Grapes are a small, juicy fruit that grow in clusters on small woody vines, known as grapevines. They are a very versatile fruit that can be eaten raw and used for making a variety of products such as jelly, juice, wine, raisins, vinegar and much more. The vast majority, 71%, of worldwide grape production is used for making wine. Grapes come in a number of colors, but they are usually categorized as “white grapes” (actually green) and “red grapes” (pink, black and purple). Grapes have been known for thousands of years and are one of the fruits mentioned in the Bible. Let’s find out where grapes come from and where they are grown today.
Where did grapes originate from?
It is believed that the grape was first domesticated around 8,000-10,000 years ago in the Middle East region. Wine residue, dated at approximately 8,000 years, has been found in the country of Georgia. Studies of the many varieties of grapes have shown that this is most likely to be their origin. From here grapes spread all over the world where they are grown today.
Where are grapes grown today?
The world’s largest producer of grapes is China at approximately 8.6 million metric tonnes or 12.7% of the grapes in the world! Italy, the United States, Spain and France are not far behind all producing more than 6 million metric tonnes. Other large producers of grapes are Turkey, Chile, Argentina, India and Iran.
Did you know?
The oldest winery, believed to be dated to 4,000 BC, was discovered in Armenia (a country bordering Georgia).
Spain is the largest producer of grapes for wine making followed by France, Italy, Turkey and the United States.
Thompson Seedless, also known as the Sultana, is thought to be the most commonly grown variety of grape.