Definition - What does Clone mean?

In the context of viticulture, a clone refers to wine grape vines that are genetically identical, and propagated from a single mother plant. Clones allow vineyards to choose characteristics in wine grapevines that suit the wine growing region and produce consistent harvests, year after year.

Within each wine grapevine variety, there can be hundreds of different clones.

WineFrog explains Clone

In agriculture and viticulture, cloning is a practice that is widely used. Cloning allows vineyards to plant vines with the greatest likelihood of producing a bountiful harvest. Viticulturists and winemakers often select clones with characteristics suited to the wine growing region and the varietal of the vine.

Clones can be used to produce higher quality, higher yield, higher sugar or for the color or size of the grape as well as for disease resistance. Being able to choose these characteristics, allows viticulturists and winemakers to ensure that their vineyards will produce consistent harvests and that the vine is well suited to the wine growing region. While the benefits of cloning are many, there can also be downfalls. Vineyards that rely too heavily on a small number of clones can risk being wiped out by a disease that the clone is not resistant to. Additionally, if the clone is only suited to a specific region, it cannot be planted anywhere else with the same success.

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