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Toliver

We Drink Basically The Same Wine As Ancient Romans

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The article from NPR:

"We Drink Basically The Same Wine As Ancient Romans — And That's Not So Great"

Quote

...According to a new study in Nature Plants published Monday, many of the most popular wine varieties sold today are extremely genetically similar to the wines that ancient Romans drank — and may have existed for thousands of years longer...

The issue is that grape growers have kept the grapes in a sort of "time freeze". The way the plants are propagated doesn't allow the grapes to naturally evolve which could change how they combat pests & disease and interact with the environment. 

On the other hand, growing a successful grape year after year and making wine from it that sells means you don't want an evolving plant. You want the same thing year after year.

Is it possible to grow both kinds of grapes or is cross-pollination an issue? It seems unnatural to drink wine from a grape Caesar enjoyed so many years ago.

What do you think?


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Most of what I learned in collage is now rather vague.  One thing that sticks in mind is that the Italian practice of supporting vines was thought to be modern but archaeological evidence showed dated back to at least ancient Roman times.

 

I say if something's not broke don't fix it.  Grapes grow wild in profusion around here but they seem more interested in making more grape vines than in producing fine wines.

 

Of course I may just be bitter:  I have three grape vines from which I've never seen a single grape.

 

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I don't see the point in this article.

Lots of plants never got the "human influence" but we still continue to eat them without troubles. Pretty hard to artificially evolve stuff like white truffles and porcini mushrooms, we still crave them and pay huge money for them. The guys that own the kamut copyright are making huge profits on this issue.

Saying that we drink the same wine as ancient Romans is pretty misleading too: our wine is totally different, since production methods are totally different. Romans added honey for good reasons.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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The point is that allowing sexual reproduction leads to genes mixing... and the occasional mutation to make its way in to the picture.  That occasional mutation may provide an advantage against whatever environmental challenges the baby plant encounters.  So the mutants outlive the old variety.  Voila, evolution!  All wine grapes are cloned rather than the result of gene mixing... so there's no chance that any beneficial mutants are in the mix... so if something comes along that kills all the grapes, then there will be no  chance of immune mutants who could survive.  So bad. 

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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19 hours ago, cdh said:

The point is that allowing sexual reproduction leads to genes mixing... and the occasional mutation to make its way in to the picture.  That occasional mutation may provide an advantage against whatever environmental challenges the baby plant encounters.  So the mutants outlive the old variety.  Voila, evolution!  All wine grapes are cloned rather than the result of gene mixing... so there's no chance that any beneficial mutants are in the mix... so if something comes along that kills all the grapes, then there will be no  chance of immune mutants who could survive.  So bad. 

Yes, this. 

If a grape disease sweeps through the vineyards of Napa, all of the plants will succumb. Bye bye wine.

It was sort of the same with avocados. There was one "Mother" tree (that gave us Haas avocados...not those "fake" Bacon avocado pretenders >:( :laugh:) and all Haas trees were propagated from this Mother tree. That tree died a couple years ago. Which means all future Haas trees have to come from a 2nd generation (or further down the genealogical line) tree. Who knows what changes will manifest in these new Haas? 

And you can riff off this discussion and talk about bananas and the fungus that's killing the current banana species off. The bananas our grandchildren will be eating will be a different banana than what you and I eat today. It's happened before and will continue happening unless planting methods change.

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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1 ) similar is not the same as ' exactly the same '

 

2 ) Winemaking is a TraZillionDollar  industrty

 

3 ) If Napa Vineyards are wiped out , there is a " seed-bank "  at UC Davis charged w keeping , what was called in the old days , ' seeds' of all kinds stuff,

      There are University run seed baks all over the USA.  Geneva , NY ( operated by Cornell ) has Apples, Pears , etc  They are constantly creating new

     apples.  I used to be a member , and you got to taste the new apples each year at the fall general meeting.  NYS ( New York State ) 293

     was a great apple.   Some are introduced for cultivation , some are added to their orchards.  Im sure UCDavis is doing similar studies w their

     genetic charges.  They have not yet invited me to taste these ( Table and Wine ) grapes , and I can't say if they make wine out of the wine grapes.

     They now use DNA.

 

consider :

 

https://agritech.cals.cornell.edu/research-extension/tree-fruits/

 

https://agritech.cals.cornell.edu

 

we might have to drink beer for a few years, but grapes , table varieties and wine varieties are here to stay.

 

P.S.:  take a look here ;

 

http://fps.ucdavis.edu/index.cfm

 

note the plant genome material  kept at UC Davis has very high commercial value.  places like this are funded both by Dot.Gov and Commercial entities.

 

http://fps.ucdavis.edu/fgrmain.cfm

 

P.P.S.:  its my understanding from original literature ( in translation , of course ) that Roman Wine was a bit tart .  tertiary fermentation ?

 

unless its was really brand new ( Tiberius Novus , very popular at the time , for a few weeks )

 

add-ons were the key : Honey , herbs , fermented fish ( RB1 ? ) etc.

 

but its a very interesting topic how Wine , etc has evolved.

 

I personally keep a close eye on the various bottles at TJ's


Edited by rotuts (log)

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