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Viticulture,Wine

The Traminer Family Tree is Revealed, Among Others

According to a story in New Scientist:

“Sean Myles of Stanford University in California and colleagues looked at 9000 genetic markers in each of the world’s 583 cultivated grape varieties, or cultivars, to draw up the tree.”

The Traminer has been bred for a thousand years and has 20 first-degree relatives, in the graph above.

Do you know, for instance, that Sauvignon Blanc was crossed with Cabernet Franc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon?

I use this example when I want people to understand that Syrah + Peloursin = Petite Sirah. It’s very unfair, in my opinion, to state that Syrah and Peloursin are similar to Petite Sirah, any more than we could say that Cabernet Sauvignon is similar to Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon Blanc.

I thought you might find this chart as fascinating as I do.

From PNAS (Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences of the Untied States of America:

Genetic structure and domestication history of the grape

“We find support for a Near East origin of vinifera and present evidence of introgression from local sylvestris as the grape moved into Europe. High levels of genetic diversity and rapid linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay have been maintained in vinifera, which is consistent with a weak domestication bottleneck followed by thousands of years of widespread vegetative propagation. The considerable genetic diversity within vinifera, however, is contained within a complex network of close pedigree relationships that has been generated by crosses among elite cultivars.”

2 Responses to “The Traminer Family Tree is Revealed, Among Others”

  1. Isabel Jane says:

    I wish that they have discussed this article with a person who worked with grapes before publishing it in PNAS. There are lot of results that are pure misinformation. What they called sylvestris was not even sylvestris but a feral vinifera in the study set. Lots of conclusions about relationships are misleading.

    As for the comment that white grapes did not exist before 3000 BCE? That is just weird. White grapes are present in many different vitis species, and have arisen dozens of times from known clonal variation, not to mention they likely came from MANY sources, there was no one or two white grape ancestors leading to the white grapes we have now. It is a recessive trait anyway and would be difficult to breed for even intentionally if we started with only a few white varieties. This guy may have read one report from one archeology dig at one place that found RED grape remains, and assumed that there were no white grapes there or anywhere!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    I believe, Isabel, that this is just one family tree, and many others exist.

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