Information on the evolution, taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, physiology and genetics of grapevines has been scarce and thinly spread in the literature on horticulture and the plant sciences. This book aims to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of the biology and cultivation of the grapevine, accessible to all concerned with viticulture. After a description of the essential features of viticulture, including a concise history from antiquity to modern times, the taxonomy of the grapevine and the evolutionary processes which gave rise to the diversity within the Vitaceae is considered. Particular attention is paid to the genera Vitis and Muscadinia, which are considered a reserve of genetic variation for the improvement of grapevines. A description of the vegetative and reproductive anatomy of the grapevine precedes a full discussion of the developmental and environmental physiology of these fascinating and economically important plants. The concluding chapter considers the potential for genetic improvement of grapevines and includes coverage of the problems encountered, and the methods and strategies employed in breeding for scions and rootstocks.