Grapes: characteristics of the fruit
Grapes are a fruit produced by the vine plant. It comes in the form of a berry (called acini), it is collected in bunches. These contain several dozen grains and have, depending on the grape variety, different colors: greenish-yellow, pink, violet-violet, black-blue. The stem that holds the bunch is branched, presenting pedicels at the tips that bloom first and then bear fruit. This fruit is highly appreciated and consumed all over the world. However, only a few and fortunate countries manage to cultivate it, both for the difficult and complex production, and for climatic and morphology issues of the territory. The production of grapes is linked to the production of wine (for several centuries now), but also the production of table grapes is consistent. The two major grape-producing species are Vitis vinifera (for wine varieties) and Vitis labrusca (for table varieties).
The best table grapes
Italy is the largest producer of table grapes, in particular the regions of Puglia, Basilicata and Sicily. There are different types of table grapes, both white and black, but we will only deal with the three main ones, namely: "Italia", "Vittoria" and "Regina".
Italy grapes. It has very large, crunchy berries and a very tasty pulp. The average weight of a bunch is 600-700 grams. Very appreciated by the producers for the characteristics of the peel, very resistant and suitable for transport. It is available from August to December.
Vittoria grapes (or Victoria). It is a white table variety, very beautiful aesthetically. The bunch is medium-large, the ovoid acids have a neutral flavor. The percentage of ripening sugars is 15-18%.
Regina grapes. Mainly cultivated in Basilicata, this variety is available from August to November. It has a high concentration of sugars (18-20%), and this makes it very tasty and refined. The berries are very large and crunchy. It is among the best grapes ever.
The best wine grapes
Wine grapes are widely cultivated and appreciated, especially in Italy, which is, as in the case of table grapes, the world's largest producer. There are many types of wine grapes, but it is possible to briefly trace some of the best ones. For example: "Nebbiolo", "Brunello", "Nero d'Avola" and "Cabernet". Nebbiolo has a fairly small berry with a thin skin. The flesh is very sweet and slightly acidic. This vine adapts well to clay soils, although it is preferably grown in calcium-rich soils, giving rise to robust wines. Brunello is an important grape variety. The bunches are medium-small, with a pruinose purplish color and a pinkish flesh. One of the most appreciated and cultivated grapes. Nero d'Avola is a Sicilian variety, and is now appreciated all over the world. It has an important polyphenolic component, which combined with sweet tannins gives life to very structured wines. It has a small berry, violet in color and very sugary pulp. Cabernet. Present in Veneto, Friuli and Trentino, it produces important wines. The grape is small, the skin resistant and the herbaceous taste.
Grape varieties: Nutritional properties
Grapes are an extremely nutritious fruit, regardless of the variety. Benefits are obtained either by eating it directly or by consuming (moderate) wine. The latter contains polyphenols, which are excellent antioxidants; red wine can also regulate plasma, lower HDL and much more. In general, this fruit contains many vitamins (A, C, PP, those of group B) and mineral salts (phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium). However it has a high glycemic content, so it is not recommended for particular subjects, as it greatly stimulates insulin. Moreover, due to its sweet and tasty taste, it lends itself to abuse, therefore it is not recommended for overweight people, since the fruit is loaded with sugars. Finally, due to the large amount of water (about 94%) and potassium, and the high glycemic load, grapes are the ideal fruit for the sportsman's diet.