Possibly, if we have traveled in autumn along secondary roads that cross riverside forests, we have seen vines, with a very showy reddish color of the leaves, rolled up in the vegetation associated with the forest.
They are probably wild vines , which we should not confuse with those vines that we find in isolation in areas of human transit, which, almost certainly, are rootstocks from abandoned plantations, or new plants arising from the development of seeds thrown away after consume grapes.
The vines as such, belong to the Vitaceas family , of which only the genus Vitis , with its two subgenera Muscadinea and Euvitis , is interested in viticulture, the latter being the species Vitis vinifera L.
Vitis Vinifera L.
Some authors divide the Vitis vinifera into two subspecies (Shepherd, 1987): Vitis vinifera L. subspecies sativa and Vitis vinifera L. subspecies sylvestris .
Others consider them as two different species. What they all maintain is the hermaphroditic character of the first and dioecious of the second.
The sativa subspecies is the cultivated vine, which is used for winemaking, table or raisining and is distributed throughout the world , except in areas where its cultivation is impossible.
The sylvestris subspecies is distributed in southern and central Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and other Asian regions, located between the Black Sea and the Hindu Kush massif (López Martínez et al. , 2004).
The wild vine is considered as the remains of the existing vines before the quaternary glaciations that inhabited the Mediterranean basin and adjacent areas (López Martínez et al. , 2004).
Depending on the author and his theories, the sativa subspecies can be considered from the sylvestris or not.
It is believed more likely that from among the wild vines those that through a mutation would modify their dioecious character to hermaphrodite, carrying out a natural process of multiplication and cultivation, destined for table, vinification or raisin, in those with greater aptitudes, according to their characteristics. morphological and agronomic.
According to Negrull (1938) the cultivated varieties are divided into three groups, depending on their growing area:
- occidentalis , with medium berry varieties, destined for winemaking and cultivated in western Europe;
- orientalis , varietals of grain and large bunch, preferably intended for fresh consumption;
- the Pontic group , from Asia Minor and Eastern Europe, with intermediate characteristics.
According to the research of Arroyo et al. (2003) , certain haplotypes appear in western European varieties, both winemaking and wild, that do not appear in wild transcaucasus individuals.
For this reason, these investigations may lead to the conclusion that there have been several secondary centers of grapevine domestication.
In 1807, Clemente carried out a meticulous work on wild vines, mainly in Andalusia. He counted more than 500 throughout Spain , and even went so far as to describe populations.
Even though Spain’s climate and orography are so diverse, all the vines found grow in shady areas with plenty of water, generally in riverside forests, using the trees present to show their climbing character.