Wine and food matching
Wine and food matching is the process of pairing food dishes with wine to enhance the dining experience. In many cultures, wine has had a long history of being a staple at the dinner table and in some ways both the winemaking and culinary traditions of a region will have evolved together over the years. Rather than following a set of rules, local cuisines were paired with local wines; the modern "art" of food pairings is a recent phenomenon, fostering an industry of books and media with guidelines for pairings of particular foods and wine. In the restaurant industry, sommeliers are present to make food pairing recommendations for the guest; the main concept behind pairings is that certain elements in both food and wine interact with each other, thus finding the right combination of these elements will make the entire dining experience more enjoyable. However and enjoyment are subjective and what may be a "textbook perfect" pairing for one taster could be less enjoyable to another. While there are many books and websites with detailed guidelines on how to pair food and wine, most food and wine experts believe that the most basic element of food and wine pairing is understanding the balance between the "weight" of the food and the weight of the wine.
Heavy, robust wines like Cabernet Sauvignon can overwhelm a light, delicate dish like a quiche, while light-bodied wines like Pinot Grigio would be overwhelmed by a hearty stew. Beyond weight and textures can either be contrasted or complemented. From there a food and wine pairing can take into consideration the sugar, acid and tannins of the wine and how they can be accentuated or minimized when paired with certain types of food. Wine has had a long history of being served as an accompaniment to food; the early history of wine has it origins as another dietary staple and a beverage, more sanitary than the local water supply. There is little evidence that much serious thought was given to pairing particular dishes to particular wines with most whatever wine was available being used. However, as culinary traditions in a region developed, so too did local winemaking tradition. Many pairings that are considered "classics" today emerged from the centuries-old relationship between a region's cuisine and their wines.
In Europe, lamb was a staple meat of the diet for many areas. The red wines of regions such as Bordeaux, Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Provence are considered classic pairings with the lamb dishes found in the local cuisines of those regions. In Italy, the intimate connection between food and wine is embedded in the culture and is exemplified by the country's wine. Italians dined without wine and a region's wine was crafted to be "food friendly" with bright acidity. While some Italian wines may seem tannic, lean or tart by themselves they will show a different profile when paired with boldly flavored Italian foods. There have been some historical anecdotes that have related to food and wine pairing before modern times. One anecdote attributed to British wine merchants is "Buy on an apple and sell on cheese" meaning that if a wine tastes good when paired with a raw, uncooked apple it must be good and pairing any wine with cheese will make it more palatable to the average consumer and easier to sell.
The principles behind this anecdote lies in the food pairing properties of cheeses. Fruits that are high in sugar and acidity can make wines taste thin bodied. In contrast, hard cheeses such as cheddar can soften the tannins in wines and make them taste fuller and fruitier. Another historical anecdote, still repeated today, is "White wine with fish; the root of this adage rests on the principle of matching the body of the wine with the weight of the food. Meat was heavier and "red" in color so it was assumed that a red wine paired better. Fish was light and "white" in color so it was paired with white wine; this adage has become outdated somewhat due to the variety of wine styles prevalent in modern winemaking where there are now many "heavy" white wines such as "New World" oaky Chardonnay that can have more body than lighter reds such as Pinot noir or Italian Merlots. Another older idea was "to pair strong cheeses with strong wines," for example, asiago, a flavored cheese, with zinfandel, a dark red wine with fruit tones.
In recent years, the popularity and interest in food and wine pairings have increased and taken on new connotations. Industries have sprung up with print publications and media dedicated to expounding on the principles and ideals of pairing the perfect wine with the perfect dish. In the restaurant industry, there is a dedicated individual or staff of sommeliers who are trained to recommend wine pairings with the restaurant's fare; the origins of this recent phenomenon can be traced to the United States in the 1980s when the wine industry began to advertise wine-drinking as a component of dining rather than as just an alcoholic beverage meant for consumption and intoxication. Winemakers started to emphasize the kind of food dishes that their wines would go well with, some printing pairing suggestions on back wine labels. Food magazines began to suggest particular wines with recipes and restaurants would offer multi-course dinners matched with a specific wine for each course. Today there are multiple sources for detailed tips on food and wine pairing.
But many wine drinkers select wine pairings based on instinct, the mood of the meal or a desire to drink a particular w
Province of La Spezia
The Province of La Spezia is a province in the Liguria region of Italy. Its capital is the city of La Spezia, it has an area of 881 square kilometres and, a total population of 220,225 inhabitants. There are 32 communes in the province (source: Italian institute of statistics IstatIn the province of La Spezia are the Cinque Terre and the Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More in this area are the villages of Brugnato, Montemarcello and Varese Ligure, which were included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy. In addition, the Province of La Spezia is one of the institutions awarded with the Gold Medal for Military Valour for the sacrifices of its people and its activities in the partisan struggle during the Second World War. Railways The Province of La Spezia is well connected to the whole Italian territory by the Italian Railways. Two main lines cross the territory: the "Tirrenica" line linking the province to Genoa and Rome, the "Pontremolese" line that goes in the direction of Parma.
There are regular trains that connect the province with the main Italian cities, including: Milan, Florence, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Naples and Ventimiglia. Airports In the province there is the airport of Luni, used only by general aviation; the nearest airports with international and intercontinental connections are: Pisa airport, the airport of Genoa, Milan Malpensa airport. Motorways There are two motorways; the A12 motorway which connects the province with Genoa and Livorno, the A15 motorway, which connects La Spezia to Parma. Wikipedia in the Ligurian language Official Website "Tuttifrutti" in the Province of La Spezia Official page of tourism in Liguria Tuttitalia
A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown for winemaking, but raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture. A vineyard is characterised by its terroir, a French term loosely translating as "a sense of place" that refers to the specific geographical and geological characteristics of grapevine plantations, which may be imparted in the wine; the earliest evidence of wine production dates from between 6000 and 5000 BC. Wine making technology improved with the ancient Greeks but it wasn't until the end of the Roman Empire that cultivation techniques as we know them were common throughout Europe. In medieval Europe the Church was a staunch supporter of wine, necessary for the celebration of the Mass. During the lengthy instability of the Middle Ages, the monasteries maintained and developed viticultural practices, having the resources, security and interest in improving the quality of their vines, they owned and tended the best vineyards in Europe and vinum theologium was considered superior to all others.
European vineyards were planted with a wide variety of the Vitis vinifera grape. However, in the late 19th century, the entire species was nearly destroyed by the plant louse phylloxera accidentally introduced to Europe from North America. Native American grapevines include varieties such as Vitis labrusca, resistant to the bug. Vitis vinifera varieties were saved by being grafted onto the rootstock of Native American varieties, although there is still no remedy for phylloxera, which remains a danger to any vineyard not planted with grafted rootstock; the quest for vineyard efficiency has produced a bewildering range of systems and techniques in recent years. Due to the much more fertile New World growing conditions, attention has focussed on managing the vine's more vigorous growth. Innovation in palissage and pruning and thinning methods have replaced more general, traditional concepts like "yield per unit area" in favor of "maximizing yield of desired quality". Many of these new techniques have since been adopted in place of traditional practice in the more progressive of the so-called "Old World" vineyards.
Other recent practices include spraying water on vines to protect them from sub-zero temperatures, new grafting techniques, soil slotting, mechanical harvesting. Such techniques have made possible the development of wine industries in New World countries such as Canada. Today there is increasing interest in developing organic, ecologically sensitive and sustainable vineyards. Biodynamics has become popular in viticulture; the use of drip irrigation in recent years has expanded vineyards into areas which were unplantable. For well over half a century, Cornell University, the University of California and California State University, among others, have been conducting scientific experiments to improve viticulture and educate practitioners; the research includes investigating pest control. The International Grape Genome Program is a multi-national effort to discover a genetic means to improving quality, increasing yield and providing a "natural" resistance to pests; the implementation of mechanical harvesting is stimulated by changes in labor laws, labor shortages, bureaucratic complications.
It can be expensive to hire labor for short periods of time, which does not square well with the need to reduce production costs and harvest often at night. However small vineyards, incompatible widths between rows of grape vines and steep terrain hinder the employment of machine harvesting more than the resistance of traditional views which reject such harvesting. Numbers of New World vineyard plantings have been increasing as fast as European vineyards are being uprooted. Between 1990 and 2003, the number of U. S. vineyards increased from 1,180 to 3,860 km2 or 292,000 to 954,000 acres, while Australian vineyard numbers more than doubled from 590 to 1,440 km2 and Chilean vineyards grew from 654 to 1,679 km2. The size of individual vineyards in the New World is significant. Europe's 1.6 million vineyards are an average of 0.2 km2 each, while the average Australian vineyard is 0.5 km2, providing considerable economies of scale. Exports to Europe from New World growers increased by 54% in the six years up to 2006.
There have been significant changes in the kinds of grapes that are grown. For example, in Chile, large areas of low-quality grapes have been replaced with such grapes as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Argentina, due to an economic down-turn, acreage of Malbec was reduced in the 1980s, but in the 1990s, during the quality revolution incited by Malbec Pioneer Nicolás Catena Zapata, growers started planting more Malbec, most notably in higher altitudes where cooler temperatures and more intense sunlight yields more concentrated yet smoother and more complex malbecs. Grape changes are in response to changing consumer demand but sometimes result from vine pull schemes designed to promote vineyard change. Alternatively, the development of "T" budding now permits the grafting of a different grape variety onto existing rootstock in the vineyard, making it possible to switch varieties within a two-year period. Local legislation dictates which varieties are selected, how they are grown, whether vineyards can be irrigated and when grapes can be harvested, all of which in serves to rein
Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2. Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is 13 kilometres from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region; the city is nicknamed Nice la Belle, which means Nice the Beautiful, the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory.
Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, was part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia until its re-annexation by France in 1860; the natural environment of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winters there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais owes its name to visitors to the resort; the clear air and soft light have appealed to notable painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year.
It has the third busiest airport in France, after the two main Parisian ones. It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice; the first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years. Nice was founded around 350 BC by the Greeks Phoceans of Massalia, was given the name of Nikaia in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; the city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, now a district of Nice. In the 7th century, Nice joined. In 729 the city repulsed the Saracens. During the Middle Ages, Nice participated in the wars and history of Italy; as an ally of Pisa it was the enemy of Genoa, both the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor endeavoured to subjugate it. During the 13th and 14th centuries the city fell more than once into the hands of the Counts of Provence, but it regained its independence though related to Genoa; the medieval city walls surrounded the Old Town. The landward side was protected by the River Paillon, covered over and is now the tram route towards the Acropolis.
The east side of the town was protected by fortifications on Castle Hill. Another river flowed into the port on the east side of Castle Hill. Engravings suggest that the port area was defended by walls. Under Monoprix in Place de Garibaldi are excavated remains of a well-defended city gate on the main road from Turin. In 1388 the commune placed itself under the protection of the Counts of Savoy. Nice participated – directly or indirectly – in the history of Savoy until 1860; the maritime strength of Nice now increased until it was able to cope with the Barbary pirates. In 1561 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy abolished the use of Latin as an administrative language and established the Italian language as the official language of government affairs in Nice. During the struggle between Francis I and Charles V great damage was caused by the passage of the armies invading Provence. In 1538, in the nearby town of Villeneuve-Loubet, through the mediation of Pope Paul III, the two monarchs concluded a ten years' truce.
In 1543, Nice was attacked by the united Franco-Ottoman forces of Francis I and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, in the Siege of Nice. Pestilence appeared again in 1550 and 1580. In 1600, Nice was taken by the Duke of Guise. By opening the ports of the county to all nations, proclaiming full freedom of trade, the commerce of the city was given great stimulu
Viticulture or winegrowing is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, ranges from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea, the vine has demonstrated high levels of adaptability to new environments. For this reason, viticulture can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Duties of the viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, irrigation, canopy management, monitoring fruit development and characteristics, deciding when to harvest, vine pruning during the winter months. Viticulturists are intimately involved with winemakers, because vineyard management and the resulting grape characteristics provide the basis from which winemaking can begin. A great number of varieties are now approved in the European Union as true grapes for winegrowing and viticulture; the earliest evidence of grape vine cultivation and winemaking dates back 7,000 years.
The history of viticulture is related to the history of wine, with evidence that humans cultivated wild grapes to make wine as far back as the Neolithic period. Evidence suggests that some of the earliest domestication of Vitis vinifera occurred in the area of the modern countries Georgia and Armenia; the oldest-known winery was discovered in the "Areni-1" cave in Armenia. Dated to c. 4100 BC, the site contained a wine press, fermentation vats and cups. Archaeologists found V. vinifera seeds and vines. Commenting on the importance of the find, McGovern said, "The fact that winemaking was so well developed in 4000 BC suggests that the technology goes back much earlier." There is evidence of grape domestication in the Near East in the early Bronze Age, around 3200 BC. Evidence of ancient viticulture is provided by cuneiform sources, plant remains, historical geography, archaeological excavations; the remnants of ancient wine jars have been used to determine the culture of wine consumption and cultivated grape species.
In addition to winemaking, grapes have been grown for the production of raisins. The earliest act of cultivation appears to have been the favoring of hermaphroditic members of the Vitis vinifera species over the barren male vines and the female vines, which were dependent on a nearby male for pollination. With the ability to pollinate itself, over time the hermaphroditic vines were able to sire offspring that were hermaphroditic. At the end of the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Thucydides wrote: The period that Thucydides was most referencing was the time between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, when viticulture emerged in force in Asia Minor and the Cyclades Islands of the Aegean Sea. During this period, grape cultivation developed from an aspect of local consumption to an important component of international economies and trade. From 1200 BC to 900 BC, the Phoenicians developed viticulture practices that were used in Carthage. Around 500 BC, the Carthaginian writer Mago recorded such practices in a two-volume work, one of the few artifacts to survive the Roman destruction of Carthage during the Third Punic War.
The Roman statesman Cato the Elder was influenced by these texts, around 160 BC he wrote De Agricultura, which expounded on Roman viticulture and agriculture. Around 65 AD, the Roman writer Columella produced the most detailed work on Roman viticulture in his twelve-volume text De Re Rustica. Columella's work is one of the earliest to detail trellis systems for raising vines off the ground. Columella advocated the use of stakes versus the accepted practice of training vines to grow up along tree trunks; the benefits of using stakes over trees was to minimize the dangers associated with climbing trees, necessary to prune the dense foliage in order to give the vines sunlight, to harvest them. Roman expansion across Western Europe brought Roman viticulture to the areas that would become some of the world's best-known winegrowing regions: the Spanish Rioja, the German Mosel, the French Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône. Roman viticulturists were among the first to identify steep hillsides as one of the better locations to plant vines, because cool air runs downhill and gathers at the bottom of valleys.
While some cool air is beneficial, too much can rob the vine of the heat it needs for photosynthesis, in winter it increases the risk of frost. In the Middle Ages, Catholic monks were the most prominent viticulturists of the time period. Around this time, an early system of Metayage emerged in France with laborers working the vineyards under contractual agreements with the landowners. In most cases, the prendeurs were given flexibility in selecting their crop and developing their own vineyard practice. In northern Europe, the weather and climate posed difficulties for grape cultivation, so certain species were selected that better suited the environment. Most vineyards grew white varieties of grape, which are more resistant to the damp and cold climates. A few species of red grape, such as the Pinot Noir, were introduced. Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry dates back to 1416 and depicts horticulture and viticulture in France; the images illustrate peasants bending down to prune grapes from vines behind castle walls.
Additional illustrations depict grape vines being harvested, with each vine being cut to three spurs around knee height. Many of the viticultural practices developed in this time period would become staples of European viticulture until the 18th century. Varietals were studied more intently to see which vines were the most suitable for a particular area. Around this
Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest, it has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin; the name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, i.e. ad pedem montium, meaning “at the foot of the mountains” attested in documents of the end of the 12th century. Other towns of Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by population: Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, Monte Rosa, it borders with France and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Aosta Valley and for a small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The geography of Piedmont is 43.3 % mountainous, along with extensive areas of plains. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily, it is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the region and is Italy's largest river.
The Po drains the semicircle formed by the. From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, to the upper, to the lower great Padan Plain; the boundary between the two is characterised by resurgent springs—typical of the Padan Plain—which supply fresh water to the rivers and a dense network of irrigation canals. The countryside is diverse: from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe and of Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one of the most famous is the Gran Paradiso National Park located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi, they were subdued by the Romans, who founded several colonies there including Augusta Taurinorum and Eporedia. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was successively invaded by the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, East Romans and Franks.
In the 9th -- 10th centuries there were further incursions by the Saracens. At the time Piedmont, as part of the Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided into several marches and counties. In 1046, Oddo of Savoy added Piedmont with a capital at Chambéry. Other areas remained independent, such as the powerful comuni of Asti and Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat; the County of Savoy was elevated to a duchy in 1416, Duke Emanuele Filiberto moved the seat to Turin in 1563. In 1720, the Duke of Savoy became King of Sardinia, founding what evolved into the Kingdom of Sardinia and increasing Turin's importance as a European capital; the Republic of Alba was created in 1796 as a French client republic in Piedmont. A new client republic, the Piedmontese Republic, existed between 1798 and 1799 before it was reoccupied by Austrian and Russian troops. In June 1800 a third client republic, the Subalpine Republic, was established in Piedmont, it fell under full French control in 1801 and it was annexed by France in September 1802.
In the congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, furthermore received the Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France. Piedmont was a springboard for Italy's unification in 1859–1861, following earlier unsuccessful wars against the Austrian Empire in 1820–1821 and 1848–1849; this process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. However, the efforts were countered by the efforts of rural farmers; the House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, Turin became the capital of Italy. However, when the Italian capital was moved to Florence, to Rome, the administrative and institutional importance of Piedmont was reduced and the only remaining recognition to Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont. After Italian unification, Piedmont was one of the most important regions in the first Italian industrialization. Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region; the main agricultural products in Piedmont are cereals, including rice, representing more than 10% of national production, grapes for wine-making and milk.
With more than 800,000 head of cattle in 2000, livestock production accounts for half of final agricultural production in Piedmont. Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than half of its 700 square kilometres of vineyards are registered with DOC designations, it produces prestigious wines as Barolo, from the Langhe near Alba, the Moscato d'Asti as well as the sparkling Asti from the vineyards around Asti. Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Freisa and Brachetto; the region contains major industrial centres, the main of, Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major electronics industry whose plant was in Scarmagno, near Ivrea, has now turned into a small-sc
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