Jul 2, 2020
Bruce Reisch Professor of Grapevine Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, specialized in the development of new wine and table grape varieties, as well as new grape breeding techniques. New winegrape varieties need a market niche whether that be versatility, sustainability, disease resistance, climate resilience, or productivity. These traits are achieved with hybrids. Of the more than 60 grape species available, most of the grapes we are familiar with come from European vitis vinifera. Unfortunately, this species offers little disease resistance, but other species have better sources. Developing new hybrids is a 15 to 25 year selection process looking at all attributes from berry size to wine quality plus lengthy trials. Today there is a high acceptance of hybrids and some new ones are even being used in varietal wines.
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