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n order to cultivate grapes successfully, whether for direct consumption (table grapes) or for wine and spirit production (wine grapes), it is essential to have a knowledge of grape varieties. A number of grape varieties are now grown throughout the world for the quality of the resulting product, and it is mainly the varieties that have made a name for the great wine producing regions of France that will be studied in this book, together with the principal table grapes cultivated in vineyards throughout the world.
A chapter is dedicated to the study of hybrid direct producers of both French and American origin. These produce grapes and wines of lower quality, but have the advantage of tolerating bad weather (cold winters and heavy rain) and the resulting diseases (e.g. frost damage, downy mildew and rot) that make cultivation of European vine varieties impossible.
In almost all vineyards in the world, vines have to be grafted to control phylloxera, an insect which kills the roots of European vines, and it is therefore necessary to be acquainted with the aptitudes of rootstocks.
The vine-grower should not be content with referring to literature on the cultural and oenological characteristics of the grape varieties he wants to cultivate, but must be able to recognise the vines he has been sold from their appearance so as to avoid any errors in delivery.
This book looks at all these questions. It represents the results of my observations, initially made in the course of monitoring nurseries in France and later while teaching ampelography for over 40 years to future agricultural graduates of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier. Six editions of my Précis d’Ampélographie Pratique have been published since 1952, and in 1979 an American edition, ‘A Practical Ampelography’, translated by Lucie Morton, was published by Cornell University Press, Ithaca (NY). Some of the grape variety descriptions that follow have been taken from the American edition with the kind permission of Lucie Morton-Garrett, who is still actively involved in viticultural matters and whom I should like to thank most warmly.
This book differs slightly from the last French edition. To make it more international, a few regional French grape varieties of limited interest have been omitted (Abouriou, Bouchalès, Grolleau, Jurançon noir, Merlot blanc, Admirable de Courtiller, Gros Vert, Olivette noire and Perle de Csaba), while certain varieties cultivated in vineyards outside France have been added (Carmenère, Burger/Monbadon, Marsanne, Müller-Thurgau, Roussanne, Sauvignonasse, Savagnin, Viognier, Emperor, Flame Tokay, Perlette and Sultanine/Thompson seedless).
Hybrid direct producers are cultivated less and less in France and are rarely replanted. However, their cultivation remains of interest in northern vineyards, where severe winters kill European vines (for example Canada, north-eastern USA, Russia, Moldavia, Siberia and South Korea), and in tropical vineyards which suffer from heavy summer rain (e.g. Brazil, Madagascar, Reunion, southern India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan).
The chapter covering the definition of the botanical characteristics used to describe each variety is important. From these characteristics, a key can be drawn up to identify vines in the vineyard during the vegetative period. For computer enthusiasts, I should like to point out that an identification diskette is available in English or French, produced in Minneapolis by Professor Bill Smith from the 1979 American edition.
On a final note, I should like to thank Mr Arnould, Director of Revue des Oenologues and Bourgogne Publications for publishing and distributing this English edition. I should also like to thank Jaqueline Smith who has taken on the task of translating it.

Montpellier, 24 April 1998
Pierre GALET
Agricultural Engineer
Docteur ès Sciences

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