The characterisation of biodiversity, the determination of varietal authenticity and genealogical research serve to evaluate and conserve varietal diversity.
More than 3,000 grapevine varieties and wild species, as well as breeding lines of high breeding value, are conserved in the grapevine collection at JKI Geilweilerhof. These include old and neglected grape varieties from German-speaking countries as well as rare Eastern European wine and table grapes. More than half of the grapes are resistant to powdery mildew and/or downy mildew, the most serious pathogens of grapevines.
The verification of varietal identity is an ongoing process. By now, over 6,000 genetic fingerprints of grapevine varieties and wild species were collected, validated and published in our database VIVC (Vitis International Variety Catalogue). About 10 % of the varieties checked worldwide turned out to be either synonyms, homonyms or misnomers. We secure new findings regarding the identity of varieties by comparing the morphology of shoot tips, leaves and grapes with illustrations and descriptions from literature sources. Within the framework of the BÖLN project: "Further development of knowledge transfer and information systems for the sustainable use of grapevine genetic resources", the verification of variety identities in the seven existing German grapevine collections was carried out with the aim of duplicating rare specimens of historical significance.