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Can you tell which grape variety is which in the vineyard? Homage to an ampelography pioneer

People sometimes wonder how you can tell the difference between one grape variety and another in a vineyard. After all, they look pretty much the same. And the truth is that it’s not easy. Pierre Galet, who passed away on December 30 at the age of 98, could tell them apart without a problem. He was one of the world’s most skilled ampelographer (botanist expert in grape varieties).

In the 1950s, he created a system for recognizing varieties by looking at the shape and characteristics of the leaves of the vines, the shoots, the shape of the grape clusters, the shape and colour of the grapes, the number of seeds and by tasting the grapes.

Pierre Galet was an agronomist, oenologist and chemist at the University of Montpellier. He wrote a number of books. His “Dictionnaire encyclopedique des cépages et de leurs synonymes” is a real heavyweight describing around 10,000 different grape varieties. He worked as a consultant around the whole world. Today we identify grape varieties with DNA technology. But that doesn’t help us much if we are standing wondering in the vineyard. It would have been better to have Monsieur Galet by our side.

We are particularly proud of that one of our photos at BKWine Photography has been used on the cover of one if Galet’s books.

Read more about learning how to identify a grape variety.

Vine in flower

Vine in flower, copyright BKWine Photography

This post is also available in: Swedish

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