What is Viticulture?

Viticulture is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, ranges from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea, the vine has demonstrated high levels of adaptability to new environments, hence viticulture can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

The term is derived from the Latin word. It is a science and pursuit, has existed as long as humans have been making and drinking wine. The most common grapevine, Vitis vinifera, has been cultivated and fermented by humans since at least the neolithic era. Wine production was incredibly important in the ancient world. The Greek historian Thucydides observed that the growth of civilization in the Mediterranean coincided with the cultivation of grapes.


Duties of the viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, fertilizing, irrigation, canopy management, monitoring fruit development and characteristics, deciding when to harvest, and vine pruning during the winter months.

Difference BetweenViniculture vs Viticulture

The scientific term “viticulture” refers to the science, study, and production of grapes. The term “viniculture” also refers to the science, study, and production of grapes. However, when we hear viniculture we know the process is referring specifically to grapes for wine.

Though technically defined as being the process of cultivation of grapevines for winemaking, viniculture in popular use can often be referring to the process of making the wine itself, whereas viticulture would be used to refer to the process of growing the grapes. To confuse matters a bit more, the person who is, for example, growing Pinot Noir wine grapes, is called a viticulturist.

Viticulture is the science and agriculture of growing grapes, whether that is table grapes or juice grapes. However, with viniculture, those grapes are headed for winemakers!

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