco to produce the Marsala wine grape Grillo and Moscatello Selvatico, respectively.
Muscat Ottonel is the result of a crossing between one Muscat variety, "Muscat d'Eisenstadt", with the Swiss wine grape ChasselasMuscat blanc à Petits Grains has been identified as one of the parent grapes of several varieties, though with which crossing partner is unknown. These include the Italian wine grapes Aleatico, Moscato Giallo, Moscato rosa del Trentino and Moscato di Scanzo. DNA analysis was able to identify t