grape

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grape, common name for the Vitaceae, a family of mostly climbing shrubs, widespread in tropical and subtropical regions and extending into the temperate zones. The woody vines, or lianas, climb by means of tendrils, which botanically are adaptations of terminal buds. The principal genera are Cissus, chiefly tropical, Parthenocissus (including the Virginia creeper and Boston ivy), Ampelopsis (see ampelopsis), and Vitis; the latter three include species native to the United States. Plants of the grape genus Vitis are extensively cultivated throughout the Northern Hemisphere. V. vinifera, which probably originated in the Mediterranean area and W Asia, is the grape of agriculture known since ancient times and frequently mentioned in the Bible. It is cultivated in the Old World and has been introduced successfully in South America and on the west coast of North America. Attempts to naturalize it E of the Rockies failed, chiefly because of the insect pest phylloxera; the grapes now grown in this area are either hybrids of V. vinifera with resistant American grapes or varieties derived from native American species. Chief among these are V. rotundifolia, the muscadine, or scuppernong, grape, and its varieties (James, Eden, and others) of the Gulf and southeastern states, and V. labrusca, the fox grape, from which are derived the Concord, Catawba, Delaware, and many other cultivated varieties of the eastern and northern states. California produces some two thirds of the grapes grown in the United States, and New York state ranks second in output. Grapes are sometimes classed according to their use, e.g., wine, raisin, table, juice, or canning grapes. The cultivated grapevine is prey to numerous pests and diseases and requires a great deal of care (see vineyard). The art of grape growing was said in Greek legend to have been introduced by Dionysus; Bacchus was the god of wine. Throughout history, the grape has been a symbol in art and literature of revelry and joy. Grapes are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rhamnales, family Vitaceae.

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grape / grāp/ • n. 1. a berry, typically green (classified as white), purple, red, or black, growing in clusters on a grapevine, eaten as fruit, and used in making wine. ∎  (the grape) inf. wine: an exploration of the grape. 2. a dark purplish red color. 3. short for grapeshot. DERIVATIVES: grap·ey (also grap·y) adj. (grap·i·er, grap·i·est)

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grape Fruit of varieties of Vitis vinifera. One of the oldest cultivated plants (recorded in ancient Egypt in 4000 bc). Can be grouped as dessert grapes, wine grapes, and varieties that are used for drying to produce raisins, currants, and sultanas (see fruit, dried). Of the many varieties of grape that are grown for wine making, nine are considered ‘classic varieties’: cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, chenin blanc, merlot, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc, sémillon, syrah. A 100‐g portion is a source of copper; provides 0.5 g of dietary fibre; supplies 60 kcal (245 kJ).

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grape Vines that grow in temperate and subtropical climates, producing fruit that is eaten raw, dried or used for making wine. The classical European vine (Vitis vinifera) has its origins in Asia. The climate, soil, topography, and methods of cultivation all determine the quality of the crop. Family Vitaceae.

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grape berry of the vine XIII; morbid growth on the pastern of a horse XVI; more fully grape-shot (XVIII) cannon shot consisting of cast-iron balls connected together XVII. Earlier in wingrape ‘wine-cluster’, cluster of grapes (XIII). — OF. grape (mod. grappe) bunch of grapes; later in XIII used first in coll. pl., subsequently in sg. OF. grape was prob. a verbal sb. f. graper gather (grapes), f. grap(p)e hook, of Gmc. orig.
Hence grape-fruit (orig. U.S.) XIX.

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