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Adaptive viticulture in the Caribbean basin

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Adaptive viticulture in the Caribbean basin
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Watlington-Linares, Francisco
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x, 184 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

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Agriculture ( jstor )
Breeding ( jstor )
Grapes ( jstor )
Latitude ( jstor )
Photoperiod ( jstor )
Pruning ( jstor )
Rain ( jstor )
Tropical climates ( jstor )
Vines ( jstor )
Viticulture ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Geography -- UF
Geography thesis Ph. D
Viticulture -- Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
City of Leesburg ( local )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1990.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 163-183)
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Francisco Watlington-Linares.

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ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE IN THE CARIBBEAN BASIN


By

FRANCISCO WATLINGTON-LINARES
















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1990























Copyright 1990

by

Francisco Watlington-Linares













ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my appreciation to those who contributed in

some way to make this dissertation a reality.

Foremost is Dr. Cesar Caviedes, whose enlightened understanding made

the project possible, whose enviable breadth of expertise contributed

decisively to it, and whose skilled guidance saw it through. I am

similarly obliged to Dr. Jerald Milanich, whose early recognition and

continuing confidence bolstered my determination through difficult times.

I am especially grateful to Lee Newsom for her solidarity, and

selfless contribution of grape seed measurements which will help lend

credibility to the "Sauer grape theory."

Chapter 2 would not have been possible without the generous

assistance of Dr. John McGrew, perhaps the most knowledgeable American

authority on viticultural history. Dr. McGrew provided access to little-

known documentary sources and contributed useful comments on the first

draft. Others who read early drafts of chapter 2, offering encouragement

and constructive comments, were Dr. Harm de Blij, Editor of National

Geographic Research, and Dr. Max Rives of the Consultative Group on

International Agricultural Research. Dr. Rives work was a major source

of inspiration and documentation.

Chapter 3 was reviewed by Dr. David Rogers, taxonomical authority

on native Florida grapes, and Dr. John Mortensen, viticultural geneticist







of the Leesburg, Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center.

Their comments and suggestions are much appreciated.

Much of the information for Chapter 4 was obtained through the

cooperation of the "Instituto de la Uva" (Lara), and the "Centro de

Viticultura Tropical" (Zulia). Special thanks are due Pastor Petit,

Guillermo Vargas, Damaso Bautista, Eliezer Tortolero, Francisco Araujo and

Pedro Corzo, among others.

Chapter 5 was brought to a happy conclusion due in good measure to

the timely assistance of Dr. Amador Belardo and Dr. Angel Cruz-Baez of the

University of Puerto Rico.

My sincere appreciation is extended also to Ms. Desired Robinett,

who conscientiously processed the manuscript through the final finishing

stages.

At last, I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Matthews, who got me to

follow the course of Ponce de Leon, and to Dr. Gordon Lewis, both former

directors of the Institute of Caribbean Studies of the University of

Puerto Rico. Dr. Lewis was unfailing in his endorsement of this project.

Finally, without the support of my parents at critical junctures

this dissertation would not have come to fruition.














TABLE OF CONTENTS


page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF FIGURES ........ ......................

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . . .


CHAPTERS


1 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . .
Notes ........ .....................

2 THE GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT OF ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE

State of Knowledge . . . . . . .
Adaptation in Grapes . . . . . .
Adaptation in Viticulture ... ............
Adaptive Insolation Optimization ....
Adaptive Pruning . . . . . .
Adaptive Hybridization .........
Notes ........ .....................


. iii


* . viii

* . ix


12


3 ADAPTIVE HYBRIDIZATION IN FLORIDA:
ORIGINS AND DIFFUSION ..........

The Florida Mission Grapes ...
An Archaeological Clue ......
A Search for "El Dorado" .....
Notes ..... ................

4 ADAPTIVE PRUNING IN VENEZUELA:
EVOLUTION OF A PARADIGM ........

The Beginning ... ............
The Pruning Calendar .......
The Creole Hybrids ........
Notes ..... ................


. . . 30


. . . . . 64
. . . . . 67
. . . . . 90
. . . . . 96








CHAPTERS Dage



5 TOWARD ADAPTIVE SYNTHESIS: PUERTO RICO ....... ... 98

A History of Trials ..... ................. ....100
Adaptive Grape Breeding .... ............... ....128
A Viticultural Prospectus .... .............. ... 143
Notes ........ ........................ ...151

6 CONCLUSION .......... ..................... 156
Notes ........ ........................ ...161

REFERENCES ......... ........................... ....163

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ....... ....................... ....184














LIST OF TABLES


paqe

Table I Hontoon Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative
Measurements ...... .................... .... 43

Table 2 Simpson's Grape (Fla. 399) Seeds, Summary
of Comparative Measurements ...... ............ 44

Table 3 Fennell's Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative
Measurements ...... .................... .... 45

Table 4 Vineyard Area in Venezuela, by State,
1969 and 1975 ...... .................... .... 61

Table 5 Evaluation of Fertility Differences in Grape
Cultivars, by Semester (Merida, Venezuela:
latitude 830'N) ...... .................. ... 80

Table 6 Critical Maxima, Monthly Rainfall: El Tocuyo
(Lara), Venezuela, 1978-1988 ...... ............ 89

Table 7 Puerto Rico: Mean Maximum and Minimum
Temperatures and Range, Selected Periods
and Stations ....... .................... .... 119

Table 8 Enological Characteristics of Valplatinta ... ...... 143

Table 9 Puerto Rico: Mean Monthly Rainfall,
Selected Stations ...... .................. ....145














LIST OF FIGURES


page


Figure I Transit of daylength at selected
northern latitudes . . . . . . .

Figure 2 Hontoon Grape seed (vitis x hontunensis)

Figure 3 Semiarid areas of western Venezuela, and
approximate extent of April-June and
September-November tolda (6/8ths cloud cover)

Figure 4 Mean monthly rainfall in El Tocuyo, Lara,
Venezuela ...... ..................

Figure 5 An impressionistic comparison of rainfall and
number of days with tolda (7/8ths cloud cover)
by month in Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela . .

Figure 6 Puerto Rico: proposed viticultural regions .

Figure 7 Aibonito: Mean monthly rainfall ......

Figure 8 Isabela: Mean monthly rainfall ..........


Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11


Juana Diaz (Fortuna): Mean monthly rainfall

Vieques Island: Mean monthly rainfall . .

Diurnal build up of tolda (cloud cover) in
western Puerto Rico, and approximate relation
to daylength . . . . . . . .


. . 63


. . 88



. . 91

. . 106

. . 146

. . 146

. . 147

. . 147



. . 149


viii













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE IN THE CARIBBEAN BASIN

By

Francisco Watlington-Linares

December 1990

Chairman: Cesdr Caviedes

Major Department: Geography

This dissertation consists of three inter-related case studies on

the origins and evolution of viticultural adaptation in the Caribbean

tropics and Florida. Although the Old World grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)

is not a tropical plant, European immigrants have intuitively practiced

adaptive insolation optimization for viticulture in the tropics by seeking

out semiarid areas that are relatively free of cloud cover.

Another adaptive technique, hybridization with native American

forms, began in early Spanish Florida and has evolved into a modern

scientific approach which, nonetheless, has been slow to diffuse to the

tropics. One more important technique, adaptive pruning, seeks to

coordinate grapevine phenology with seasonal changes in weather. It has

become a quasi-paradigmatic approach in Venezuela, but attempts to

transfer the technology elsewhere have been disappointing.







In Puerto Rico both hybrids from Florida and Venezuelan pruning were

uncritically introduced with confusing results. Independently, a more

promising mode of adoption and synthesis of the alternative techniques is

beginning to emerge. Throughout the three case studies--Florida,

Venezuela, and Puerto Rico--it is argued and demonstrated that a

geographical variable, effective daylenth, underlies all of the

traditional empirical techniques of adaptive viticulture, a fact that has

escaped recognition by local and international viticultural research and

extension agencies.














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

Even the best of our agricultural textbooks are right and
valid only for a given set of circumstances; that they fail to make
this explicit, and so convey an air of general validity, is a most
grievous defect.

How does the soil-yield change with latitude, assuming that
soil is everywhere of the same quality, with the same humus content?
(J. H. von Thunen, 1826/1966: pp. 277-278)

In the Caribbean basin there is need for higher income agri-

industrial crops such as grapes, which do well under permanent minimal

tillage cultivation even on degraded hilly terrain (Olmo, 1979). Grape

growing could provide supplementary income for many families that subsist

in marginal rural situations and depend on irregular low-wage jobs in

urban-centered economies (Lewis and Thiele, 1979).

Traditional adaptational practices in viticulture have been

repeatedly introduced to European settlements of the Caribbean basin along

with Old World grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). Geo-environmental

latitudinal differences, that will be explained in due course, have

favored the development of alternative approaches to viticultural

adaptation, namely, adaptive hybridization in Florida and adaptive pruning

in Venezuela. The search for locations that optimize exposure to sunlight

(insolation) has been, perhaps, the most universal practice in the search

for optimal locations. The empirical adaptive'techniques evolving in

different areas have not been previously analyzed as a coherent system








2

much less interpreted in terms of a unifying geographic concept that lends

simplicity to a wider understanding of viticultural adaptation in the

tropics.

A better understanding of the geographical imperatives that underlie

traditional viticultural technology should go far toward enhancing its

effectiveness. Traditional practices and imported innovations must be

studied and applied collaterally, since as one cultural geographer has put

it:

Traditional techniques have deep roots in the aboriginal and
colonial past. Some of the approaches . have been or could be
applied to modern systems. And in Latin America today many, if not
most, farmers make use of both modern and traditional techniques.
(Denevan, 1980: p. 177)

However, folk technology is much too often underestimated by local

agricultural research and extension agencies, which similarly tend to

disregard the perspectives that "outside" disciplines, such as geography,

can offer to the discussion of cultural adaptation.

Although American cultural geographers from Sauer (1969, 1971) to

de Blij (1981) have written extensively on regional viticultural

traditions, none have undertaken the complex task of evaluating imported

viticultural technology in its adaptation to New World geo-environmental

conditions. There are, nonetheless, relevant antecedents in Kollmorgen's

(1943) model of crop-technology complex diffusion from institutional,

corporate and political "culture islands," and Lewis' (1979) correlation

of introduced grape cultigens and immigrant provenance in 19th century

Florida.

Kollmorgen addresses pertinently the problem of the

institutionalization in Florida (and other Gulf areas) of maladaptive








3
agricultural technology developed for northern American and European

geographic conditions. A similar concern has occasionally been expressed

with reference to the tropics (Barringer, 1965; Janzen, 1973; Blaut,

1977).

A research problem emerges because in viticulture, as in agriculture

generally, cultivational practices are circumscribed geographically by

their very nature. A cultural success, on the other hand, has a tendency

to spread far beyond its area of origin, the locus of its original

adaptation. This means that adaptive processes, bio-genetical and

cultural, must continuously begin anew as a crop is introduced to new

geographical regions.

The issue that arises is twofold. Cultivated plants must undergo

phylogenetic adaptation, an evolutionary process that takes time, though

not necessarily a very long time. More difficult, perhaps, is the

institutional tendency to enshrine traditional practices and artifacts

(including plants) that buttress cultural continuity. Does scientific

training contribute to adaptive change? Not necessarily, this

researcher's experience concurs with that of other observers. Modern

agricultural science is often strongly paradigmatic, parochial, and

politicized (Janzen, 1973; Busch and Lacy, 1983; Smith, 1990). Its

assumptions, procedures, objectives, achievements and limitations reflect

the biases of structural vested interests and traditions as much as any

other activity or institution.








4

Agricultural experiment stations in the tropics are no exceptions.

As Janzen pointed out:

Nearly all research in tropical agriculture is highly reductionist,
parochial and discipline oriented.
the plea for technological advance gives the scientific
community a perfect excuse to continue their reductionist and
esoteric approaches. (Janzen, 1973: p. 1212)

Local grassroots development of appropriate techniques obtained through

empirical trial and error may counterbalance a "reductionist" scientism,

whether or not this is a veil for self-serving chauvinism (Blaut, 1977).

For as one anthropologist has geographically observed:

Humans are unlike other animals in that they alone project
culture, in the form of conventional understandings, onto the
physical surroundings and then act on and interact with the cognized
environment. (Marquardt, 1985).

Thus, it has been suggested that scientifically sound practices are

empirically selected in cultural evolution (1), despite initial rejection

or lack of recognition by institutional superstructures that resist

deviations from paradigmatic (i.e., "internationally accepted") standards

(Campbell, 1965).

This dissertation is a broadly-based case study of viticultural

evolution in the Caribbean realm, considered from an "anthropogeographic"

perspective. It pursues a qualitative understanding of the complex

relationship between natural phylogenetic evolution in a crop plant, the

grapevine, and the development of its manipulation for human cultural

purposes under diverse tropical ecological conditions. The geographically

variable physical background in which the interaction takes place implies

that the dynamics of the relationship are adaptive (in specific geo-

environmental locations) and diffusionary (to different geographic








5

locations). Therefore, in the following chapters adaptation and diffusion

in viticultural geography will be explored in a manner which differs from

the descriptive "geography of viticulture" expounded by de Blij (1981) in

its quest for geographically specific adaptive transformation of

viticultural techniques, and of evolution in grapes as "living artifacts"

of culture (Sauer, 1969).

Actually, C. 0. Sauer insisted that the evolution of crop plants be

studied as the conjunction of both physical geographical environment and

of cultivational traditions. He was also, apparently, the first to

propose a likely continuity of specific grape cultigens from prehistory

to the present, and to suggest that the study of aboriginal grapes might

provide an exemplar of fruit crop evolution for southeastern North

America.

Sauer's passing attention to grapes must be understood in the much

broader context of his interest in the New World's agricultural origins.

He seems to have discerned, before anyone else, that the cultural

evolution of perennial crops requiring long term fixed location would have

accompanied, if not preceded, the development of permanent settlements.

The persistence of orchards would have contributed to reinforce

territorial attachment to desirable sites (Sauer, 1971). His real concern

was to find ways of tracing cultural evolution within what he understood

as its proper geographic context--the continuity of human settlements in

preferred locations.

Sauer's conceptualization of permanent settlement in no way

conflicts with sequent discontinuities that result from destruction and

abandonment, or seasonal occupancy. Sauer understood that the same








6
favored locations are settled, disputed and resettled for similar

geographic reasons. Long lived, fire resistant orchard plants are likely

to be inherited by the successive occupants of a given site. Over time,

such crops would be modified by natural and cultural processes affecting

evolutionary selection in humanized environments. The human cultural

sequence would, thus, be reflected in the evolutionary sequences in hard

seeded crops such as grapes that leave clues in the archaeological record,

and in behavioral contexts as well, as it is discussed in Chapter 3.

Sauer was prescient that the study of cultural evolution in native

grapes would reveal much about Southeastern agricultural origins. He

implicitly proposed that grapes be examined as artifacts of material

culture, both in historic and prehistoric times, and he summarized his

insight memorably in the following passage:

Cultivated plants are living artifacts of times past,
available where archaeology and written document are wanting, or
making these more explicit. (Sauer, 1969: p. vii)

The present investigation follows a Sauerian methodological strategy

in which an explanatory framework is woven from diverse sources of

knowledge within the guiding coordinates of a historical and cultural

geographical perspective. Within this approach the research problem can

be expressed as follows: Why has viticulture, a modern crop-technology

supported by a sophisticated international research establishment,

remained underdeveloped in the Caribbean tropics, despite a long history

of incipiency? A corollary question that arises is: What are the

geographical barriers, physical and cultural, that have hindered the

diffusion of modern viticulture in the Caribbean and/or curtailed its

adaptation there?








7
In Chapter 2, the researcher expounds his hypothesis that a

geographical variable, daylength, underlies traditional techniques for

viticultural adaptation, from which the following two distinct regional

approaches have emerged. Chapter 3 proceeds to explore the tradition of

adaptive hybridization which is the dominant approach in Florida. Chapter

4 examines the emergence of adaptive pruning as a paradigmatic tradition

in Venezuela, while Chapter 5 evaluates critically the geographical

"barriers," physical and cultural, that have retarded viticultural

development in Puerto Rico, and articulates the prospects for a "state of

the art" synthesis of adaptive techniques. Finally, Chapter 6 offers

general conclusions that can be drawn from interweaving the preceding

cases into a conceptual tapestry that has wider implications for the

future of this activity.

The sources of information on which this dissertation is based vary

for each of the four main chapters because they constitute separate,

although conceptually interrelated, case studies. All rely to some extent

on the critical analysis of documentary sources. These comprise an

exhaustive and current cross-disciplinary bibliography, accumulated over

many years, and a personal collection of published and unpublished

documents: books, reports, letters and articles on viticulture and

related subjects pertinent to the research subject. The core of this

collection is the researcher's personal file of correspondence (1961-1990)

with leading figures of adaptive grape breeding in the Americas.

Additional sources of information resulted from course work in

anthropology and archaeology at the University of Florida between 1981 and

1984. This provided the philosophical rationale for understanding the








8

evolution of adaptive viticulture, and also an opportunity for the direct

study of archaeological and living grape seeds and grape vines as

artifacts of material culture. In addition, the researcher was able to

improve his skills in the use of interviewing techniques as research

sources and the recording of oral history.

Taped and untaped interviews with the pioneers of adaptive grape

breeding in Florida, with members of the Florida Grape Growers Association

and the North American Grape Breeders Conference, became important sources

of information on adaptive strategies. In addition, direct observation

of viticultural techniques were made in a number of Florida vineyards and

the native cultivars and wild grapes surveyed in much of the state,

including the extensive collection in the Leesburg Agricultural Research

and Education Center. Grape seeds were obtained from various herbaria

(see Chapter 3) as well as directly from the field.

Comprehensive field work that utilized various of the above

mentioned approaches of information gathering was conducted during two

visits to Venezuela, in April of 1988 (to the Tropical Viticulture

Development Center, near Maracaibo), and in November of 1989 (to the Grape

Institute, near Barquisimeto). Each visit was for a period of a week.

Similar field work has been realized in Puerto Rico, on a continuing

basis, from 1985 to the present.

Years earlier, before engaging in doctoral studies, periodic visits

were made to viticultural research centers in Brazil: in 1967 to the

Agronomic Institute in Campinas (Sao Paulo) and the School of Viticulture

and Enology in Bento Gon~alves (Rio Grande do Sul). Likewise, the

researcher participated in 1971 in the first congress of the Brazilian








9

Fruit Culture Society, held in Campinas, in which viticulture was an

important component. A charter member, the researcher attended subsequent

congresses in 1973 and 1976. In 1975 he visited the Leesburg and

Homestead ARECs, the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Sciences in

Turrialba, Costa Rica, site of early tropical grape breeding, and attended

the 33rd Congress of the American Society for Horticultural Science,

Tropical Region, in which he was also active for several years. The

following year at the 34th Congress he delivered a paper which heralded

the present dissertation (Watlington-Linares, 1976b). To conclude, the

researcher's long years of "fruitful" experience as an adaptive grape

breeder and experimental viticulturist in the tropics has given him the

knowledge necessary to integrate his sources of information effectively,

and to elaborate and articulate this dissertation.

The cumulative body of research comprised in this work is "grounded"

in the life experience of its protagonist. Consequently, the "design of

research" is to be understood in terms of the qualitative paradigm (Cook

and Reichardt, 1979). This dissertation is the outcome of a personal

inquiry that began as an avocational involvement with tropical viticulture

in the early 1960s, in Puerto Rico. In pursuit of a dream of independence

on a few acres, this researcher was belatedly caught up in the social and

political turmoil of the times. Isolated from active participation by

personal circumstances, he sought an opportunity to make a meaningful

contribution.

Breeding grapes for the tropics eventually became a major endeavor

within a "scientific" activism that gave expression to his multifarious

interests and commitment. By the early 1970s these had become inseparable










from his professional livelihood, under an umbrella of his creation, the

"Aquarius Experiment Station." His growing personal research and

experience as a "back to the land" consultant raised questions that

participation in international horticultural congresses and visits to

tropical and subtropical experiment stations throughout the Americas could

not answer.

Discontent with the philosophical and practical mediocrity that

seemed to characterize mainstream horticultural research, forced this

researcher to seek enlightenment through advanced academic studies in

geography. In due course he realized that the lack of geographic

awareness that seemed to permeate applied agricultural science was

compounded by an equally blatant disregard for humanistic (i.e.,

anthropologic) considerations. Again, it was the author's minor field,

anthropology, that provided the qualitative rationale of scientific

research (Cook and Reichardt, 1979), that he opposes to the positivist

paradigm dominating horticulture.

The scope of this dissertation is necessarily circumscribed to a

consideration of the climatic parameters assumed to be critical in the

tropical adaptation of viticulture. Soil, for example, is considered here

only as a secondary factor, in accordance with recent authoritative

opinion (Santibafiez et al., 1986).(2) For analogous reasons, economics

are not extensively considered either. However, adaptation clearly has

a direct bearing on production costs and, therefore, on long term economic

feasibility.








11

Notes

1. Cultural evolution is here defined as the adaptive transformation
of a cultural form, in this case a specific crop-technology complex,
through geo-environmental and cultural factors. It is equivalent
to Sahlins' (1960) "specific evolution," amended to emphasize
natural selection (Stoddart, 1966; Dunnell, 1978) and cultural
selection (Campbell, 1965; De Wet and Harlan, 1975).

2. Winkler (1962) was one of the first to challenge the "proprietary"
European view that assigned decisive qualitative attributes to
particular soil compositions and textures. Winkler conceded that
in northern regions, such as in Germany, slate-stone and shale might
be beneficial by absorbing heat during the day. Similarly,
limestone would offset the high acidity of grapes grown in the
cooler winegrowing areas of France (Ibid.).














CHAPTER 2
THE GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT OF ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE



State of Knowledqe

In this chapter the working hypothesis of the present dissertation

is elaborated. The research method utilized has been the historical

analysis of adaptive techniques in viticulture recorded from the earliest

to the most recently available documents. On one hand, the survey focuses

on how these relate to environmental conditions, and on the other hand,

to grapevine phenology and physiology. Consequently, the research is both

cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural, as well as historical.

Adaptive viticultural techniques linked to geographic parameters

have been reported in European agricultural treatises of the Classic,

Medieval and Renaissance periods. Exemplary contributions are those of

the Andalusian Spanish agronomists Columella (42/1941), Ibn Al-Awwam

(1200/1802), and Herrera (1513/1970). It has been suggested that

traditional folk technology for grape cultivation was introduced to the

Spanish settlements of the New World in the 16th century, precisely from

Andalusia, along with the Old World grape cultigen Vitis vinifera L.

(Watlington-Linares, 1983).

Adaptive viticulture evolved empirically in various regions of the

Ibero-American tropics and subtropics since the early colonial period.

However, its counterpart in modern middle latitude viticultural technology








13
has formal antecedents in 19th century European biogeography. In the

United States this is epitomized by the work of De Candolle (1859),

Lippencott (1862) and finally Koppen, who in 1900 summarized his

predecessors' efforts to correlate climatic variation and plant adaptation

(Thornthwaite, 1943), but unlike them had no special interest in grapes.

In the first half of the 20th century, research on viticultural

adaptation in the United States declined and became parochial as the

result of a conjunction of political interests opposed to the expansion

of wine growing (Adams, 1978). Consequently, 19th century "heat

summation" remained a popular adaptational criterion in American

viticulture.(1) The concept was refurbished by Winkler (1938) with

refinements added by others over the years (Branas et al., 1946;

Santibahez et al., 1986).

Poor adaptedness of high latitude grapes in the lower latitudes has

commonly been attributed to lack of winter chilling (Magoon and Dix, 1943;

Mortensen, 1981; Olmo, 1986). However, a chilling requirement is not

mentioned in specialized reviews of climatic factors and grape phenology

(Buttrose, 1974; Alleweldt and Hofacker, 1975; Srinivasan and Mullins,

1981). Nonetheless, the belief that grapevines need periods of cold

weather remains somewhat paradigmatic (sensu Kuhn, 1970) in Caribbean

agricultural extension service lore.

Modern experimental studies on geo-climatic influences in grape

phenology were initiated in the mid-1930s in Germany (Moschkov, 1935;

Hackbarth and Scherz, 1935; Husfeld, 1936) dealing mainly with acclimation

to freezing weather. After World War II the work was resumed in West

Germany (Burckhardt, 1958) and taken up in other countries, including








14

France (Huglin, 1958), Russia (Grecisnikov, 1958), Italy (Khalil, 1961),

Japan (Kobayashi et al., 1966), and Australia (Antcliff and May, 1961).

The cumulative findings of this accruing body of research point

unequivocally to a geographical variable, latitudinal daylength, as the

principal parameter of viticultural adaptation. Concurrently, ambient

temperature has been qualified as an important complementary factor

(Kobayashi et al., 1967; Kliewer, 1973; Hale and Buttrose, 1974).

The viticultural implications of the latitudinal variation of the

amplitude of seasonal daylength as an adaptive parameter in grapes has not

been widely recognized. Physiological studies have been concerned

primarily with the abstraction termed "photoperiodism" (i.e.,

physiological responses to experimental cycles of light and darkness, in

abeyance of actual geographical conditions), in the controlled, artificial

environment of "growth cabinets" (Buttrose, 1974). Their research design,

interpretation of findings, and extrapolation to the "field" reveals, by

and large, surprising indifference to the geographic context of
"photoperiod."

Alvim (1964) reviewed the phenological effects of seasonal daylength

variation on perennial crops in the tropics and indicated that slight

seasonal fluctuations in calendar daylength is sufficient for response to

photoperiodicity in latitudes as low as 10 degrees or less. Alvim also

garnered evidence that photo-phenology in tropical fruit and nut crops is

often synchronized with alternating periods of clear skies rather than

with calendar daylength.(2)

Because rainfall in the tropics is essentially convective (Flohn,

1973), rainy periods are normally accompanied by heavy overcast or tolda










of cumulonimbus cloud cover. It has been observed that tolda may

influence daylength responses in many plants, particularly if occurring

at the beginning of day, thereby extending the duration of night-time, the

effective "operand" of photoperiodism (Vince-Prue, 1975). Nonetheless,

over half a century since Garner and Allard first defined photoperiodism

(Ibid.) the lack of an applied integration with actual geographic

daylength is suggested by the questions raised in a current review of the

state of knowledge on photo-phenology.

Under natural conditions the transition to and from darkness is not
abrupt but occurs through a gradually changing intensity of
twilight. At what point does the plant begin to respond to
darkness? Or to light at dawn? Is the effective length of day
influenced by morning or evening clouds? . It has been suggested
that the presence of clouds during twilight and dawn can influence
the photo-periodic response. (Vince-Prue, 1975: 80-81).


Adaptation in Grapes

All grapes are perennial woody vines that respond to seasonal

changes in their native habitats with appropriate physiological

adjustments (Branas, 1974). They tend to stop growing and shed their

leaves in response to shortening daylengths that signal the arrival of a

season sensed as unfavorable: winter in the higher latitudes, estio or

dry season in the "wet-and-dry" tropics (Critchfield, 1974). However,

seasonal vegetative inhibition also promotes conditioning for the fruiting

cycle that ensues with the return of longer days and favorable weather

(Kliewer, 1981). Adaptation in grapes is thus conditioned by the need for

alternating periods of both "favorable" and "unfavorable" daylengths.

Because the onset of critical seasonal changes is generally preceded

by equinoctial daylength, most grapes require days longer than twelve










hours for normal growth and productivity (Buttrose, 1969a; Sugiura et al.,

1975). How much longer for grapes in their native habitat depends on the

particular daylengths that commonly precede critical weather at a specific

latitudinal location and on the time required for appropriate

physiological adjustment.

Grapes native to climatic belts north of the 30th parallel respond

to equinoctial or lesser daylengths by preparing for freezing weather

(Moschkov, 1935). The more northerly forms must be progressively

unresponsive to daylengths not considerably longer than the equinoctial

threshold (Pierquet and Stushnoff, 1978). On the other hand, the

neotropical pan-species V. caribaea D.C. interprets shorter than

equinoctial daylengths as the harbinger of annual drought lasting around

four months (Schwerdtfeger, 1976). Though the range of variation in

daylength duration increases away from the equator, it appears to be

significant at least to latitude 100 or lower (Figure 1), where V.

caribaea is native.(3)

Daylength requirements and related responses for different stages

of the phenological cycle vary geographically between and within grape

species (Hackbarth and Scherz, 1935; Pierquet and Stushnoff, 1978). It

follows that natural selection in grapes favors ecotypical (essentially

latitudinal) adaptation in terms of synchronization of photo-phenology

with local seasonal climates (Rives, 1972). Consequently, adaptation to

a given daylength regime will largely determine 1) the comparative

adaptability of non-native cultivars; 2) the manipulation of phenological

cycles to coincide with tolerable daylengths and seasonal climatology;

















hrs
14 lat




13




12

100


20



10 300
Mar- -Apr-May- -Jun-Jul- -Aug- -Sep-Oct- -Nov- -Dec



Figure 1. Transit of daylength at selected northern latitudes.

Source: Drawn by the author from data in the United States Naval
Observatory Air Almanac, 1960.








18

and, 3) the selection of adapted (i.e. healthy and productive) cultivars

from hybrid progeny.



Adaptation in Viticulture

Viticultural adaptation in the lower latitudes has been achieved

traditionally through empirically developed techniques that implicitly

circumvent the native adaptive responses of immigrant high-latitude grapes

to daylength patterns of the lower latitudes. Three specific approaches

can be recognized: 1) Adaptive Insolation Optimization; 2) Adaptive

Pruning; and, 3) Adaptive Hybridization. They have emerged as regional

practices that are presumably successful under the geo-environmental

conditions where they developed. When a locally adaptive tradition is

introduced to a different latitudinal region, it may, of course, become

counter-adaptive.



Adaptive Insolation Optimization

Adaptive insolation optimization concerns the interpretation of

solar intensity and daylength interactions with seasonal and diurnal cloud

cover patterns. The interplay of physiological and geographical factors

underlying insolation-adaptive viticulture has been understood by

viticulturists since ancient times. European immigrants in the New World

tropics and subtropics sought out locations for viticulture guided by the

perception of environmental analogy between colonial and Old World

landscapes.

Apparent similarities of vegetation and soils have served to

identify semi-arid areas that provide the high levels of insolation known









19

to be essential for adequate development of fruit buds, blooming, fruit

set and maturation in Old World grapes (Baldwin, 1964; Kliewer,1981).

Such areas, where clear skies prevail, are in fact the major commercial

vineyard locations in the American tropics (Pansiot and Libert, 1970;

Boubals, 1988a).

Even such seemingly favorable areas tend to be perceived as somehow

environmentally inferior to the "old country." Under shorter daylength

regimes, most cultivars of European V. vinifera become relatively

unproductive, develop poorly and are prone to physiological maladies in

regions below the 30th parallel (Winkler, 1962; Branas, 1974).(4)

Controlled environment research suggests that the daily duration of photo-

inductive daylight is a regulator of adaptedness and productivity separate

from that of solar intensity, with which it interacts to some degree

(Buttrose, 1974).

On the other hand, low latitude regions with warm rainless periods

are partially analogs of the Mediterranean growing season, uninterrupted

in the tropics by extremely short days and rest-enforcing cold weather.

Although summer days in the tropics are shorter than those at higher

latitudes, tropical winter days are considerably longer than those at

latitude 30 N, the approximate southern viticultural border of the

Mediterranean subtropics. Therefore, reduction in native fertility of

adaptable immigrant cultivars is offset, often to a surprising degree by

more or less continuous cropping (Corzo, 1987).

The influence of latitudinal daylength on grape phenology is subject

to modification by the diurnal pattern of seasonal cloud cover and by

local topography and temperature regimes as well. Reduction of effective








20

daylength by morning or evening tolda can be enhanced by mountains that

intersect the angle of incidence of the sun (Mac Hattie and Schnelle,

1974). Thus, narrow interior and coastal valleys bordered by north-south

ranges can be influenced by tolda much more than the highlands that rise

above them. Herrera was emphatic in stating that: "Valleys, mainly if

they are deep, are the worst of all places for vineyards." (Herrera, 1513:

p. 55).

Immigrant high-latitude viticulture would be expected to adapt best

to locations least disadvantageous in terms of interactive daylength-

restricting topographic conditions. In addition, favored sites should

have locations that counteract high atmospheric humidity. For example,

viticulturists throughout the Caribbean would agree with the Sevillean

agronomist Ibn Al-Awwam (of 12th century Seville) in that:

Grapes prosper by the sea, and are benefitted by maritime breezes,
which is not the case in the vicinity of rivers where there are
marshes and lagoons. (Ibn Al-Awaam, 12th century: p. 214)

On the other hand, cool temperature regimes of tropical highland climates

seem to counteract the inhibitory effects of inadequate daylength on some

high latitude cultivars (Sugiura et al., 1975).



Adaptive Pruning

Pruning is the primary cultivational technique used to control and

optimize production of grapes in a particular geographical environment.

Its adaptational purpose is to coordinate fruiting phenology with

relatively favorable climatic conditions, including optimal effective

daylength. Thus, the calendar of pruning in varying photoclimatic regimes

at different latitudes is a major concern of adaptive viticulture.










Reproductive and vegetative development in grapes, as in other

perennials, is controlled mainly through leaves and buds that sense and

respond to seasonal changes in daylength stimuli (Vince-Prue, 1975).

Flower clusters emerge and develop with new growth from fertile buds

formed during the preceding growth season (Kobayashi, et al., 1966;

Buttrose, 1969a). At the same time, new buds are formed containing the

flower initials that would normally develop in the following growing

season. In the higher latitudes, where most cultivated grapes have

originated, new buds are formed in an environment of rapidly expanding

daylength and luminescence.

To be adaptable in the tropics, non-native cultivars from higher

latitudes must be tolerant of relatively short photo-inductive daylengths.

For those that do adapt, productivity depends on a sufficient daily

duration of high level insolation (Kliewer, 1981). Cumulatively, a season

with such days long enough for completion of the critical formative stage

(Buttrose, 1969b) is required. In the tropics, therefore, pruning must

be scheduled so that critical fruit-bud formation occurs during

predictable periods of relatively clear skies, and, preferably, with

daylengths of twelve or more hours.

Conversely, mature leaves respond to shortening days by directing

the physiological process towards vegetative rest or inhibition (Hackbarth

and Scherz, 1935; Moschkov, 1935). In the leafless vine rest is

maintained by the collective influence of daylength receptive dormant buds

(Alleweldt and Istar, 1969). After a period of vegetative inactivity,

when daylength again increases beyond the equinoctial threshold, the

reproductive cycle is reactivated with the oncoming season's growth.









22

Pruning may have developed as an adaptive technique when viticulture

diffused into areas subject to late killing frosts, as a means of

retarding spring budbreak. Because of apical dominance, when buds begin

to swell in spring, pruning delays budbreak temporarily (Rives, 1967;

Pool, 1984). However, since pruning uninhibits vine growth by eliminating

the distal buds that register and regulate daylength control of vegetative

activity, it can prove to be counter-adaptive if done too early (Ibid.).

(5)

The classical agronomists generalized that early pruning (November-

December) should be the rule in areas where cool winter weather arrived

early and remained constant until spring. Late pruning (February-March)

was considered advisable in areas with relatively warm winters, subject

to late freezes. This practice conveniently anticipates the equinoctial

change to longer days.

Dates for pruning grapevines differ substantially between

latitudinal subregions of the Caribbean. In the mid-region islands of

Puerto Rico and Hispaniola the custom of late pruning as practiced in

Arabic Andalusia--as described by Al-Awwam--still prevails. An annual

cycle of cropping which follows the rise and decline of latitudinal

daylength is thereby established. Both Florida, located roughly between

latitudes 250 and 30 N, and the Greater Antilles at nearly latitude 20N

have been restricted to a single yearly pruning, because of the

inevitability of freezing weather in the first case, and because of the

inhibiting effect of relatively short "off-season" daylengths in both

cases.








23

It is in the southern borderland of the Caribbean, at a

significantly lower latitude, that pruning attains its greatest potential

as an adaptive technique. In Venezuela (latitude 10N), where winter

daylengths are near the equinoctial threshold, pruning has been used

advantageously since early colonial times (Latorre, 1919) to promote

reproductive new growth during periods of high insolation throughout the

year. Even without pruning, the best adapted of the introduced cultivars

tend to grow in vegetative flushes the year around following changes in

available insolation levels and effective daylength (Purohit et al.,

1979).


Adaptive Hybridization

The use of hybridization as an adaptive technique in New World

viticulture has evolved from the experience that hybrid forms often

combine desirable traits of widely differing "races." The recognition and

selection of hybrids between indigenous forms and introduced cultivars has

been traditionally understood as essentially adaptational, although

appraisal of environment conditions has usually focused on "disease

resistance" rather than on daylength. Though evidence of colonial grape

breeding is rare, the exploitation of hybridity requires only the

recognition of sexual reproduction in grapes. A practical understanding

of plant sexuality was part of the Arabic agricultural legacy of Andalusia

at the time of the Discovery. On describing the well documented ancient

technique of hand pollinating the date palm, Ibn Al-Awwam adds:








24

Some horticulturists say that all trees are susceptible to talkih
or fecundation, by which means they yield very good fruit, and these
drop off less, and so it is said that all trees being male or
female, the latter are fecundated by the former. (Ibn Al-Awwam, 12th
century: p. 291)

Talkih, he explains, is the dusting of flowers on a female date palm with
"seminal dust" (pollen) from a male date palm.(7)

When the New World was colonized, Spanish agriculturists were well

aware that many orchard crops need cross pollination, and that some are

dioecious (separately sexed) like the date palm (Herrera, 1513).(8) All

species of grapes are largely dioecious in the truly wild state (Levadoux,

1956). While selection has made functional hermaphroditism the prevalent

condition in cultivated grapes, exceptional female cultivars have been

handed down through the centuries. Such is the Ohanez of Almeria, a

traditional Andalusian export grape which is artificially pollinated in

the same manner as date palms (Rueda-Ferrer, 1953).

Herrera advocated interplanting a few males in orchards of female

cultivars. Attributing fecundity to male "odor" (pollen?) and "heat"

(Herrera, 1513: p. 113), he alternatively proposed grafting female scions

on male rootstocks. Both practices enhance the possibility of

interspecific hybridization. Spanish horticulturists were presumably

aware of this. It is implicit in Herrera's praise of grafting:

With [grafting] more than any other craft wild trees become
domesticated, the sterile become fertile, the good much better.
[Grafting] is the cause for there to be each day new kinds of fruits
which did not exist anciently, nor were created at the beginning of
the world. So much so, that there are scarcely less trees invented
than natural, as from two species of animals a third is engendered
that is very different. (Herrera, 1513: p. 120).(9)

Grafting has long been appreciated as a means for quickly

establishing productive vineyards in newly colonized lands. The basic








25

idea is that well-developed native vines be used as adapted rootstocks,

following the general rule that "where there are similar wild species

doing well, domesticates of their own kind can be planted." (Herrera,

1513: p. 101). There is little doubt that Spanish grapes in the New World

colonies were routinely propagated and grown on stocks of native American

grape species. Expressions of wonder at the abundance and fertility of

the native grapevines are found throughout accounts of the Contact period.

In the circum-Caribbean mainland and major islands, V. caribaea was

common (Levadoux et al., 1962; Olmo, 1968). In Florida a surprising array

of grape species, possibly including indigenous cultivars, awaited the

Spanish settlers (Sauer, 1969, 1971; Rogers and Mortensen, 1979). A

bewildering diversity of forms was available in Mexico (Olmo, 1976).

Cortes, the Conquistador of Mexico, made sure the indigenous vines were

put to good use, and in his "Ordenanzas" of 1524 decreed that every

settler who received an allotment of land and Indians was obliged to plant

a proportionate number of native vines as rootstocks, to be duly grafted

with scarce scion-wood from Spanish cultivars (Adams, 1978).

A widespread common name for V. caribaea on the mainland is agras.

The term was applied in Spain to special purpose acidic grapes. In the

northern part of the peninsula, acid juice was obtained from wild grapes

as a culinary and medicinal substitute for vinegar and sour orange, while

in the south such grapes were regularly needed to balance the chronically

acid-deficient wine musts of the hot climate. If suitable wild grapes

were unavailable, a late crop that would not ripen was intentionally

induced on cultivated vines by summer pruning. It seems likely,

therefore, that wild Caribbean grapes would have been planted in, and








26

tolerated near, colonial vineyards for supplementary must as well as for

rootstocks and improved fecundation.

The vicinity of native vines in field-border hedgerows is a

condition sufficient for cross-pollination between wild and cultivated

grapes. All grape species of the major subgenus (Euvitis) have the same

number of chromosome pairs (2n=38) and will produce fertile hybrids if

cross-pollinated (Rives, 1974). The blooming periods of many species

often overlap, more so if synchronized by pruning (by either human or

beast).

An abundance of interspecific hybrid grape seeds was a likely

occurrence in colonial vineyards, whether or not intentional breeding was

practiced. Seedling vines with exceptional "hybrid vigor," productivity

(in part through expression of hermaphroditism), and adaptedness (notably,

appropriate daylength programming) to environmental conditions would have

been recognized, selected and propagated. Adaptively superior hybrid

vines would have gradually replaced the short lived V. vinifera as they

died out.

Despite a ban on commercial viticulture in the Spanish colonies by

Philip II in 1595, the religious orders were exempted and vineyards

continued to be planted, especially in the frontier mission settlements

(Adams, 1978). Elsewhere, grapes became dooryard garden plants.

Eventually hybrid "creole" or "mission" cultivars have been handed down

and achieved economic prominence in every viticultural region of the

Hispanic New World, including each of the three latitudinal regions

represented in this study.








27

To summarize, it has been proposed in this chapter that the

geographical limiting condition in the diffusion of viticulture toward the

equator is the diminishing calendar range of photo-inductive daylength,

which is reflected in the phenological responses of cultivars originating

beyond the tropics, where the range is progressively greater and

phenological adaptation critical to survival. The condition is enhanced

on one hand by the additional seasonal reduction of effective daylength

resulting from periods of persistent cloud cover (tolda), and on the other

hand by the basic physiology of grapevines which uses daylength under

twelve hours to store metabolites for future growth, and daylength beyond

that threshold for productive phenology (i.e., flowering and fruiting).

The above proposition is grounded in the findings of researchers

from ancient times to the present. The introduction of viticulture to the

tropics has relied on three distinct adaptive techniques, all empirically

based on the underlying need to optimize the interaction of grapevine

physiology with the variable daylength environment. Historically, the

most primitive technique appears to be adaptive insolation optimization,

to which later was added the complementary techniques of adaptive pruning

and adaptive hybridization.

Historical analysis suggests that none of the two latter techniques

have evolutionary precedence, nor are they incompatible. However, in the

following chapters it will be shown that fortuitous geographical

circumstances (geo-environmental and cultural) have favored the

development of either approach on a regional basis, to the exclusion and

virtual banning of the other!










Chapter 3 seeks to clarify the obscure origins of modern adaptive
hybridization in the New World (specifically in Florida), and its

curiously limited geographical diffusion as an institutionalized

scientific approach. Chapter 4 examines the more recent establishment of

the alternative technique, adaptive pruning, as a comparably sophisticated

approach that has likewise failed to spread appreciably beyond its area

of origin. Chapter 5 raises the question of whether the two approaches,

paradigmatically entrenched in scientific institutions, can be reconciled.



Notes
1. "Heat summation" differentiates climatic regions by computing the
sum of mean daily temperatures above 50F (10C) during the growing
season. Its opposite term, the so-called "chilling requirement,"
presupposes that a certain number of hours under the same threshold
is needed to fulfill a required period of dormancy.

2. Tropical rainfall tends to follow a predictable seasonal and diurnal
course which is most intense during the high sun period (Ramage,
1971), thereby restricting the daily duration of photo-effective
daylight between the spring and fall equinoxes. In the tropics,
effective daylengths may be longer during brief equinoctial and
winter solstice dry (i.e. cloudless) periods when calendar days are
relatively short, especially so by comparison with daylengths of the
growing season in higher latitudes.

3. All true grape species are native to the Northern Hemisphere
(Levadoux et al., 1962). In the New World the number of recognized
forms diminishes dramatically toward the equator. Apparently, none
have spread naturally across the equatorial line.

4. Certain vinifera cultivars commonly grown in the tropics are
exceptionally tolerant to low latitude daylengths. Several
cultivars that have been successful were selected for "forcing" in
19th century European greenhouses (Miller, 1963). They appear to
have derived largely from Persian and Arabian lineages selected
since ancient times south of latitude 30N and beyond the Tropic of
Cancer possibly as far south as the Gulf of Aden at latitude 150N
(Levadoux, 1956). Well known are the characteristic "Muscats."
However, these "desert" grapes are generally intolerant of high
atmospheric humidity.










5. In Florida, where warm winter weather allows vegetal growth, the
custom of early pruning may be responsible for freeze damage and
subsequent infection with Pierce's disease, the most important
"natural barrier" to viticultural adaptation in Florida (Crall and
Stover, 1957).

6. On the islands, however, two or three successive crops (of uneven
quality) are possible with some cultivars, a fact noted as early as
1582 in a "state of the colony" report on Puerto Rico for the King
of Spain (Latorre, 1919).

7. Cowan's (1976) Arabic-English Dictionary defines talkih as either
plant pollen/pollination, or animal (and human) sperm/insemination.
The Arabic terms for horticultural budding and grafting are derived
from the same root.

A common colloquial expression in Puerto Rico, and other Hispanic
lands, refers to human sexual intercourse, specifically
insemination, as "echar un polvo," literally: "To (throw a) dust."
The original meaning has been lost but the derivation seems clear.

8. Although Vernet (1978) affirms that Herrera took his notions of
applied plant sexuality from Arabic texts, early settlers in the
Hispanic Caribbean gave common names to a few native trees which
reflect continuity of the folk belief that small differences between
otherwise similar forms (actually related species) imply separate
sexes of the same species (Gilormini, 1979). By contrast, common
awareness of plant sexuality in most of Europe had to wait for
experimental confirmation by Bobart, Camerarius and Grew in the 17th
century (Wolf, 1952).

9. Herrera may have thought that hybrids associated with grafts are
graft or vegetative hybrids, actually quite rare (Hartmann and
Kester, 1968). Graft failure on intended native rootstocks would
thus augment interspecific "intimacy" and consequent production of
hybrid seeds.














CHAPTER 3
ADAPTIVE HYBRIDIZATION IN FLORIDA: ORIGINS AND DIFFUSION


The present chapter elaborates on a previous investigation which

suggested that early Spanish colonial Florida had a particular

significance in the introduction of viticulture to the New World

(Watlington-Linares, 1983). In that report, the author proposed a

thorough examination of grape seeds as archaeobotanical evidence to

determine whether adaptive hybridization had taken place in the first

European settlements. Eventually, the opportunity arose to examine a

significant sample obtained from a late 18th century mission village in

east central Florida which offered important clues. Thus, the sources for

this inquiry include archaeological grape seeds, as well as available

documents, direct observations in the field, and the first-hand testimony

of modern pioneers in adaptive grape breeding.

Modern adaptive viticulture in the southeastern United States is

based largely on native interspecific hybrids, including foundlings of

antique origin and their descendants. Sauer (1969, 1971) suspected

prehistoric aboriginal domestication. Others (Munson, 1909; Fennell,

1941; Bailey, 1948; Rives, 1963) have generally assumed that such vines

originated as natural hybrids of wild species, or between native grapes

and European cultivars. It is possible that some of the vines in question

may represent survivals of adaptive hybridization in early Spanish

Florida.








31

Domesticated grapes appear to have evolved originally in the Old

World from discovery, collection and vegetative propagation of natural

hybrids combining fruit and vine traits of separate forms in advantageous

ways (De Candolle, 1886; Sauer, 1971). Replication of such an origin was

observed by Olmo (1970) in an ethnographic context in northwestern India.

Comparative studies of archaeological and living seeds suggest that the

cultigen continued to develop and spread as primitive selections were

taken to new geo-environmental areas and interbred with local wild and

cultivated ecotypes (Levadoux, 1956; Negrul, 1960; Rives, 1974; Janusevich

and Nikolaenko, 1979).(1)

C. 0. Sauer (1969) may have been the first to propose continuity of

Amerindian grape cultigens from prehistory to the present. The prominence

of grape seeds in archaeobotanical samples obtained by flotation since the

early 1970s (Watson, 1976) suggests that some aboriginal peoples may

indeed have practiced incipient viticulture between the late Archaic

period (4500 2500 BP) and the 18th century. Sauer's conjecture has

apparently not been seriously investigated previously.

Surprisingly, the existence of mission vineyards tended by Indian

labor from the late 16th to late 18th century was overlooked by Sauer, and

likewise ignored by archaeological researchers of Hispanic agriculture.

Most notably, grapes were left out of Ford's "Hispanic Complex" of

cultivated plants introduced by the Spanish and adopted by Southeastern

Indians (Ford, 1981). Since they were already avid consumers of fresh and

dried native grapes, there is little reason to believe the Indians did not

accept European grapes as readily as they did oranges, peaches, figs,








32

pomegranates and watermelons, all of them Old World fruit crops (Smith,

1956; Mason, 1963; Blake, 1981; Ford, 1981; Newsom, 1986; Reitz and

Scarry, 1985).


The Florida Mission Graves

Grapevines from Spain were introduced to the Caribbean region with

Columbus' second voyage (1493) when a vineyard was planted on the island

of Hispaniola (Sauer, 1966). Viticulture followed Spanish colonization

throughout the New World. Vineyards were planted and in many cases

maintained against environmental odds to assure a regular supply of wine,

a cultural staple vital to the social solidarity of the conquistadors.

Moreover, documentary and material evidence supports the proposition that

the process of adaptive hybridization postulated for Old World viticulture

continued in the New World, specifically in early Hispanic Florida.

In Florida, hybrid grapes may have first appeared in settlements

established by Spanish colonists in the late 16th century. During that

period also, the seasonally migrant Guale Indians were sedentized in

mission controlled villages on the Atlantic coastal Sea Islands from the

northern Spanish outpost of Santa Elena to St. Augustine in the South

(Gannon, 1965).(2) Of necessity, Spanish and Indian crop systems became

integrated in a new, "mestizo," agricultural complex (Matter, 1973).

Excavation (South, 1980) has confirmed historical reports that the

first Spanish vineyard in Contact Florida was planted at Santa Elena, on

what is now Parris Island, South Carolina, in 1566 (Watlington-Linares,

1983). The colony initially surpassed St. Augustine, until its

destruction in 1576 (Lyon, 1976). Although quickly rebuilt and









33

refortified, the vineyard replanted, the outpost lost its pre-eminence to

the more secure southern position. Officially abandoned eleven years

later (1587) under threat of Indian rebellion, apparently the settlement

did not disappear entirely.

Waring (1970) noted that a Captain William Hilton of Barbados

visited Santa Elena in 1663. He found "Spanish" Indians living there,

seventy-six years after the presumed abandonment of the former mission

village. They lived amid artifacts that included a standing wooden cross,

and orchards of peaches, figs and grapes. That these were not relics but

actively cultivated there can be little doubt. With the exception of

native grapevines and their adapted hybrids, capable of self renewal by

spontaneous layering, the exotic peach, fig and European grape are

reputedly short lived in the Southeast without skilled husbandry.(3)

In 1735, Francis Moore, an English visitor to Georgia, accurately

described the two common native wild grape species, V. aestivalis Michx.

and V. rotundifolia Michx. He then commented on a curiosity he had seen

on St. Simon's Island, site of the mission of Santo Domingo de Asaho:

But there is on St. Simon's, a wild Grape much nearer the Europe
Vine, the Fruit being exactly the same as the common white Grape,
though the Leaf is something different. The Birds and wild Animals
like it so well, that they suffer it seldom to ripen. All the Vine
Kinds seem natural to the Country. (Moore, 1744: p. 55)

Similarly, late 18th century settlers discovered feral grapes of

apparent V. aestivalis x vinifera hybridity (Rea, 1941; Mishkin, 1975),

growing within the former Hispanic/mission, and subsequent Anglo-Indian,

borderland in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. This buffer zone,

then populated by remnant Indian tribal communities, included Hispanicized








34
villages forcibly relocated by the English upon destruction of the Spanish

west Florida province of Apalache at the beginning of the century (Jones,

1972).

San Francisco de Oconi was one mission community that may have

accepted relocation rather than the alternatives of enslavement or

slaughter. Those that went along with the English were settled amid the

Creeks, probably somewhere in the upper basin of the Altamaha River, and

most likely soon assimilated. Eventually, the northern branch of the

Altamaha came to be known as the Oconee.(4) Despite English encroachment,

the area remained under nominal Indian control until 1775 (De Vorsey,

1966).
In 1773, while traveling between the Oconee and Savannah rivers,

naturalist William Bartram observed that grapes and other orchard fruits

were cultivated in an Indian village that he visited. He later wrote:

The present nations that inhabit these lands seem very fond of all
kinds of eatable [sic] fruits and nuts and take great care to
cultivate peaches, grapes, plums, & etc. (Bartram, 1775: p. 142)

A few years later, in an ethnographic paper on the Creek of the Oconee,

Bartram again made reference to the cultivated grapes he had seen in their

territory.

Vitis vinifera: I call them so because they approach, as respects
the largeness of their fruit and their shape and flavor, much nearer
to the grapes of Europe and Asia, of which wine is made, and are
specifically different from the fox or bull grape of Pennsylvania
and Carolina (Bartram, 1789: p. 49).
By the time of Bartram's visit some Creek had moved out of Georgia

and into northern Florida. A group that had lived on the Oconee River

became established, between 1733 and 1750, in the Alachua region (Tebeau,

1980). The Micosuki, as this people came to be known, was gradually








35

forced southward, and in the 1820s briefly granted much of central Florida

from Ocala south to latitude 27 N. Isolated groups survived later

campaigns to remove them. It may be that many were gradually absorbed

into the dominant culture of later immigrants.

Feral grapes that appear to be "escapes" from cultivation or

abandoned cultivars from earlier occupation have been recovered in south-

central Florida, as in other Southeastern frontier zones where the Indian

presence lingered.(5) However, the original systemic or behavioral

context of such finds has not been as clearly established as certain

documented survivals from the preceding Spanish period.

In 1823 a surveyor preparing a site plan for the Florida state

capital at Tallahassee discovered the ruins of Fort San Luis, abandoned

one-hundred-nineteen years earlier. It was later reported that "within

the outerworks of this fort, are to be seen grape arbors in parallel

lines, which still maintain their pristine regularity." (quoted in Boyd,

1939: p. 4). Another contemporary observer described a vestigial street

grid nearby, with shade trees and "grape arbors of more or less

regularity." (Ibid.: p. 5). Unless the vines in question were overgrown

rootstocks of native species, their unusual longevity suggests the

possibility of hybrid cultivars.

It is interesting to note that toward the end of the century French

winemaker Emile Dubois established a winegrowing estate on the Fort San

Luis property (Paisely, 1968). Unlike many immigrants who brought in

muscadines (V. rotundifolia) from Georgia and the Carolinas, or introduced

V. labrusca cultivars from farther north (Lewis, 1979), Dubois planted

hybrid V. aestivalis x V. vinifera selections of the "Florida mission"








36

type. It is unclear what varieties he used to make the red wine that won

recognition at the Paris Exposition of 1900.



An Archaeological Clue

The widespread occurrence of feral hybrid grapevines is not

unequivocal proof that intentional hybrid viticulture, much less grape

breeding, took place in colonial Florida. It has been suggested that the

conventional botanical classification of grape species and supposed

subspecies is "illusory" (Rives, 1971) because of the observed frequency

of spontaneous hybrids between geographically coterminous forms. Another

researcher proposed "indefinite specific limits" (Bailey, 1948).

Intermediate forms have been noted as especially common in the

anthropogenic environments produced by fire, cultivation and grazing

(Rives, 1963, 1971; See also: Chapman, et al., 1982). It has also been

proposed that central Florida is a likely center of origin of new

botanical forms emerging in the interface of formerly isolated peninsular

species (Woodson, 1947).(6)

A cultural context has not been definitely established for the

origin of any foundling Florida grapevine adopted as a cultivar or proto-

cultivar (for breeding purposes) in modern times. However, because

natural hybridization is an ephemeral phenomenon (Rives, 1963; Anderson,

1949), the survival and diffusion of a hybrid grapevine may denote both

environmental and cultural favor. A natural hybrid may easily become an

artifact of material culture by means of asexual vegetative propagation.

Grape seeds of apparently hybrid morphology were recovered from a

historical archaeological context in Hontoon Island, central Florida








37

(latitude 2910'N, longitude 8130'W) by Purdy and Newsom (Newsom, 1987)

in 1982. The site comprises a sequence of aboriginal occupations

culminating in an agricultural (mission) settlement during the Spanish

colonial period. Charred grape seeds are among the more common floristic

remains at all levels. This is not surprising in view of the fact that

large scale smoke-drying of grapes was practiced by Indians in the

Southeast from prehistory through Contact (Sauer, 1971) to the late 18th

century (Bartram, 1775).(7)

Following Rogers and Mortensen (1979), most of the grape seeds from

Hontoon were tentatively identified as belonging to five broadly defined

species found in central Florida, and a few incidental hybrids.(8) The

most notable find is a substantial sample of 51 well preserved, apparently

charred, specimens which has been dated to the historic period, ca 1775-

1800 (Volumetric Sample 5, obtained 40 to 50 cm below the surface of the

dig). The sample is composed exclusively of relatively large bunch grape

seeds (Euvitis) of extraordinary and uniform appearance (Figure 2).

Interpretation of the VS 5 sample, provisionally named "Vitis x

hontunensis," was possible only after a considerable search for comparable

herbarium and living specimens.(9) No survey was made of grapes presently

found on Hontoon Island. The V. x hontunensis seeds have been found to

closely resemble the shape and dimensions of two supposed taxonomical

species, V. simpsoni Munson, otherwise known as "Simpson's Grape," and V.

gigAs Fennell, the "Florida Blue Grape."

The two forms share the horticultural attribute of bearing

relatively large clusters of comparatively large berries. This

combination of traits is rare in nature, but can occur when a small



























dorsal view


ral view


frontal view







lateral view


Hontoon Grape seed (Vitis x hontunensis), enlarged
approximately ten times. Drawn by the author.


Figure 2.


chalaza








39

cluster, large seed, large berry form, specifically V. shuttleworthi House

of southern Florida (syn. V. coriacea Shuttleworth), hybridizes with large

cluster, small berry species such as V. vulpina L. (V. cordifolia Michx)

or V. aestivalis Michx. of wider distribution. Both "gigAs" and
"simpsoni" have been alternately described by the creators of the taxa and

by others as possible hybrids of such origin. V. x hontunensis may

represent a similar hybrid form.

A pioneer of modern adaptive grape breeding, T.V. Munson recognized

and made extensive practical and promotional use of such forms. In the

late 19th century, Munson grew in his vineyard at Denison, Texas (latitude
3345' N), propagules of several central Florida grapes supposed by the

collectors to be natural hybrids of V. coriacea (V. shuttleworthi) with

other species, namely V. cinerea, V. cordifolia (V. vulpina) and V.

aestivalis (Munson, 1909). However, such finds which continue to occur

(10), were common enough before large scale destruction of the native

vegetation to result in the elevation to specific status of some

foundlings by Munson. In 1887 he described taxonomically a V. simpsoni,

honoring the collector J. H. Simpson of Manatee, Florida (Munson, 1887).

Ten years later Munson established a second "Simpsoni," of more promising

horticultural appearance (Bailey, 1934).

Munson eventually downgraded his first simpsoni to V. cinerea var.

floridana (Munson, 1909). The ensuing taxonomical confusion has occupied

subsequent ampelographers from Viala (1889) and Bailey (1934) to Rogers

and Mortensen (1979). Bailey, in particular, compounded the problem by








40

renaming the second "Simpsoni," V. smalliana, and insisting that his

description applied to Simpson's intended "Simpsoni":

This is undoubtedly the plant understood as Simpsoni by Simpson
himself in a communication of Nov. 8, 1898, in which he says,
"bearing vines [i.e. female clones] seldom found except on shell
mounds near salt water." (Bailey, 1934: p. 207)

Meanwhile, in 1888 a French mission led by Viala examined Munson's

collection of "Simpsoni." Later Viala (1889) described what he saw as a

hybrid "mel~nge" of V. coriacea (shuttleworthi).(11) The "type" that he

returned with to France was identified as "Nash no. 399" from Lake County,

central Florida. A plate and measurements by Bonnet (1902), and a plate

by Gillet published years later by Viala and Vermorel (1910) are

presumably representative of the Viala accession in the Montpellier

collection. All are in agreement with Munson's (1909) brief description

of V. simpsoni. Both descriptions are congruous with the recovered

V. x hontunensis. A comparable sample of 49 seeds was obtained as a

medium (15 cm) cluster of fruits from a vine in the Leesburg (Lake County)

Agricultural Research Center germplasm collection. The medium cluster,

large-medium berry clone is listed as "Florida no. 399, V. smalliana

Bailey.'(12)

A second comparable sample comprises 20 seed specimens from the

original and only known botanical type of V. Sigcas Fennell (1940): Sample

no. 2216242 in the U.S. National Herbarium (Smithsonian Institution).

Fennell described an isolated population of vines which seemed akin to V.

aestivalis, and bore impressively large clusters of large berries with

meaty, sweet and tangy pulp. Proclaiming his find a new species: V.

Sjicis, Fennell described its habitat as restricted to "the dry shelly









41

banks of brackish waterways and lagoons" on the Sebastian River, ca.

latitude 27*50' N (Fennell, 1940: p. 17).

Fennell implicitly admitted the possibility of a hybrid origin for

his "Florida Blue Grape":

In a few cases it takes close observation to distinguish by foliage
alone the Florida blue grape from some of the natural hybrids of V.
shuttleworthi or of V. simpsoni (V. cinerea floridana). (Fennell,
1940: p. 17)

Fennell has never published his retrospective suspicion that his

foundling might be a remnant of antique viticulture (Fennel, p.c. 1984).

A collector of native grape hybrids in the wilds of southern Florida in

the 1930s, he was lured to ajgs by reports of exceptional dooryard bunch

grapes in the vicinity of the hamlet of Mico (an Indian word for chief).

Recently he read of archaeological digs in the same area (Tequesta) and

reflected that his best finds had been associated with Indian shell

mounds. This coincides with Bailey's observation concerning a similar

habitat for Simpson's Grape.

Comparative measurements of V. x hontunensis and the living forms:

Florida no. 399 (Simpson's Grape or VS), and V. gigqs (henceforth

Fennell's Grape or VG) are summarized in Tables 1, 2, and 3.(13) Despite

overall resemblance among the three types, the absolute and relative

measurements of each sample reveal distinctive differences as well as

similarities. Although seed morphology suggests the three forms are

closely related, their dimensions are indicative that they have separate

identities.

The V. x hontunensis (henceforth Hontoon Grape, or VH) seeds appear

to be in the same size category as Simpson's Grape (VS). Newsom (p.c.

1988) believes the degree of carbonization of the VH sample is open to









42
question. If compared directly, the absolute dimensions of VH fall into

the size range of the smaller VS, except for one feature, the chalaza,

which averages 16% larger in the VH seeds.

If 18% shrinkage is allowed for in the archaeological sample, and

the VS similarly "reduced," the longest (i.e. the "largest") VS become

equivalent in length to the mean for the "large" VH. (14) In addition,

31% of the VH seeds represent potentially greater live lengths, roughly

7 to 7.2 mm. All together, the longer VH seeds (43.75%) appear wider by

14.7% and thicker by 10% than their VS counterpart (the "largest" VS

comprise 18.36% of their sample).

The chalaza of the VH appears much larger than the shrinkage

adjusted value for all the VS. The mean is 31% larger, but the largest

VH seeds have chalazas 35% wider than the widest VS (surprisingly the
"small medium" seeds). The mean "diameter" of chalaza for all the VH is

also 31% larger than the adjusted mean for the largest chalaza of

Fennell's Grape (VG). The advantage is 17% for the unadjusted

measurement. Curiously, the "median" VG seeds have the largest chalaza.

Comparison of the relative dimensions for VH and VS tends to confirm

the visual similarity of proportions between the two forms. Small VS

seeds (2.24%) have a mean L/W ratio of 1.25, identical to the value for

"large" VH. The "small medium" VS (28.5%) have an L/T ratio of 1.82,

identical with the value for the largest VH. The whole VS sample has an

L/T value of 1.81, virtually the same as the "largest" VH. The L/W ratio

of the chalaza for all VS is 1.22, almost the same as the mean for all the

VH (1.20).









Table 1. Hontoon Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative Measurements (mm)


Mean Mean Mean chalaza
Category Sample Length Width Thickness L/W L/T 5/W L/W

Largest (longest) # %
(5.85-5.975) 6 12.50 5.92 4.56 3.25 1.29 1.82 1.76 1.15
Larger (longer)
(5.62-5.75) 9 18.75 5.67 4.57 3.41 1.24 1.66 1.62 1.19
Large (long)
(5.50-5.57) 6 12.50 5.53 4.52 3.15 1.22 1.75 1.52 1.30

All Large 21 43.75 5.70 4.55 3.27 1.25 1.74 1.63 1.21

Medium (length)
(5.40-5.475) 10 20.80 5.45 4.54 3.04 1.20 1.79 1.54 1.23
Small Med. (lgth.)
(5.07-5.35) 12 25.00 5.23 4.34 3.43 1.20 1.52 1.58 1.18

All Medium 22 45.83 5.34 4.44 3.23 1.20 1.65 1.56 1.20

Small (length)
(4.75-4.975) 5 10.41 4.88 4.27 3.12 1.14 1.56 1.47 1.19

All Seeds 48 100.00 5.45 4.47 3.23 1.21 1.68 1.58 1.20


Source: Direct measurements by Lee A. Newsom (1985), Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville, with "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper. Classification, means and
ratios by the author.









Table 2. Simpson's Grape (Fla. 399) Seeds. Summary of Comparative Measurements (mm)


Category

Largest (longest)
(6.6-6.9)
Large (long)
(6.42-6.55)
Small Large
(6.30-6.40)

All Large

Small Medium
(6.10-6.27)
Small (length)
(5.4-5.9)

All Seeds


Source:


L/W


Sample


18.36

24.48

16.32

59.18


28.57

12.24

100.00


chal aza
L/W


Mean
Length


6.74

6.49

6.36

6.53


6.20

5.78

6.34


Mean
Width


4.74

4.65

4.70

4.70


4.59

4.63

4.65


Mean
Thickness


3.58

3.50

3.41

3.50


3.40

3.64

3.48


1.42

1.39

1.35

1.38


1.35

1.25

1.36


1.87

1.85

1.86

1 .86


1.82

1.58

1.81


1.28

1.28

1.28

1.28


1.35

1.37

1.31


1.22

1.26

1.28

1.25


1.22

1.15

1.22


Direct measurements by Lee A. Newsom (1985), Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville, with "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper. Classification, means and
ratios by the author.









Table 3. Fennell's Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative Measurements (mm)


Category


Sample


Mean
Length


Mean
Width


Mean
Thickness


chal aza
L/W


Largest (longest) # %
(6.025-6.20) 7 35.00 6.08 3.92 2.98 1.55 2.04 1.20 1.38
Median (long)
(5.80-5.95) 5 25.00 5.86 4.00 2.89 1.46 2.02 1.21 1.30
Small
(5.625-5.75) 6 30.00 5.67 3.95 2.86 1.43 1.98 1.14 1.35
Smallest
(5.475) 2 10.00 5.47 3.83 2.77 1.43 1.97 1.12 1.47

All Seeds 20 100.00 5.77 3.92 2.87 1.47 2.00 1.17 1.37


Source:


Direct measurements by Lee A. Newsom (1985), Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville, with "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper. Classification, means and
ratios by the author.








46

Comparison of the Hontoon seeds with those of VG is limited by the

size and structure of the latter sample. Fennell apparently selected

representative seeds in terms of their number per fruit. The twenty seed

sample is based on two single seed berries (10%), three 4 seed berries

(60%), and one six seed berry (30%). There does not seem to be a clear

correlation between seed dimensions and number of seeds per berry.

Compared directly, (15) the longer VH seeds fall into the mean

length for VG (5.70 vs. 5.77) with a similar "median" of 5.67. The mean

width for all VH seeds, however, is 12.30% greater than that for the VG.

The mean thickness of the VH is also greater than that of the VG, by 11%.

The chalaza is 20% larger in the VH.

In relative dimensions there are corresponding differences that

belie the remarkable likeness between the VH and VG seeds. The L/W ratio

of VG is 17.7% higher (indicating a somewhat narrower form), and the L/T

ratio 16% higher (somewhat thinner), than the VH. The L/W value for the

VG chalaza is 12.4% higher, indicating a relatively elongated outline.

In general, the compared measurements show that seeds of the Hontoon

Grape are morphologically akin to those of Simpson's Grape and Fennell's

Grape. At the same time they are clearly distinct, individually and

collectively. Yet all three types were found in the same anthropogenic

context (shell middens), and within the same geographic area of south

central Florida. Is the archaeological grape a precursor of the two

living forms with similar seeds, that share horticultural attributes?

The possibility that the Hontoon Grape seeds represent an

archaeological cultivar raises further questions. The seeds of the three

forms compared do not suggest hybridization between a native type and








47

European V. vinifera, but rather between native American species.

Foundling "mission grape" cultivars such as Herbemont and Black Spanish

have seeds readily discernable as intermediate in form between V.

aestivalis, a likely parental species of VH, and V. vinifera. Two

characteristic features of the European Grape, namely: 1) pronounced beak;

and, 2) chalaza located well above the center of the dorsal face, are

present in the "mission" foundlings, but absent in the three samples

studied.

Elucidation of the ancestry of Simpson's and Fennell's foundlings

will have to await more sophisticated techniques of genetic analysis.

However, mention of Sauer's proposition of aboriginal grape cultivars is

relevant at this point. Sauer (1971) inferred that three modern American

cultigens V. rotundifolia, V. labrusca, and V. aestivalis were of pre-

colonial origin. The historical record supports reasonably well the case

for Indian muscadine (V. rotundifolia) viticulture (Mishkin, 1975; Gohdes,

1982). The evidence in favor of V. labrusca is at best tenuous.

The argument for V. aestivalis is complicated by the extensive range

of the species, taxonomic recognition of several geographic subspecific

forms, and widespread evidence of hybridization with other species. For

example, after a survey of herbaria, germplasm collections and the field,

Rogers and Mortensen (1979) recognized five subspecies of V. aestivalis

in Florida: 1) aestivalis; 2) sola; 3) divergens; 4) smalliana; and,

5) simpsoni. Following Anderson (1949), Rives (1963), and others, it is

likely that some or all of the subspecific forms could represent hybrid
"swarms" or "men~ges" resulting from interbreeding of the "true"

aestivalis with other species, including the introduced European cultigen.








48

The territory of V. aestivalis proper covers most of southeastern

North America (Bailey, 1934). In the northern reaches and higher

elevations of its range it gives way to a hardier variant, V. argentifolia

or bicolor. West of the Mississippi River, from eastern Texas and western

Louisiana north to the Ozark highlands of southern Missouri, the

subspecific Post-Oak or Caddoan Grape prevails. Often considered a

separate species, V. lincecumi Buckley, the Caddoan Grape has been

suspected variously as a natural hybrid swarm (Rives, 1963) and as a horde

of horticultural escapes from early mission vineyards (Branas, 1974).

V. lincecumi does suggest hybridity between V. aestivalis and the

large berry V. candicans which shares the southern part of its range and

is closely related to V. shuttleworthi of southern Florida. Sauer (1971)

pointed out that the first missionaries to visit the area (from the

Spanish colonies in Mexico and Florida) were surprised to find the Hasinai

and Caddoans tending grapes similar to theirs. In 1876, T. V. Munson, the

"father" of modern adaptive grape breeding chose to settle in Denison,

Texas on the Red River across from the Indian Territory of Oklahoma

(Munson, 1887, 1909).

Munson made the Caddoan Grape the focus of his breeding work. He

searched land the Indians had not long before vacated and collected

exceptional vines bearing large grapes (around an inch in diameter) in

heavy clusters. These he bred with cultivars of other species and

regions. His selections were widely disseminated. Taken to France, they

became the phylogenetic foundation of modern adaptive grape breeding in

Europe (Galet, 1956) and after World War II in the United States (Barrett,

1956).










Interestingly, the seeds of V. lincecumi (VL) described, illustrated

and measured by Bonnet (1902), Munson (1909), and later by Gleason and

Fernald (cited in Steyermark, 1963) appear very similar to those of VH,

VS and VG. Compared directly, the longest VH fits the lower range of

length for VL (7 to 7.25 mm). The mean L/W ratio for VS fits the middle

range for VL (1.40 to 1.33). Countering both Fernald and Gleason,

Steyermark found no correlation between seed size and berry size in the

modern feral population of "V. aestivalis" (i.e. lincecumi) from southern

Missouri. (16) On the other hand, he conceded that "the fruits are sweet

and edible and used for preserves and jelly" (Steyermark, 1963: p.

1037).(17)

It is well documented that the Caddoans produced smoked raisins and

had a horticultural tradition that may have included clonal propagation

of selected grape varieties (Swanton, 1946; Griffith, 1954; Perttula et

al., 1982). Munson (1909) described two botanical varieties of the

Caddoan Grape. One was a smaller fruited, sweet and juicy type

appropriate for winemaking. The second was a larger fruited kind,

described as having tough, dry, very acid and astringent pulp, traits that

suggest the possibility of uncommonly good prune-like or apricot-like

raisins. If the large seeds are considered as "grape-nuts," it would seem

the Indians had a superior product by present standards.

A report on a late Woodland Period (ca 1,000 BP) grape seed find

from a typical Caddo site in northeastern Texas mentions the presence of

preserved dried pulp (Crane, 1982). Although the seeds are described as

identical to modern summer grape (V. aestivalis), a photo, inadequate for

lack of scale and resolution is suggestive of V. lincecumi, and of the








50

Hontoon Grape. Attempts to locate the author and the sample were

unsuccessful, as were efforts to obtain comparative seeds from Munson's

VL derived selections. Whether the Hontoon Grape is closely related to

modern VL or to archaeological Caddoan grapes could not be determined by

the researcher, and remains an open question.

It is not known what purpose was served by the Hontoon Grape,

presumably an Amerindian cultivar, in a settlement of Hispanicized Indians

of the late 18th century. At the time, Bartram observed that similarly

acculturated tribes in Georgia were still making smoked raisins in the

traditional manner, apparently with a cultivar unfamiliar to the

botanist.(18)

During our progress over this vast high forest, we crossed extensive
open plains, the soil gravelly, producing a few trees and shrubs or
undergrowth, which were entangled with grapevines of a peculiar
species. The bunches (racemes) were very large, as were the grapes
that composed them, though yet green and not fully grown, but when
ripe they are of various colors and their juice is sweet and rich.
The Indians gather great quantities of them, which they prepare for
keeping by first sweating them on hurdles over a gentle fire and
afterwards drying them on their bunches in the sun and air, and
store them up for provision. These grape vines do not climb into
high trees but creep along from one low shrub to another, extending
their branches to a great distance horizontally round about; and it
is very pleasing to behold the clusters pendant from the vines,
almost touching the earth, indeed some of them lie on the ground
(Bartram, 1775: p. 321).

The above quotation unequivocally indicates a non-vinifera bunch grape and

not, as has been recently claimed, a muscadine (Olien and Hegwood, 1990),

or even a labrusca or other native grape of the East, all of which were

familiar to Bartram. On the other hand, his description brings to mind

Munson's foundling Caddoan grapes (V. lincecumi) from Indian territory

west of the Mississippi River, a region unexplored by Bartram, who most

likely encountered a native cultivar, not a wild species.










Curiously, there is no record of transcultural Indian communities

having adopted grape winemaking. In the Spanish missions winemaking and

winegrowing were under religious control, and the use of wine by Indians

generally prohibited. The powerful ritual role of wine in Spanish culture

may indeed have been a reason for the non-adoption of winemaking by the

Indians. However, the possibility that aboriginal uses of grapes were

likewise of religious or ceremonial nature should also be considered.

Fruits such as grapes have been considered by anthropologists mainly

in the context of "gatherer" subsistence strategies, as nutritional

supplements, or "snack foods" (Ford, 1982: p. 304). The unique importance

of grapes as a high energy source, in particular for the lean winter

months, is supported by archaeologic as well as ethnographic data.

The most frequent grape seed finds have been carbonized specimens,

although they have been found in a variety of conditions, matrices and

sample sizes (Yarnell, 1969; Kay, et al., 1980). Although grapes are not

generally accepted as prehistoric domesticates, grape seed remains seem

rather consistently associated with recognized Amerindian cultigens and

horticulture from the late Archaic (Chomko and Crawford, 1978; Chapman and

Shea, 1981) through the Woodland (Pertula et al., 1982) and Mississippian

(Watson, 1980) to the historical periods (Newsom, 1986). (19)

On the other hand, evidence of possible non-subsistence uses of

grapes, such as ceremonial or "soul food" for the living and the deceased,

medicine and dyestuff, although sparsely documented is also available in

the archaeological record. The presence of grape seeds appears associated

in one early site (Late Archaic, ca 4,200 BP) with the presence of gourds,








52

suggesting a link with shamanist activities. (20) They also appear to be

characteristic of certain mortuary contexts. (21)

Medico-religious uses of grapes have survived in our own society as

a legacy of ancient Mediterranean culture. For example, the special

symbolism of dried fruits, including raisined grapes, in the celebration

of seasonal events is common to the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religious

traditions. Fresh grapes, and raisins also, can be used in effecting a

dietary "grape cure," or cleansing of the digestive tract in ritual

preparation for fasting. Did American Indians have similar traditions

four thousand years ago? If so, the presence and spread of hybrid grape

seeds would mirror the diffusion of early religious beliefs in a way

analogous to the diffusion of wine and winegrowing in the prehistoric

Mediterranean world (Stanislawski, 1975).


A Search for El Dorado

Florida has often been regarded a geographic corridor for biological

and cultural transferal between North America and the Caribbean tropics.

The subtropical native grapes of the peninsula, for example, because of

their adaptedness to hot and humid growing conditions, would be adapted

also, it has been reasoned, to similar conditions between the Tropics of

Cancer and Capricorn.

Modern adaptive grape breeding was emerging in Florida in 1935 (22)

when a visionary young botanist, Joseph Fennell, became enthralled by the

hybrid diversity and attractive cultivar-like traits of the native grapes

he found growing in apparently feral conditions in southern Florida. Like

Munson, whom he sought to emulate, Fennell collected horticulturally








53
appealing forms and bred them with each other and with cultivars from

other areas (Fennell, 1941, 1945). In the process, he conceived an

ambitious project for developing the foundation of a tropical viticulture.

In 1942 Fennell moved to Puerto Rico where Governor Tugwell offered

support. In 1943, frustrated by political and bureaucratic obstacles, he

moved with his vines from the federal experiment station in Mayaguez to

the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Science (IICA) in Turrialba,

Costa Rica. Two years later, in 1945, he returned abruptly to Florida

where he continued breeding grapes privately on a limited scale. Fennell

ably memorialized his breeding work in search of a viticultural "El

Dorado" in articles written with contagious promotional enthusiasm

(Fennell, 1944-45, 1945).

Despite claims of success, Fennell's project came to a virtual

standstill in Costa Rica, for various reasons. Extreme cloud cover

(tolda) is characteristic of the growing season in Turrialba

(Schwerdtfeger, 1976) as it is in Mayaguez (Ravalo et al., 1986). (23)

Except for regional accessions of V. caribaea and V. popenoei, most of the

grapevines Fennell grew at the IICA he took there as hybrid seeds and

clones from Florida. Two growing seasons was insufficient time to fully

evaluate their performance.

Fennell (p.c. 1982) would recall that most of his material was

seriously affected by "rust," a mold which in grapes, as in peaches

(Prunus persica), appears mainly on senescent leaves (i.e., a "serious"

attack implies the vines were not growing properly). An exception was

two "true" species introduced from southernmost Florida. V. shuttleworthi








54
and V. cinerea var. floridana (V. aestivalis ssp. divergens). Both

developed as well as the native V. caribaea, according to Fennell.

Fennell's accounts mention the need to import and preserve pollen

of northern latitude parents as one of his difficulties in producing

hybrids at Turrialba. His known hybrid selections are described as having

originated in Florida, a very few from seeds obtained in Costa Rica.

Evidently, the greater part of Fennell's collection at the IICA was

abandoned by him as unpromising, and eventually died out or was destroyed

when its custodians arrived at the same conclusion. At the end, Fennell

(1947, 1948) hinted that he had become aware of the importance of

daylength as a critical parameter of adaptive viticulture in the tropics.

In 1950, some five years after Fennell's departure, a Brazilian

grape breeder, J. A. Santos-Neto obtained a handful of clones of dubious

phylogeny (24) from Fonnell's abandoned plot in Turrialba. The material

was planted at Fazenda Santa Eliza, the field station of the Instituto

Agron6mico de Campinas (IAC) in the state of Sao Paulo (latitude 22053'S)

a few miles north of the Tropic of Capricorn. These became the basis for

a vast succession of hybrids and backcrosses selected for adaptation to

the Brazilian tropics and subtropics over the next quarter century.

Santos-Neto (1955) deserves recognition for creating the first modern

grape hybrids in the tropics, for the tropics, with tropical (and

subtropical) germplasm.

While Fennell was away in the Caribbean, viticulturist Loren Stover

of the agricultural experiment station in Leesburg, central Florida, was

visiting a nearby farm when a field hand walked by eating what appeared

to be unripe green grapes. Stover (p.c. 1982) was surprised to discover








55
that the grapes were not only ripe and quite sweet, but also wild from a

large vine eventually classed as V. simpsoni. (25) It was named Pixiola

and used by him as the female parent of the first hybrid selection

produced and released by the state's adaptive grape breeding program, the

Lake Emerald (Stover, 1960).

Stover, who had no formal training in plant breeding, expanded his

hybridization to include other foundling native grapevines. His work laid

the foundation for the present program, expanded considerably under his

successor, geneticist John Mortensen (Mortensen, 1971, 1980). The

development of adapted hybrid varieties for many uses has created a

diverse viticultural industry in Florida (Bates, et al., 1980).

In conclusion, it can be affirmed that the evidence articulated in

this chapter demonstrates the plausible evolution of adaptive grape

breeding in Florida from the Spanish mission settlements to the modern

state experiment station in Leesburg. However, the sequential pathway is

more often devious than direct, with many ramifications. The explanatory

scheme that is here presented is in the nature of a road map of a

territory that has considerable terra incognita.

On the basis of the archaeobotanical evidence, for example, the

Sauer grape theory of aboriginal cultivars cannot be decisively confirmed,

only elevated to a more sophisticated level of conjecture. Then also,

there are the apparent dead-ends of phylogenetic discontinuity. The

antebellum wine grapes Black Spanish and Herbemont, of presumptively

mission origin, were long eschewed as adaptive progenitors in Florida

(Mortensen, et al., 1977), probably because of a remnant prohibitionism

(Watlington-Linares, 1984).








56

On the other hand, the above varieties were used in hybridization

by Munson and by later breeders in France. Some of their descendants have

returned to Florida where they have become the parents of more recent wine

grape hybrids (Mortensen, 1971; Mortensen and Andrews, 1981). Fennell's

V. gqas was lost for many years. Recovered in the early 1980s (Fennell,

p.c. 1984), it may yet be used in breeding new varieties. Simpson's grape

has been used to a limited extent in the Leesburg program (Mortensen, p.c.

1984).

The main contribution of the Florida mission grapes has been

ideographic. Their very existence and functional utility has been

responsible for the widespread adoption of adaptive breeding, both as a

dynamic grassroots tradition and as a practical scientific approach to

viticultural adaptation. Although Floridian grape cultivars have been

disseminated world-wide, few have proven adapted outside the narrow

latitudinal limits of the peninsula. However, as will be appreciated more

fully in the following chapters, Florida has played a key role in the

stimulus diffusion of adaptive hybridization to the New World tropics.

Nonetheless, the process has been hindered by the lack of adaptedness of

Florida cultivars to relatively short tropical daylengths.



Notes

1. These researchers have demonstrated that geographical and
archaeological series of grape seeds can be used to detect origin
and diffusion of somatic traits reflecting intra and interspecific
hybridization (See also: Olmo, 1942; Negral, 1957).

2. Subsequently, a second corridor was extended westward across the
peninsula, incorporating the peoples of Timucua and Apalache. At
its height the Spanish mission sphere embraced some forty principal
village communities (Gannon, 1965).










3. However, the location on the Atlantic Coast of Santa Elena and the
other Sea Island settlements provided long term protection from
lethal freeze damage for tender Mediterranean fruits (See "South
Carolina" and "Georgia" in Weather Atlas of The United States,
1968).
4. According to Marvin T. Smith (p.c. 1984), the upper branch appears
to have been considered the main Altamaha by natives of the area at
the time of De Soto's passage in the spring of 1540 (See also:
Hudson et al., 1984). Covington (1964) mentions a group of
Apalaches resettled on the Oconee until 1715.

5. It has been noted that the Creek were dedicated horticulturists who
insisted on planting and cultivating orchards even as they were
being dispossessed and forced to rely on less sedentary subsistence
strategies such as fishing, gathering and herding (Fairbanks, 1952;
Mason, 1963; Covington, 1964).

6. Woodson refers to the archipelagic condition of peninsular Florida
(Central Florida he calls "Orange Island") during the Pleistocene
interglacial periods.

7. The practice was widespread from the Late Archaic period (3,500 to
4,500 BP) on, as indicated by the abundant presence of charred seeds
in the archaeological record (Yarnell, 1976; Watson, 1980; Ford,
1981).
8. The species are: V. munsoniana, V. rotundifolia, V. aestivalis, V.
vulpina, and V. shuttleworthi (Rogers and Mortensen, 1979). A
number of seeds suggested intermediacy between vulpina and
aestivalis. Grapevines of phenotypically hybrid appearance have
been observed by the researcher as comprising perhaps 10% of the
wild Vitis population in some areas. This is in agreement with the
experience of viticultural botanists in other parts of the U.S.
southeast over the years (Bartram, 1804; Rafinesque, 1830;
Engelmann, 1883; Bailey, 1948; Munson, 1909; Fennell, 1945; Rives,
1963; Olmo, 1976; Duncan, 1975).

9. Sources included the University of Florida Herbarium, the living
collection of Vitis forms at the Leesburg Agricultural Research
Center (IFAS), the U.S. National Herbarium of the Smithsonian
Institution, the University of Tennessee Museum, the American Museum
of Natural History, Florida State University (Margaret Scarry), and
documentary sources featuring illustrations of grape seeds.

10. In reply to a classified advertisement placed in the July 15, 1983
edition of Florida Market Bulletin, several south central Florida
residents sent descriptions and samples of hybrid-like foundlings,
suggestive of both V. shuttleworthi and V. aestivalis.










11. Viala noted many similarities of "simpsoni" and coriacea. In
particular, that the very short beaked seeds of the first were
indistinguishable from those of certain forms of the latter. He
concluded that hybridization between diverse forms must be common
in Florida.

12. Slimpson's Grape according to Bailey, equivalent to Munson's revised
V. simpsoni.

13. All seeds of the three samples were measured by Lee A. Newsom,
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville,
using a "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper.

14. Coffee, for example, loses about 18% of its weight and presumably
reduces its proportions accordingly when roasted. See also, Shea
and Crites (1980), Minnis (1981).

15. Considerable shrinkage is assumed to have occurred in the herbarium
sample of V. gigas collected by Fennell in 1938, near Roseland,
Brevard County, Florida.

16. Fernald found a direct correlation between seed and berry size which
justified his separation of VL from aestivalis. Abandoned
cultivars, on the other hand, would presumably generate populations
of wild descendants in which their horticultural attributes would
tend to be genetically dispersed.

17. Very high soluble solids, mainly sugar, (over 20 Brix) has been
noted by this observer and others in some Florida forms of V.
aestivalis, in contrast to other local species, but in accordance
with V. vinifera.

18. That Bartram was puzzled is surprising. He has long been considered
a competent botanist and ampelographer. His father John Bartram
organized the first living collection of North American grapes in
his Philadelphia botanical garden. William authored a pioneer
American ampelography (Bartram, 1804).

19. Following Chapman et al. (1982), the Southeastern cultural periods
for prehistorical archaeological purposes is, in part, as follows:
Middle Archaic, 5,000 to 8,000 BP; Late Archaic, 2,500 to 4,500 BP;
Woodland, 1,000 to 2,000 BP; Mississippian, Contact (500 BP to 1,000
BP.

20. It has been proposed that the spread of the bottle gourd (Lagenaria)
in the Southeast is a likely indicator of an ideological (religious
and political) movement or "Great Tradition" that may have led to
the adoption of other plants for shamanist rather than subsistence
purposes (Hall, 1977).










In the so-called "squash and gourd" zone at Phillips Spring,
Missouri, uncarbonized grape seeds (preserved by saturation)
outnumbered seeds of the early cultigens by six to one (Kay et al.,
1980).

21. Early Woodland (ca 2,000 BP) grape seeds have been found in human
paleofeces from dry caves in Kentucky (Yarnell, 1969). The context
suggests they were ingested in preparation for death.

22. The ephemeral commercial success of several Munson hybrids in
central and west Florida led Charles Demko (of Altoona) to begin
breeding native peninsular grapes with American cultivars in 1927
(Mortensen, 1971).

23. The daylength shortening effect of tolda is enhanced by the location
of Turrialba. Nestled in the eastern piedmont of the Cordillera
Central, evening falls early in the rainy season as cumulo-nimbus
clouds pile against the mountains, thus "advancing" the westerly
setting of the sun.

24. This researcher observed in 1971 and subsequent visits to Campinas
that part of the Turrialba material in the IAC collection was
mislabeled. Two were species supposedly used by Fennell He claims
(p.c. 1984) he never took V. jgs or V. smalliana to Costa Rica.

25. An expedient that conveniently avoids the problem of origin of this
exceptional native clone with horticultural attributes.














CHAPTER 4
ADAPTIVE PRUNING IN VENEZUELA:
EVOLUTION OF A PARADIGM


Venezuela provides a still unfolding epitome of a modern tropical

viticulture that is emerging from the largely empirical development of

traditional adaptive techniques. Although there are elements of

historical continuity from the early colonial period, it is largely a

recent phenomenon, arising from the geographic interface of diverse

cultural and geo-environmental factors during the latter part of the 20th

century. The process has generated a modest fund of documentary data and

direct sources of first-hand testimony that make possible the following

examination. Most of the information for this chapter was obtained in the

course of two visits to Venezuela, in April 1988 and in November 1989.

Before World War II grapevines were grown sporadically in gardens

and small vineyards throughout much of Venezuela between latitudes 8N and

120N (Eguiraun, 1945; Araque, 1969). After the war, a wave of immigrants

from Mediterranean Europe sparked an upsurge in planting and in public

interest concerning the possibility of viticulture as a viable agri-

industrial enterprise. In 1961, the first agricultural census to feature

grapes recorded only 4.75 hectares (MAC, 1970). Although probably

underreported, the figure is in stark contrast with the roughly 300

hectares reported for 1969, eight years later (Ibid.).

By 1975, the number had doubled to 600 ha. However, the spectacular

growth of the 1960s and 1970s was not distributed evenly among all the

60








61

geographic areas in which people were striving to establish vineyards.

This is made clear in Table 4, where grapevine areas are compared by state

between 1969 and 1975.


Table 4. Vineyard area in Venezuela, By State, 1969

1969 1975
Ha. % Ha. %

tegui (unlisted) 38.5 6.6

a 59 19.8 91 15.4

obo 6 2 6 1

21 7 61 10

a 7 2.3 3.5 .6

da 4 1.3 (unlisted)

11.5 3.8 5 .9

ra 11 3.7 4.5 .7

llo 17 5.7 (unlisted)

162 54.3 380 64.5

uela 298.5 100 589.5 100

e: MAC, 1969; and Ramirez-Soto, 1976.


and 1975

% Change
(1969-1975)



54


State


Anzoa

Aragu

Carab

Lara

Merid

Mi ran

Sucre

Tachi

Truji

Zulia

Venez

Sourc


The table shows that ten states had vineyards during the post-war "grape

rush." At the end of the period, however, plantings had declined or

disappeared in all but four states.

Only Zulia, Lara, Aragua, and Anzoategui (in descending order, and

from west to east) had experienced a "grape boom" by 1975. By 1980 total

hectareage for Venezuela had again doubled, to 1,200 ha. (Bautista and

Vargas, 1980). Half of the area, 600 ha, was planted in the districts of


190

-50



-56

-59



135

97.5








62

Mara, Maracaibo and Urdaneta, in the immediate hinterland of the city of

Maracaibo, capital of the westernmost Venezuelan state of Zulia. The tide

receded in the early 1980s to about 1,000 ha in Zulia (Corzo, 1987). Lara

maintained a lagging second place with more or less 200 ha (20%) in

grapevines spread across five districts: Moran (El Tocuyo), Urdaneta

(Siquisique), Torres (Carora), Jimenez (Quibor), and Palavecino

(Tarabana), (Instituto de la Uva, 1988).

The two states, Zulia (capital Maracaibo) and Lara (capital

Barquisimeto), where viticulture has been relatively successful have in

common climatic conditions that assure maximum insolation for most of the

year (Figure 3). The traditional technique of adaptive insolation

optimization implicit in the selection of both regions by viticulturists

has been covered in detail in Chapter 2 and will only be dealt with

briefly in this chapter. Instead the following analysis compares the

development of the related techniques of adaptive pruning and adaptive

hybridization.

There are important differences as well as similarities between the

neighboring regions that imply alternative developmental constraints and

opportunities for viticulture. In both areas, the best land for vineyards

consists of nearly level alluvial terraces with well-drained, sandy

profiles at least one meter in depth (Vargas, p.c. 1989). However, the

so-called Maracaibo highland (altiplanicie) is really a peneplain raised

no more than fifty meters above its coastal periphery (Araujo, p.c. 1988).

In contrast, the inland fault valley depressions of Lara are elevated from

300 m at the foot of the Baragua escarpment in the north, to 700 m at the

edge of the Andes in the south (Guevara and Guevara, 1983).














12*N


10-N






0 20 40
VENEZUELAN ANDES i ,
.. ... o I Kilometer


700W
Figure 3. Semiarid areas of western Venezuela, and approximate extent of

April-June and September-November tolda (6/8ths cloud cover).

Soure: After Guevara-Diaz, 1985; and MINIDEFENSA, 1984.








64

The Beginning

During the World War II years the importation of table grapes to

Venezuela was sharply curtailed, and cottage-scale growers of

comparatively poor quality fruit had a windfall. At the end of the war,

Italian and other South European immigrants settled in the hot, dry

coastal plain around Maracaibo, a landscape reminiscent of the

Mediterranean. There they became enthused by the prospect of a lucrative

crop that was familiar. Extensive varietal collections of Old World

grapes (V. vinifera) were introduced from Italy and elsewhere in an all-

out effort to find cultivars that would adapt to local conditions (Olmo,

1968; Araque, 1969; Melendez and Garassini, 1973).

By the early 1960s a handful of imported varieties had proven

reasonably productive as well as commercially attractive. The selected

cultivars could be pruned at any time of the year, and coaxed into

yielding two to three harvests yearly (Fregoni, 1977). However, the

foreign grapes had not been bred to withstand periodic spells of rainy

weather and high temperatures combined with high atmospheric humidity.

Such conditions, endemic to even the driest areas of Venezuela, brought

on mildews and other fungi that would disfigure fruit bunches and weaken

the vines by defoliation.

Thus, when commercial harvesting began in 1964, a promising market

for petroleum-derived fungicides, pesticides, growth regulators and

fertilizers began to unfold. Vineyards were included in the financial

credit program of the government's National Plan for Fructiculture








65

(FONDFRU, 1975). In 1965, FUSAGRI, the Shell Foundation for Agricultural

Services, began varietal trials at its experiment station in Coro (Falcon

State).

As vineyard hectares multiplied, there seems to have been misgivings

in official circles concerning long term viability of the immigrant

temperate zone crop. The prevailing view among formally trained

agronomists was Winkler's (1962) authoritative dictum that without an

adequate low temperature period of rest V. vinifera vines in the tropics

could only be expected to produce small yields of poor quality fruit.

There was pressure also from the enduring viticultural community farther

inland, which began to feel left out of the incipient boom. FUDECO, the

government Foundation for Development of the West-Central Region, decided

to bring in an outside expert.

The choice was Dr. Harold Olmo (University of California, Davis),

renowned authority on grape genetics and geography. Olmo's 1968 survey

of Lara, Zulia, and neighboring areas identified prospective locations for

viticulture based on a subjective evaluation of geo-environmental

characteristics. He rejected the temperate zone tenet of "heat summation"

as inappropriate, and by implication laid to rest concern about the

chilling requirement, disregarding it altogether. Olmo also pointed the

way to a more scientific approach to adaptive pruning and adaptive

hybridization.

The Olmo report was officially presented at the First Symposium on

Production and Industrialization of the Grape in Venezuela (Maracaibo,

1969). In 1970, the grape growers of Zulia organized formally and

petitioned the government for protective legislation against imports,








66

which was enacted in 1971 (Millan, 1975). In 1973, FUSAGRI started a

broad program of research and technical assistance in viticulture, with

funding from CORPOZULIA, the state economic development agency.

Lara was not to be left behind. In 1974, an Instituto de la Uva

was established at the state university in Barquisimeto, capital of Lara.

A second viticultural symposium was sponsored by FONDEFRU and held in

Barquisimeto early that year. The agenda covered a comprehensive

assessment of the prospects for viticulture as an authentic agricultural

industry for Venezuela. Perhaps the most influential reports were the

supportive overviews of two additional outside experts, Professor Pierre

Galet (Montpellier, France), and Professor Luis Hidalgo (Madrid, Spain).

These led the way for visits by still other consultants: Alleweldt (1975,

Germany), Fregoni (1977, Italy), and Lider (1978, California). The door

was open for transferral of state-of-the-art technology from Europe, and

to a lesser extent from the United States.

Finally, in 1977, a Centro de Desarrollo de Viticultura Tropical

(Centro Viticola) was founded in Mara, near Maracaibo. The non-profit

foundation was jointly sponsored by CORPOZULIA, FUSAGRI, and AVEZ

(Association of Zulia Viticulturists). The Center sophisticated and

broadened the range of research and extension activities that had been

initiated by FUSAGRI.

By the turn of the decade, a number of young Venezuelan agronomists

were undertaking academic training in viticulture and allied subjects such

as enology in Argentina, California, Spain and France, as well as

Venezuela. In the 1980s a native corps of technicians was in the

forefront of research on adaptive tropical viticulture.








67

The Pruning Calendar

The pruning of grapevines in the tropics pursues adaptive goals

analogous to those at higher latitudes. Pruning is done to train vines

to a manageable framework, to optimize productivity, and to coordinate

critical stages in the fruiting cycle with adequate climatic conditions.

On the other hand, procedures introduced from higher latitudes and applied

without modification are often ineffective, and at worse counteradaptive

in the tropics (See Chapter 2).

Therefore, Venezuelan viticulturists have had to develop special

procedures for adaptive management of their immigrant crop. For example,

while long or cane pruning is productive at higher latitudes, only short,

or spur, pruning can deal with the problem of apical dominance and

consequent irregular, weaker budbreak of "unrested" vines under tropical

conditions (Bautista and Vargas, 1980). On the other hand, the more or

less continuously active vegetative state of adapted V. vinifera cultivars

at ca. latitude 10N allows training of the vine to a mature bearing

structure within a year, in contrast to the three or four years required

in places with discrete and shorter growing seasons (Simancas, 1988;

Vargas, p.c. 1989).

However, realization that pruning rather than repose (with or

without chilling) would renew the fruiting cycle marked the discovery of

tropical viticulture in the colonial period and its recurrent rediscovery

by immigrant growers and modern researchers (Bautista and Vargas, 1980).

For it is the prospect of two or more harvests yearly that has heartened

grape growers faced with the disappointing productivity of their imported

vines.








68

The crucial question of when to prune arises because of the

demanding climatic requisites of V. vinifera grapevines. Having evolved

originally in the arid Middle East (See Chapter 2), the cultigen generally

requires a very dry growing season, uninterrupted by rain or high

humidity. Ideal conditions are rarely encountered, even in its European

range, where its perimeter has shifted unceasingly over the centuries.

Nonetheless, in the Mediterranean basin a virtually rainless growing

season is more or less assured (Critchfield, 1974). Not so in the

seemingly dry environments of the Venezuelan tropics. According to

Guevara-Diaz (1985), the viticultural areas of Zulia and Lara (Figure 3)

as well as a promising development in the eastern state of Anzoategui, are

in regions climatically typified as "semiarid," or "BS" in Koppen's

classification. Tropical semiarid climates are characterized by

relatively high levels of insolation, hence high diurnal temperatures, and

evapotranspiration in excess over precipitation. Rainfall can be very

erratic, so that annual averages are of little help in delimiting

viticultural zones.

Moreover, relatively high levels of atmospheric humidity prevail.

In the semiarid areas mean relative humidity ranges from 70% to 76%

(Guevara-Diaz, Ibid.). (1) Only the widespread incidence of the trade

winds moderates diurnal temperature and keeps relative humidity around a

diurnal mean of 70% (Vargas, p.c. 1989). At night, when the trade wind

ceases and temperature drops, relative humidity in the semiarid regions

normally exceeds 80% (Vargas, Guevara-Diaz, Idem.). Although there are

wide varietal differences in tolerance to atmospheric humidity within V.

vinifera, the better adapted are precariously susceptible to breakdown








69

under environmental stress. When atmospheric moisture approaches the dew

point, all parts of the actively growing grapevine are subject to

infestation by various fungus maladies.

Mildews, for example, attack the leaves, progressively defoliating

and weakening the vine. However, damage can usually be allayed by timely

spraying with fungicides. Equally susceptible, and rather more difficult

to protect, are the fruiting clusters which are especially vulnerable

during flowering and fruit set, and again during ripening.(2)

Consequently, deciding when to prune requires detailed knowledge of local

seasonal rainfall patterns and of the phenology of the varieties that are

cultivated. The study of both subjects has become a central concern of

adaptive viticulture in Venezuela.

Overall, there are two major seasonal patterns of rainfall

distribution in Venezuela (Guevara-Diaz, Ibid.). A unimodal pattern with

maxima in June, July or August prevails in most of the country. Toward

the Andes in the west the pattern becomes bimodal with maxima in April or

May and in October. However, oceanic and topographic influences result

in intricate transitional and local patterns. In general, it is drier in

the coastal zone and inland rain shadow valleys, and wetter in the

northeast and higher elevations to the south and west.

In the first Venezuelan pruning manual, Eguiraun observed "an

incomplete recess" in grapevine vegetative activity during December and

January in some areas, and a "slight recess" in July and August, "as if

there were two vegetative cycles in a year" (Eguiraun, 1945: p. 6). He

then theorized that vine repose could be obtained either with low

temperatures or by withholding water, as was done in Belgian hothouses for








70

producing out of season table grapes. The problem in Venezuela, he

concluded, was to find varieties and pruning techniques that would yield

a crop within dry periods.

However, Eguiraun made no specific recommendation concerning when

to prune. Possibly he was constrained by his acceptance of the

theoretical need for a rest period by either chilling or drought. He did

not perceive the slowdown in vegetation as a response to shorter

daylength, both during the drier and cooler winter solstitial period and

again during the cloud covered summer rainfall climax. Apparently

attributing growth recesses to the lower temperatures that accompany the

increase in cloudiness, he rather expressed concern over the heat

summation required to complete the crop cycle.

Eguiraun carried out much of his work as a government horticulturist

in a coastal highland experiment station near Caracas (ca. 900 m ASL)

during the late 1930s and early 1940s. At the time many growers still

accepted temperate climate verities concerning the putative requirement

of cool weather. It is said that modern viticulture in Venezuela began

in 1938 when a home grown practitioner, Fortunato Gil, gave up trying to

grow grapes in the cool highland of Humocaro Alto (Lara) and established

a prize winning vineyard in the semiarid piedmont valley of Humocaro Bajo

(Araque, 1969; Vargas, p.c. 1989).

At any rate, in the early years the decision of when to prune

appears to have been highly subjective, based on each grower's

understanding of grapevine interaction with the local climate (Olmo,

1968). By the late 1960s regional patterns began to emerge. Araque

(1969) reported that in Zulia there were two pruning periods, one in








71

September to October for a December to January vintage, and another in

April for a July harvest. For Lara there was a single pruning in the

period from October to December for harvesting from January to April. In

the Andean state of Tachira on the Colombian border, and the north central

state of Aragua (just south of Caracas) pruning was done in July for a

vintage in December.

Interestingly, a two-crop pattern was mentioned only for Zulia,

which was already in the lead of vineyard expansion. The first complete

viticultural handbook, compiled by the growers of Zulia (Rojnic et al.,

1972) did not specify pruning dates but stated somewhat vaguely that

pruning should be programmed so that the ripening period would not

coincide with the rainy season of October-November. The first official

pruning manual published in Lara (Melendez, 1978) explicitly recommended

pruning toward the end of the rainy period. This appears to have been the

general rule of thumb (Raniery, 1969).

Subsequently, Galet (1973) coincided with Araque on the first

pruning period for Zulia (September-October), but assigned the second to

February and March rather than April. He also differed concerning

Tachira, where he found two prunings also, in May and January. He listed

the neighboring Andean states of Merida with pruning in March-April and

August-October, and Trujillo with pruning every four months beginning in

April. With a certain exasperation Galet added, "and even all year

around: in January, May, June, August, September, October, November, and

December" (Galet, 1973: p. 6).

Galet's report is one of the earliest to mention a phenological

event, blooming, as occurring fifteen to thirty days after pruning,








72

implicitly during dry weather. There may have been an error in

transcription, since it is budbreak which takes place roughly at that time

(Bautista and Vargas, 1981). Hidalgo (1974) offered a more explicit

statement of the need to correlate pruning with the phenological cycle.

Pruning should be done toward the end of the rainy season, he recommended.

In variety selection, he added, the duration of its fruiting cycle from

pruning to prospective date of harvest should be taken into consideration.

Long cycle varieties, requiring four or more months (120 or more days)

should be discarded in favor of short cycle varieties (ca. 90 days) that

would allow two or more crops per year.

Hidalgo proposed that viticultural sites in Venezuela be evaluated

and correlated with appropriate varieties by means of the "heliothermic

index" (HI). The HI is a European invention derived from Winkler's (1938,

1962) "heat summation" by Branas (et al., 1946) who added daylength as a

variable for measuring the calendar duration of appropriate (i.e. warm

and sunny) conditions for the fruiting cycle (See also: Santibafiez et

al., 1986). The formula for the HI is XH x 10-6, where X represents mean

degrees of effective heat per month, based on daily temperature over 10C

(50F), the threshold for vegetative activity in V. vinifera. H

represents the summation of hours of effective insolation per month. The

product is reduced to a manageable index on multiplication by 10-6.

The HI formula does not take into account the function of daylength

as a phenological regulator. Winkler, for example, observed that although

grapes in California would normally bloom when the mean daily temperature

reached 68F (20C), "in areas where a mean of 68F is not reached,

factors such as length of day seem to influence the time of blooming"








73

(Winkler, 1962: p. 106). Branas (1974) also was somewhat aware of

photoperiodicity in grapes. He noted that leaves became very large close

to the polar limits of cultivation, but were rather small in the

tropics.(3)

Regarding the HI, Branas had offered the caveat that in the lower

latitudes where ambient temperature is always above 10"C the HI formula

"loses all meaning" (Branas, 1974: p. 351). Nonetheless, to the nascent

research establishment Hidalgo's well articulated positivist prescription

must have seemed at once pragmatic and authoritatively "scientific."

Despite its flaws, the HI would become the cornerstone of adaptive

viticulture strategy in Venezuela in the 1980s. The pruning calendar

would evolve accordingly, as the principal instrument to implement that

strategy.

Nineteen seventy five marks a watershed of institutionalization for

Venezuelan viticulture. Plans for research and development were being

drawn up and priorities established within a coalescing framework of

public and private organizations sharing the interest. Expert European

opinion corroborating Olmo's 1968 assessment and the Second Symposium

(1974) gave impetus to the process.

European consultants, Galet (1973), Hidalgo (1974), and Alleweldt

(1975), agreed on the priority of expanding the narrow cultivar base with

quarantined introduction of promising V. vinifera varieties. Hidalgo

thought that those varieties that did well in southern Europe would be

most likely to adapt. Galet suggested premium wine clones from France to

initiate diversification away from table grapes. All shared the long

standing officially sanctioned European aversion for North American








74

species hybrids, except as rootstocks.(4) Most echoed Olmo's (1968)

warning against importing such hybrids from the southeastern United States

for fear of introducing Pearce's disease and other maladies endemic to a

region with a growing season as hot and humid as that of Venezuela.

With existing humid environment hybrids eschewed, accurate

determination of pruning calendars became crucial, along with the

evaluation of V. vinifera selections in promising locations such as those

identified earlier by Olmo. Perhaps because of the geo-environmental

diversity of the viticultural areas of Lara and their relative

underdevelopment vis-a-vis the Maracaibo area, the new Grape Institute

led the way in studies of the measurement of grape phenology in the

context of local geographic conditions (Vargas and Freitez, 1982;

Bautista, 1987).

Economic concerns were foremost. According to a report by Millan

(1975), the state of Lara had decreased its share of the grape crop from

11.6% in 1969 to 1.3% in 1972. It had dropped from third place in

production to a poor fourth, almost tied with Trujillo. Yields had

declined from 3.4 metric tons per hectare to 2.96 t/ha as the national

average, between 1970 and 1972.(5) Imports of table grapes supplied over

85% of the market in 1972 and were rising despite restrictions.

Importation of concentrated must for winemaking had almost doubled during

the same two years.

In 1976, Professor Luis Garassini, Director of the Instituto de la

Uva, cited Millan's report, and added Hidalgo's (1974) warning that local

production of table grapes (mainly in Zulia) could more than cover the

local market within a very few years (Garassini, 1976). He reiterated








75

official concern that low yields and high production costs threatened the

long term viability of viticulture as an economic enterprise.

Following the advice of Galet and Hidalgo, Garassini proposed that

the Institute focus on research toward development of a wine industry as

a promising alternative to table grapes. Grape varieties should be

introduced and evaluated, he argued, in terms of their potential for wine

making. Stressing the need to increase funding for such research, he

pointed to the lack of adequately trained technicians and the prevalence

of viticultural practices inappropriate for Venezuelan environmental

conditions.

Two years later, in 1978, an Institute faculty member, agronomist

Guillermo Vargas, submitted his thesis for a licentiate degree in

viticulture and enology from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain,

where he studied under Hidalgo. The Vargas thesis developed a model

application of the HI to eight scattered viticultural zones in the state

of Lara, for comparative evaluation and correlation with European grape

varieties of known HI values. Vargas' work marked the beginning of

serious studies of climate and grape phenology in Venezuela. It was to

be highly influential in determining the dominant research trend of the

1980s in tropical viticulture. However, this early thesis dealt only with

table grapes.

Vargas' model can be summarily described as follows. All

prospective viticultural zones of Lara state and the capital Barquisimeto

were pinpointed on an outline map. Mean monthly rainfall for each

location was presented in bar chart form accompanied by data on latitude,

altitude and total precipitation. A thin line was drawn across each chart








76

at the 100 mm (approximately 4 inches) level, indicating the critical

threshold at which development of the V. vinifera fruiting cycle becomes

hazardous. Curiously, this empirical rule of thumb had been independently

arrived at by this researcher after many years of geographical

observations in Puerto Rico (See Chapter 5).

Vargas was careful to prequalify his eight prospective zones "with

viticultural vocation" according to the following criteria:

1. Mean annual rainfall not over 650 mm [25.6 in.];
2. Elevation not over 662 m ASL;
3. Dry periods of no less than four months duration;
4. Zones without limitations for grape cultivation.
(Vargas, 1978: p. 8).

Essentially, he is offering an empirical description of proven locations

within the state of Lara. However, his modification of Branas' HI is

innovative. He assumes that in the tropics pruning is equivalent to the

high latitude 10C (50'F) growing temperature baseline from which

effective heat (i.e., insolation) is accumulated.

The Vargas thesis proceeds as follows. HI formula data was

tabulated monthly for each zone, and two starting (pruning) dates assumed,

the premise being that two crops could be accommodated per year. In each

case, the first of December was chosen to initiate the first cycle. The

second cycle was initiated the first day of July in half of the locations

(the easternmost), and the first day of June in the other half (the

westernmost). The start of the cycles correlates in some locations with

the last month of a rainy season, and in others with the first dry month

thereafter. The end of the cycles coincides in every case with the end

of a dry period, April after pruning in December; September, October, or

November after pruning in June or July.








77
To complete his model, Vargas simply "fits" the zonal HIs with those

of grape varieties classified in Europe as early, midseason and late, to

thereby confirm Hidalgo's prediction that early to midseason (so-called

"first season") varieties could be double cropped in the preselected

viticultural zones. His conclusions include the admonition that during

periods of high rainfall the vines should be kept in a "repose"

characterized by cropless vegetation, during which new foliage is formed

and nutrient reserves are accumulated. Preventive control of fungi is

required (42 to 58 days depending on the zone) to avoid premature

defoliation and initiation of a new cycle while undesirable conditions

persist.

The assumption that reserves are accumulated in the vine during the

rainy season is in line with Eguiraun's (1945) "slight recess in

vegetation", previously cited, and with the popular designation of such

periods as "winter." However, it contradicts the theory initially

proposed by outside experts of continuous and exhaustive vine growth under

tropical conditions. The overcast or tolda produced during the rainy

season most likely shortens photoinductive daylength below the twelve hour

threshold, signaling the vine to stop growing and commence the

accumulation of reserves (See Chapter 2). Thus, the traditional allowance

for a rest period in the pruning calendar becomes functionally adaptive.

In a final conclusion Vargas advised that his theoretical exercise

should be the object of experimental field trials for verification, and

that other (geo-ecological) factors affecting viticulture be related to

the HI. Clues pointing to daylength (as a regulator of phenology) as one

of those factors continued to appear. Indeed, while Vargas was studying








78

in Madrid, an important evaluation of Venezuelan viticulture by the

Italian researcher Fregoni featured the observation that:

The difficulty of adaptation of Vitis vinifera in the tropics
is linked to photoperiodism; indeed, it may generally be
considered a long day species. A few varieties, however, can
adapt to short day areas (Fregoni, 1977: p. 27).

This comment by Fregoni appears to have gone unnoticed, probably

because daylength per se had not been recognized as a meaningful parameter

by Venezuelan researchers. However, a pioneer experimental study compared

varietal productivity during four successive calendar semester cycles

initiated by pruning in January and July (Bautista, 1975). Eight

relatively well adapted cultivars (featuring at least two reputed V.

vinifera-caribaea hybrids) responded similarly with respect to seasonal

productivity. Irrespective of varietal differences, all were considerably

more fertile (floriferous) after pruning in January than after pruning in

July.

Bautista's results are consistent with the findings of previous work

(notably Kobayashi et al., 1966; Buttrose, 1969a, 1974) reported in

Chapter 2. That is, grapevine buds formed during relatively long days

(i.e., over 12 hours) produce more fertile canes and more flower clusters

per cane than those formed during relatively short days (i.e., under 12

hours). In other words, in Venezuela also, buds formed during the long

days after pruning in July are more productive than those formed during

the short days after pruning in January.

The data available from Bautista's (1975) study, although severely

limited (6), is suggestive of a measure that might be used to compare

varietal sensitivity to daylength in terms of fruitfulness. Two of his








79
tabulations are useful. The first compares the mean number of fertile

shoots (canes) developed by variety after pruning each semester. The

second compares mean number of flower clusters developed by variety for

each semester. If the difference between short and long day semester

yields of each variety in both tabulations are multiplied, the result is

an absolute indicator of "daylength inducted productivity" (DIP).

A comparable index can be obtained by using the integer one as a

common dividend and each DIP as divisors. The resulting "daylength

sensitivity index" (DSI) reflects the degree to which productivity is

dependent on daylength above the mean minimum at the latitude (as modified

by altitude) where the vines were grown. The results are summarized in

Table 5. Interpretation of Table 5 is as follows. The native hybrid

Villanueva (according to Olmo, 1968, an apparent second generation hybrid

of V. vinifera and V. caribaea) is the most sensitive of the tested

cultivars, having the lowest DSI. In second place is Muscat Hamburg, a

traditional European "forcing" variety, only slightly more tolerant of

relatively short daylengths. Another traditional hothouse variety, A.

Lavallee (also known as Ribier) is third, and Italia, also a "boutique"

quality table grape being somewhat less short day intolerant comes fourth.

Unexpectedly tied in fifth place are Cardinal, a very short cycle

European type, and the native Criolla Negra hybrid. Because the absolute

productivity of the latter is surpassed by Villanueva, it would seem a

contradiction that its productivity is less limited by suboptimal

daylength. Nonetheless, Bautista was at a loss to explain why Criolla was

virtually infertile during the July semester, after pruning in January.








Table 5. Evaluation of Fertility Differences in Grape Cultivars,
by Semester (Merida, Venezuela: lat. 830N)


Cultivar No. Fertile Canes Diff. No. Clusters/Cane Diff. DIP DSI
Dates: 7-11-72 1-6-73 (2-1) 7-11-72 1-6-73 (5-4) (3x6) ('1'/7)


Villanueva

Muscat Hamburg

A. Lavallee

Italia

Cardinal

Criolla Negra

Violeta

Mustosa


1.5

2.5

1.5

2.15

2.3

1.3

2.2

2.0


7.0

6.8

5.6

3.7

3.9

2.75

3.3

2.4


5.5

4.25

4.1

1.5

1.6

1.45

1.1

.4


1.7

2.2

2.0

2.3

3.7

2.6

2.3

1.8


9.35

10.0

3.7

5.0

5.4

4.5

4.5

1.6


7.65

7.8

1.7

2.7

1.7

1.9

2.2

-.2


42.07

33.15

6.97

4.18

2.72

2.75

2.42

.08


.023

.03

.14

.23

.36

.36

.41

12.50


Source: Bautista, 1975; additional computation by the

Note: DIP is "daylength inducted productivity;" DSI


author.

is "daylength sensitivity index."







81

He concluded the variety was suitable only for annual cycle pruning. A

close sixth is Violeta (or Victoria), possibly also a native second

generation backcross hybrid, and a heavy bearer at lower elevation in Lara

(Diaz and Aguero, 1975). Last is Mustosa, similarly a heavy cropper in

Lara (Ibid.), but which performed irregularly at the trial site in Merida.

Bautista concluded that the first three varieties, Villanueva,

Muscat Hamburg and A. Lavallee, are the best adapted of those tested. He

also noted that the semester initiated by pruning in January is more

productive than the semester initiated in July. The explanation is, of

course, that buds fruiting after pruning in January were formed during the

relatively longer days of summer. Whether Villanueva would be much more

productive at higher latitudes remains to be determined.

A position paper by Bautista and Vargas (1980) summarized the status

of Venezuelan viticultural science at the turn of the decade. The infant

local research establishment had by then been inserted in the

informational network linking similar organizations world-wide.

Concurrently, environmental limitations to adaptation of viticulture in

the tropics had been reduced to rainfall, and the need to fill the heat-

insolation requirement of the heliothermic index (HI). Henceforth,

official viticultural research in Venezuela would conform by and large to

the European mainstream of applied viticultural theory.

Following the path initially proposed by Hidalgo (1974), adaptive

research in the 1980s would emphasize massive testing of imported

varieties for appropriate "fit" to specific local heliothermic
"microclimates." The vines would be mainly V. vinifera selections

introduced from "safe" (certified disease-free) sources.(7) On the other







82

hand, because correlation of the fruiting cycle with local weather is

critical, rainfall and eventually other climatic data would be recorded

more systematically.

Studies which, in fact, measured daylength controlled responses were

engaged as necessary evaluation of physiological differences between

European varieties in the tropics. For example, Bautista and Vargas

(1980) cite pertinent authority in recognition that floral induction and

differentiation is completed within newly formed buds of an actively

growing grapevine shoot (cane) by the time the currently expanding flower

clusters open (Lavee et al., 1967; Pratt and Coombe, 1978). They then

affirm, following Huglin (1958), that vine fertility varies according to

variety, in terms of the position of the buds on the cane, and more

ambiguously on the environment.

No mention was made of the equally pertinent fact that the number

of flower clusters "imprinted" in a formative bud is in direct relation

to photoinductive daylength (Kobayashi et al., 1966; Buttrose, 1969a,

1974). Subsequently, a report by the same researchers measuring the

"heliothermic requirements" of six cultivars, concluded interestingly

enough that:

The duration of the cycle and its subperiods are affected by
daylength. Cycles initiated in short days tend to be more
prolonged than those initiated in long days. Therefore, it
is considered that the [semestral] cycles of the same year are
not homologous (Bautista and Vargas, 1981: p. 19).

The 1981 report by Bautista and Vargas was the first detailed study

of grapevine phenology in the tropics. Measurement of the fruiting cycle

covered four subperiods initiated by semestral pruning: 1) budbreak,

2) bloom, 3) veraison (beginning of fruit coloration), and, 4) harvest







83

(maturity). In the conclusion cited above, no attempt was made to elicit

broader implications by correlating, for instance, with Bautista's (1975)

earlier finding concerning semestral differences in fertility.

Consequently, the influence of seasonal daylength on fruit bud formation

continued to be ignored.

It appears that semestral pruning at the solstitial extremes does

not follow closely traditional empirical practice in Venezuela. Rather,

it may be a convenient administrative abstraction analogous to the use of

controlled environment "growth cabinets" in substitution of actual

geographic conditions in the field (Buttrose, 1974). Recognition of the

connection between changing seasonal daylength and potential grapevine

fertility would presumably lead to experimentation with pruning cycles

initiated in anticipation of the equinoxes, in order to assure that fruit

bud formation would take place close to the twelve hour threshold.

Bautista and Vargas (1981) had, indeed, established that less than

a month (19 to 26 days) of optimum daylength from budbreak to bloom would

suffice. However, such scheduling would occasionally run afoul of the 100

mm (4 in) mean monthly rainfall barrier which continued to rule the

pruning calendar (Ibid.). The question might then arise whether there was

not a better adaptive strategy than adaptive pruning.

During the 1980s the prevailing adaptive strategy, based on pruning,

remained unchallenged. Certain modifications did occur, spurred by the

gradual shift in emphasis from table to wine grapes. By 1984, researchers

at the Grape Institute had begun to realize that environmental conditions

in Lara held the promise of a competitive advantage over Zulia, which had

then completely dominated table grape production with over 80% of the crop








84

(versus about 15% for Lara). An Institute report outlining guidelines for

viticultural development in the west-central region of Venezuela,

discussed for the first time the implications on grape quality of

nighttime temperatures averaging 10C (18F) lower than daytime means

(Vargas et al., 1984).

At the same time, it had long been known empirically to growers in

Lara that imported varieties adapted best if grafted on the vigorous

native hybrid Criolla Negra (Olmo, 1968; Bautista, 1985). In Zulia,

however, vines were imported already grafted on foreign rootstocks (Corzo,

1987). Eventually the same rootstock varieties were imported and

propagated locally (Gallardo, 1988). Only near the end of the decade did

Zulian researchers cautiously begin to graft on native hybrids (Mielzarek,

1987). On the other hand, by 1986 the Zulia Center for Tropical

Viticulture had taken the lead by planting the first fifty of 3,000

proposed hectares of wine grapes (Corzo, 1988).(8) Two years later a

model experimental winery was inaugurated at the Center. Meanwhile,

evaluation of wine grape varieties was being stepped up in Lara (Vargas

and Bautista, 1987a).

In 1987, a decade after Garassini's initial proposal, Vargas

proclaimed that the wines of highest quality in all of Venezuela could be

produced in the state of Lara (Vargas, 1987). He identified six arid

zones with mean annual rainfall under 700 mm (27.5 in) and two well

defined dry periods of no less than 130 days each (4.3 months), delimited

by two rainfall peaks, generally in May and October.(9) He pointed out







85

that heliothermic values were moderately low, that is, with diurnal

temperatures not so high as to undo metabolic synthesis and accumulation

of qualitative components of wine must.

Vargas clinched his argument with the observation that temperatures

in the viticultural areas of Lara rarely rise above 28C (ca. 83F) during

the day. At night the mean is always close to 19C (66.5F), a

difference, on average, of 9C (16.36F). Such optimal conditions for

development of a balanced sugar to acid ratio (Kliewer, 1981) were

compared "rhetorically" (i.e., without empirical data) with those of

unnamed areas where constantly high day and night temperatures cancel

metabolic gains through excessive respiration. Thus, both synthesis of

color and aromatics and their accumulation in the grapes are adversely

affected (Kliewer, 1968; Buttrose et al., 1971, and with specific

reference to Zulia, van Balen, 1987).

Shortly thereafter, Vargas' proposal found a sponsor. Polar, the

major Venezuelan brewery, and Martel, the great Bordeaux winery, organized

a winemaking joint venture for Lara. Vargas took leave of absence from

the Institute to undertake a research and demonstration project for a

Master of Science degree, under auspices of the incipient enterprise

(Vargas p.c., 1989). By late 1989 Vargas was completing the draft of his

thesis while on the job as general manager of Bodegas Pomar, C.A. in the

central Lara town of Carora. The recently completed $1 million plus

winery was preparing its first vintage for market.

One hundred hectares of choice French and Spanish wine grape

varieties grafted on Criolla Negra had recently begun production in the

firm's vineyard at nearby Altagracia. The viticultural and oenological







86

technology being used was state-of-the-art in terms of adaptation to the

local environment. Various wines tasted by this researcher were

indistinguishable from the French archetypes. Vargas and his associates

have proved that wine growing on the European model can succeed in

Venezuela, with adaptive pruning--and native rootstocks. Whether the new

industry will be as competitive as its French counterpart remains to be

seen.

The principal weakness in the Vargas model is that dry periods in

the semiarid areas of Lara are not as well-defined in terms of calendar

incidence of rainy periods, and thus as reliable as he suggests. Yearly

deviation of critical rainfall maxima tend to be "averaged out" of long

term means. Unexpected shifts in seasonal rainfall cycles can add to the

difficulty of prediction (Caviedes, 1981). Vargas makes no use of daily

records which would be helpful in more accurately plotting characteristic

tropical precipitation, occurring mainly as torrential downpours. Such

records may be helpful also in detecting gaLa, a fine drizzle accompanied

by tolda (overcast) that can last for days, even weeks, with devastating

effects on V. vinifera, yet have little impact on monthly rainfall totals.

Whereas daily rainfall records in Venezuela are difficult to obtain,

the Institute's experimental station in El Tocuyo has maintained monthly

totals since 1978 that suggest a conceptual flaw in the Vargas model.

Vargas' (1978) Madrid thesis includes a 1973 FUDECO report in the

bibliography which is presumably the source (unspecified) of the long term

mean monthly rainfall data used for his graphs. His conclusion concerning

El Tocuyo, where he worked since 1975, is only partly in agreement with









his graph for the same area (Figure 4). Both are at variance with data

from the records of the Institute for the ten year period 1978-1988 (Table

6).

According to Vargas (1978) the first rainy season is from April to

June at El Tocuyo, with a peak in May. This is supported by Figure 4.

However, Table 6 shows that critical maxima have occurred mainly in April

during the past decade, twice in March and only once in May. The second

rainy season is said to include October and November, with a peak in

October, that according to his graph is substantially under the 100 mm (4

in) critical limit. However, his conclusion is that the ensuing dry

season begins December first. Table 6 indicates that rainfall maxima in

excess of the critical threshold have occurred as often (three times) in

September as in October. Only in the anomalous year of 1988 was there a

protracted rainy season that began in August and actually ended in

December. In 1980 also, there was a brief near-critical peak in December.

The reason for the discrepancies can be explained in part as

follows. If the winter solstice dry season generally ends in April,

pruning at the beginning of December would allow a full four months for

the fruiting cycle to be completed under relatively dry conditions.

Similarly, pruning in late April would allow roughly four months before

the start of the next rainy period in September. However, as Bautista and

Vargas (1981) discovered, a difference of one hour and seven minutes

between the shortest and longest days of the year results in a difference

of up to fourteen days (for A. Lavallee) in the length of the fruiting

cycle.












m
200









1 0 0 .....................




0





Jon




Figure 4.


Feb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec



Mean monthly rainfall in El Tocuyo, Lara, Venezuela.


Source: According to Vargas, 1978.








Table 6. Critical Maxima, Monthly Rainfall: El Tocuyo (Lara), Venezuela, 1978-1988


Month* 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 Mean
Jan.

Feb.

Mar. 91.5 91.5 91.5
(3.6) (3.6) (3.6)
Apr. 81 216 93.75 109.5 88.5 117.75
(3.2) (8.5) (3.69) (4.3) (3.5) (4.6)
May 75 75
(2.95) (2.95)
June

July 93 93
(3.6) (3.6)
Aug. 75 75
(2.95) (2.95)
Sep. 133.5 138.75 183.75 76.5 133.12
(5.25) (5.46) (7.23) (3.01) (5.24)
Oct. 150 84 205.5 102 135.37
(5.9) (3.3) (8.1) (4.02) (5.32)
Nov. 115.5 115.5
(4.5) (4.5)
Dec. 75 87 81
(2.95) (3.42) (3.59)


Source: Instituto de la Uva, El Tocuyo (Lara), Venezuela. 1989.
*Only values approximating 75 mm (3 in) or over are presented. All measurements are in millimeters.
Approximate equivalent in inches is in parenthesis.







90

Although cycles initiated during short days take longer to complete,

it appears that pruning for the first cycle should not be performed until

late November because of lingering conditions of tolda and caria (Vargas,

p.c. 1989). Similar conditions prevail from mid-April to mid-June and

explain why pruning for the long day cycle should be postponed until June

(Figure 3). The same pattern of cloud cover holds for the Maracaibo area

where torrential rainfall is minimal, exceeding the critical threshold

only in October (Figure 5). Thus, it is evident that Vargas has used the

100 mm rainfall limit as a surrogate for a more complex and subtle

barrier, involving the influence of tolda and arda on relative humidity

and most likely on effective daylength.


The Creole Hybrids

Hybrids between New World grape species and Old World V. vinifera

cultivars have been planted in Venezuela since well before the modern

viticultural boom. With rare exceptions (10), V. labrusca and V.

aestivalis hybrids from the eastern United States, as well as muscadines

(V. rotundifolia) and a few imports from Florida, have fared poorly,

despite being well-adapted in their latitudes of origin to hot and humid

growing conditions.

On the other hand, early attempts to develop local viticulture were

based on a handful of vigorous, healthy and productive "creole" varieties

which Olmo (1968) recognized as hybrids between V. vinifera and the native

tropical species V. caribaea. The most widespread of these is the so-

called Criolla Negra (Black Creole). Capable of growing to enormous

proportions, with extraordinary yields of acceptable quality red




Full Text
171
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66
which was enacted in 1971 (Millan, 1975). In 1973, FUSAGRI started a
broad program of research and technical assistance in viticulture, with
funding from CORPOZULIA, the state economic development agency.
Lara was not to be left behind. In 1974, an Instituto de la Uva
was established at the state university in Barquisimeto, capital of Lara.
A second viticultural symposium was sponsored by FONDEFRU and held in
Barquisimeto early that year. The agenda covered a comprehensive
assessment of the prospects for viticulture as an authentic agricultural
industry for Venezuela. Perhaps the most influential reports were the
supportive overviews of two additional outside experts, Professor Pierre
Galet (Montpellier, France), and Professor Luis Hidalgo (Madrid, Spain).
These led the way for visits by still other consultants: Alleweldt (1975,
Germany), Fregoni (1977, Italy), and Lider (1978, California). The door
was open for transferral of state-of-the-art technology from Europe, and
to a lesser extent from the United States.
Finally, in 1977, a Centro de Desarrollo de Viticultura Tropical
(Centro Vitcola) was founded in Mara, near Maracaibo. The non-profit
foundation was jointly sponsored by CORPOZULIA, FUSAGRI, and AVEZ
(Association of Zulia Viticulturists). The Center sophisticated and
broadened the range of research and extension activities that had been
initiated by FUSAGRI.
By the turn of the decade, a number of young Venezuelan agronomists
were undertaking academic training in viticulture and allied subjects such
as enology in Argentina, California, Spain and France, as well as
Venezuela. In the 1980s a native corps of technicians was in the
forefront of research on adaptive tropical viticulture.


107
to an uncle who owned a bay rum oil distillery in the semiarid south coast
piedmont. Domingo Gilormini dreamed of having his own vineyard. On
observing the dubious adaptation of European grapevines in local gardens
he recalled that back home cultivated grapes were grafted on rootstocks
of wild American species to obtain pest resistance and vigor. Were there
native wild grapes in Puerto Rico? He asked fellow workers, who soon led
him to cluster laden vines of V. caribaea.
In 1945, after he married into a land owning family, Gilormini began
a unique experiment. He harvested ripe V. caribaea, made wine, and
planted the seeds. With the resulting wild seedlings he planted a
vineyard of about an acre and several months later began to graft them
with European cultivars. The productivity of the grafted vines attracted
the attention of the family livestock and led to a dispute with his uncle
in law who controlled the farm. He was forced to abandon the project and
shortly thereafter moved out altogether. His efforts did not end there,
however, and would resurface years later (Gilormini, p.c. 1990).
The first really durable trial planting of grape varieties was begun
in 1959-60 at the Fortuna substation of the University of Puerto Rico's
Recinto Universitario de Mavaguez, Agricultural Experiment Station (UPR-
RUM AES) near Ponce on the south coastal plain (Figure 6). The first
report disclosing any information on the project was released eight years
later (Singh et al., 1967). The modest findings that were presented in
response to public pressure hardly justified the dire admonition of
confidentiality that prefaced the report.(6)
Altogether fifty seven varieties were allegedly planted between 1960
and 1963. These included some twenty local clones of V. vinifera, and


28
Chapter 3 seeks to clarify the obscure origins of modern adaptive
hybridization in the New World (specifically in Florida), and its
curiously limited geographical diffusion as an institutionalized
scientific approach. Chapter 4 examines the more recent establishment of
the alternative technique, adaptive pruning, as a comparably sophisticated
approach that has likewise failed to spread appreciably beyond its area
of origin. Chapter 5 raises the question of whether the two approaches,
paradigmatically entrenched in scientific institutions, can be reconciled.
Notes
1. "Heat summation" differentiates climatic regions by computing the
sum of mean daily temperatures above 50F (10C) during the growing
season. Its opposite term, the so-called "chilling requirement,"
presupposes that a certain number of hours under the same threshold
is needed to fulfill a required period of dormancy.
2. Tropical rainfall tends to follow a predictable seasonal and diurnal
course which is most intense during the high sun period (Ramage,
1971), thereby restricting the daily duration of photo-effective
daylight between the spring and fall equinoxes. In the tropics,
effective daylengths may be longer during brief equinoctial and
winter solstice dry (i.e. cloudless) periods when calendar days are
relatively short, especially so by comparison with daylengths of the
growing season in higher latitudes.
3. All true grape species are native to the Northern Hemisphere
(Levadoux et al., 1962). In the New World the number of recognized
forms diminishes dramatically toward the equator. Apparently, none
have spread naturally across the equatorial line.
4. Certain vinifera cultivars commonly grown in the tropics are
exceptionally tolerant to low latitude daylengths. Several
cultivars that have been successful were selected for "forcing" in
19th century European greenhouses (Miller, 1963). They appear to
have derived largely from Persian and Arabian lineages selected
since ancient times south of latitude 30N and beyond the Tropic of
Cancer possibly as far south as the Gulf of Aden at latitude 15N
(Levadoux, 1956). Well known are the characteristic "Muscats."
However, these "desert" grapes are generally intolerant of high
atmospheric humidity.


161
naturally in July during the winter solstice, even if under irrigation.
According to Rives (Idem.) "enormous yields" are obtained.
Although Rives has been reluctant to accept the causality of
daylength in Peru, he has recognized the critical influence of tolda
(heavy overcast) on grapevine productivity. On reviewing an early draft
of Chapter 2 of this dissertation, Rives commented:
I fully concur with what you say about the "tolda." I observed its
influence on vineyards in Argentina near Rosario, where the strong
nebulosity drastically cut flower initiation on vines that were to
otherwise healthy and vigorous. It took me to try to photograph
these and find out how little light my meter was registering to be
able to formulate this hypothesis. Later on I observed the tolda
phenomenon the same way in Cuba and Guadalupe. (Rives, p.c. 4/6/87).
Tropical grape hybrids can, of course, be grown outside the tropics,
as has been proved by the tentative success of the Valplatinta cultivar
in Florida and Argentina (Chapter 5). Because of its adaptation to short
daylengths, it may be more productive than pure vinifera in areas subject
to tolda as mentioned by Rives. Additionally, tropical table grapes might
be grown under glass in higher latitudes for out-of-season crops, as is
done with premium short-cycle vinifera cultivars in England (Miller,
1963), Belgium (Jacobs, 1966), New Zealand (Berrysmith, 1972), the United
States (Parsons, 1955) and elsewhere.(3)
Notes
In Venezuela, the altitudinal limit for vinifera cultivars and
criol1 a hybrids was considered to be 660 m by Vargas (1978). In
Puerto Rico, however, such varieties were hopelessly afflicted with
mildews at 600 m in Aibonito, which lies within the prescribed
limits of precipitation.
1.


10
from his professional livelihood, under an umbrella of his creation, the
"Aquarius Experiment Station." His growing personal research and
experience as a "back to the land" consultant raised questions that
participation in international horticultural congresses and visits to
tropical and subtropical experiment stations throughout the Americas could
not answer.
Discontent with the philosophical and practical mediocrity that
seemed to characterize mainstream horticultural research, forced this
researcher to seek enlightenment through advanced academic studies in
geography. In due course he realized that the lack of geographic
awareness that seemed to permeate applied agricultural science was
compounded by an equally blatant disregard for humanistic (i.e.,
anthropologic) considerations. Again, it was the author's minor field,
anthropology, that provided the qualitative rationale of scientific
research (Cook and Reichardt, 1979), that he opposes to the positivist
paradigm dominating horticulture.
The scope of this dissertation is necessarily circumscribed to a
consideration of the climatic parameters assumed to be critical in the
tropical adaptation of viticulture. Soil, for example, is considered here
only as a secondary factor, in accordance with recent authoritative
opinion (Santibaez et al., 1986).(2) For analogous reasons, economics
are not extensively considered either. However, adaptation clearly has
a direct bearing on production costs and, therefore, on long term economic
feasibility.


74
species hybrids, except as rootstocks.(4) Most echoed Olmo's (1968)
warning against importing such hybrids from the southeastern United States
for fear of introducing Pearce's disease and other maladies endemic to a
region with a growing season as hot and humid as that of Venezuela.
With existing humid environment hybrids eschewed, accurate
determination of pruning calendars became crucial, along with the
evaluation of V. vinifera selections in promising locations such as those
identified earlier by Olmo. Perhaps because of the geo-environmental
diversity of the viticultural areas of Lara and their relative
underdevelopment vis--vis the Maracaibo area, the new Grape Institute
led the way in studies of the measurement of grape phenology in the
context of local geographic conditions (Vargas and Freitez, 1982;
Bautista, 1987).
Economic concerns were foremost. According to a report by Mi11 an
(1975), the state of Lara had decreased its share of the grape crop from
11.6% in 1969 to 1.3% in 1972. It had dropped from third place in
production to a poor fourth, almost tied with Trujillo. Yields had
declined from 3.4 metric tons per hectare to 2.96 t/ha as the national
average, between 1970 and 1972.(5) Imports of table grapes supplied over
85% of the market in 1972 and were rising despite restrictions.
Importation of concentrated must for winemaking had almost doubled during
the same two years.
In 1976, Professor Luis Garassini, Director of the Instituto de la
Uva, cited Millan's report, and added Hidalgo's (1974) warning that local
production of table grapes (mainly in Zulia) could more than cover the
local market within a very few years (Garassini, 1976). He reiterated


126
narrowing range of research options, argued that their experience
indicated wine-making as a more promising venture than growing table
grapes.
Even Andreu, in desperation, had commissioned a feasibility study
to consider the production of brandy, traditionally made with grapes that
have been rejected for other uses. Taking the initiative, the Pilot Plant
sent its chemical engineer Eduardo Cacho on a quick tour of the western
Venezuela viticultural centers and lobbied the legislature into promising
$200,000 to fund a four year evaluation of wine grape varieties in
Fortuna.(23) Seeking industry support, a "technical workshop" was
organized, and held in May 1987 (Belardo, 1987). At the well attended
meeting, ongoing research at Fortuna and the Pilot Plant was presented,
as well as overviews of recent trends in local wine consumption and
production (Cortes, 1987; Santiago, 1987).
One proposed presentation was cancelled. Andreu was to speak on:
"Rootstocks in the future of Puerto Rican viticulture" (Program handout).
Another report, on economics, from the PR Economic Development
Administration (PREDA), may have been omitted as redundant. However, this
survey of the alcoholic beverage industry begins by specifically excluding
BEARC0 (a longtime sponsor of the Pilot Plant project) because "its
principal product is not wine but rather grape juice" (Ramos, 1987: p.
2). With the emphasis on wine, this incidental comment regarding a
related dimension of viticultural industry, would likely have passed
unnoticed in any case.
Although BEARC0 was still very much in the wine business, its share
of the five million gallon yearly local grape juice market (PR Planning


133
clusters. Highly resistant to mildews, tough root system. Everbearing
habit, tends to flower continuously as it grows.
The three selections were used to initiate development of a tropical
breeding line. Atlantida was eventually discarded because of the poor
quality of its progeny, but was disseminated for experimental purposes.
Esperanza was propagated and distributed as a home garden variety. It was
also used as the male parent in the hybridization that produced W73D-6.
Its sibling W66H-9 would eventually prove to be a most valuable progenitor
despite the fact that it was used only once, as the male parent in the
cross that produced W70D-1 (Carlos Badillo). To understand why NY 15-305
(Lakemont) was chosen to "father" the above selections, a recapitulation
of observations on the varietal trials of 1963-65 is necessary.
The most successful non-tropical grape cultivars in the humid
subtropics and highland tropics of Latin America as well as in other parts
of the world belong to the Labruscana family of hybrids. The group
originated in the northeastern United States during the 19th century, from
the interbreeding of V. vinifera varieties with, primarily, the large
berry, peculiarly flavored "fox" grape, V. 1 abrusca (Hedrick, 1907). Two
early selections, Isabella and Niagara, are still the mainstay of
commercial viticulture in Brazil (Sousa, n.d.), and were incorporated
along with related varieties in the tropical grape breeding program of the
IAC (Santos-Neto, 1955).
The viticultural research program of the New York State AES in
Geneva (Cornell University), emerged early in the present century as the
principal institutional seat and germplasm repository of Labruscana
breeding. Geneva has been a cooperative source of varietal material and


REFERENCES
Adams, L. D., 1978, The Wines of America, (2nd ed.) McGraw-Hill, San
Francisco, California.
Alleweldt, G., 1975, Informe sobre la visita a Venezuela para el estudio
de los problemas prcticos del cultivo de la vid., FUSAGRI-
CORPOZULIA, Caracas, Venezuela.
Alleweldt, G. and W. Hofacker, 1975, "Influence of environmental factors
on bud burst, flowering, fertility and shoot growth of grapevines,"
mis, vol. 14, pp. 103-115.
Alleweldt, G. and A. Istar, 1969, "Concerning apical dominance in
grapevines," Vitis, vol. 8, pp. 94-104.
Alvim, P. T., 1964, "Tree growth periodicity in tropical climates," in M.
H. Zimmerman (ed.), The Formation of Wood in Forest Trees. Part IV:
pp. 479-496, Academic Press, New York, New York.
Anderson, E., 1949, Introgressive Hybridization. John Wiley, New York, New
York.
Antcliff, A. J. and P. May, 1961, "Dormancy and budburst in Sultana
vines," mis, vol. 3, pp. 1-14.
Araque, R., 1969, "El cultivo de la vid en Venezuela," Proceedings
Tropical Region, American Society of Horticultural Science, vol. 13,
pp. 299-312.
Araujo, F., 1988, "El material vegetal," in IV Curso Produccin de Uvas
en el Trpico. Centro de Desarrollo Vitcola Tropical, Maracaibo,
Venezuela.
Bailey, L. H., 1934, "The native grapes of North America," Gentes
Herbarum. vol. 3 (4), pp. 151-244.
Bailey, L. H., 1948, The Manual of Cultivated Plants. Macmillan, New York,
New York.
Baldwin, J. G., 1964, "The relation between weather and fruitfulness of
the Sultana vine," Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, vol.
15, pp. 920-928.
Bammi, R. K. and G. S. Rhandawa, 1968, "Viticulture in the tropical
regions of India," Vitis, vol. 7, pp. 124-129.
163


13
has formal antecedents in 19th century European biogeography. In the
United States this is epitomized by the work of De Candolle (1859),
Lippencott (1862) and finally Koppen, who in 1900 summarized his
predecessors' efforts to correlate climatic variation and plant adaptation
(Thornthwaite, 1943), but unlike them had no special interest in grapes.
In the first half of the 20th century, research on viticultural
adaptation in the United States declined and became parochial as the
result of a conjunction of political interests opposed to the expansion
of wine growing (Adams, 1978). Consequently, 19th century "heat
summation" remained a popular adaptational criterion in American
viticulture.(1) The concept was refurbished by Winkler (1938) with
refinements added by others over the years (Branas et al., 1946;
Santibaez et al., 1986).
Poor adaptedness of high latitude grapes in the lower latitudes has
commonly been attributed to lack of winter chilling (Magoon and Dix, 1943;
Mortensen, 1981; Olmo, 1986). However, a chilling requirement is not
mentioned in specialized reviews of climatic factors and grape phenology
(Buttrose, 1974; Alleweldt and Hofacker, 1975; Srinivasan and Mullins,
1981). Nonetheless, the belief that grapevines need periods of cold
weather remains somewhat paradigmatic (sensu Kuhn, 1970) in Caribbean
agricultural extension service lore.
Modern experimental studies on geo-climatic influences in grape
phenology were initiated in the mid-1930s in Germany (Moschkov, 1935;
Hackbarth and Scherz, 1935; Husfeld, 1936) dealing mainly with acclimation
to freezing weather. After World War II the work was resumed in West
Germany (Burckhardt, 1958) and taken up in other countries, including


CHAPTER 5
TOWARD ADAPTIVE SYNTHESIS: PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico (latitude 1830'N) is representative of the geographical
conditions relevant to adaptive viticulture that characterize the chain
of major Caribbean islands known as the Greater Antilles. These include
Cuba, Hispaniola and Jamaica as well, all strung as it were, along both
sides of the 20th parallel North. It is the northern range of the wild
tropical grape, Vitis caribaea. All the islands have incipient
viticultural industries (Pansiot and Libert, 1970) and share a tradition
of growing grapes which stems from the earliest attempts to introduce
European viticulture into the New World (Sauer, 1966).
Because the region is close to the northern edge of the tropical
zone, its climate is in some respects transitional between the "true"
tropics of mainland Venezuela on the one hand, and subtropical florida on
the other. Seasonal weather changes, although mild by Florida standards,
are substantial when compared to the slight variations that have proved
significant farther south (See Chapter 4).
For example, cold fronts flowing off the North American mainland
often chill the air well below the "vegetative zero" (10C or 50F) in
Cuba and in the highlands of all the large islands (Schwerdtfeger, 1976).
Such wintery weather, accompanied by gara drizzle and tolda overcast
further reduces effective daylength that may already be close to a
98


64
The Beginning
During the World War II years the importation of table grapes to
Venezuela was sharply curtailed, and cottage-scale growers of
comparatively poor quality fruit had a windfall. At the end of the war,
Italian and other South European immigrants settled in the hot, dry
coastal plain around Maracaibo, a landscape reminiscent of the
Mediterranean. There they became enthused by the prospect of a lucrative
crop that was familiar. Extensive varietal collections of Old World
grapes (V. viniferal were introduced from Italy and elsewhere in an all-
out effort to find cultivars that would adapt to local conditions (Olmo,
1968; Araque, 1969; Melendez and Garassini, 1973).
By the early 1960s a handful of imported varieties had proven
reasonably productive as well as commercially attractive. The selected
cultivars could be pruned at any time of the year, and coaxed into
yielding two to three harvests yearly (Fregoni, 1977). However, the
foreign grapes had not been bred to withstand periodic spells of rainy
weather and high temperatures combined with high atmospheric humidity.
Such conditions, endemic to even the driest areas of Venezuela, brought
on mildews and other fungi that would disfigure fruit bunches and weaken
the vines by defoliation.
Thus, when commercial harvesting began in 1964, a promising market
for petroleum-derived fungicides, pesticides, growth regulators and
fertilizers began to unfold. Vineyards were included in the financial
credit program of the government's National Plan for Fructiculture


54
and V. cinrea var. floridana (V. aestival is ssp. divergens). Both
developed as well as the native V. canbaea, according to Fennell.
Fennell's accounts mention the need to import and preserve pollen
of northern latitude parents as one of his difficulties in producing
hybrids at Turrialba. His known hybrid selections are described as having
originated in Florida, a very few from seeds obtained in Costa Rica.
Evidently, the greater part of Fennell's collection at the IICA was
abandoned by him as unpromising, and eventually died out or was destroyed
when its custodians arrived at the same conclusion. At the end, Fennell
(1947, 1948) hinted that he had become aware of the importance of
daylength as a critical parameter of adaptive viticulture in the tropics.
In 1950, some five years after Fennell's departure, a Brazilian
grape breeder, J. A. Santos-Neto obtained a handful of clones of dubious
phylogeny (24) from Fennell's abandoned plot in Turrialba. The material
was planted at Fazenda Santa Eliza, the field station of the Instituto
Agronmico de Campinas (IAC) in the state of Sao Paulo (latitude 2253'S)
a few miles north of the Tropic of Capricorn. These became the basis for
a vast succession of hybrids and backcrosses selected for adaptation to
the Brazilian tropics and subtropics over the next quarter century.
Santos-Neto (1955) deserves recognition for creating the first modern
grape hybrids in the tropics, for the tropics, with tropical (and
subtropical) germplasm.
While Fennell was away in the Caribbean, viticulturist Loren Stover
of the agricultural experiment station in Leesburg, central Florida, was
visiting a nearby farm when a field hand walked by eating what appeared
to be unripe green grapes. Stover (p.c. 1982) was surprised to discover


72
implicitly during dry weather. There may have been an error in
transcription, since it is budbreak which takes place roughly at that time
(Bautista and Vargas, 1981). Hidalgo (1974) offered a more explicit
statement of the need to correlate pruning with the phenological cycle.
Pruning should be done toward the end of the rainy season, he recommended.
In variety selection, he added, the duration of its fruiting cycle from
pruning to prospective date of harvest should be taken into consideration.
Long cycle varieties, requiring four or more months (120 or more days)
should be discarded in favor of short cycle varieties (ca. 90 days) that
would allow two or more crops per year.
Hidalgo proposed that viticultural sites in Venezuela be evaluated
and correlated with appropriate varieties by means of the "heliothermic
index" (HI). The HI is a European invention derived from Winkler's (1938,
1962) "heat summation" by Branas (et al., 1946) who added daylength as a
variable for measuring the calendar duration of appropriate (i.e. warm
and sunny) conditions for the fruiting cycle (See also: Santibaez et
al., 1986). The formula for the HI is XH x 10 % where X represents mean
degrees of effective heat per month, based on daily temperature over 10C
(50F), the threshold for vegetative activity in V. vinifera. H
represents the summation of hours of effective insolation per month. The
product is reduced to a manageable index on multiplication by 10"6.
The HI formula does not take into account the function of daylength
as a phenological regulator. Winkler, for example, observed that although
grapes in California would normally bloom when the mean daily temperature
reached 68F (20C), "in areas where a mean of 68F is not reached,
factors such as length of day seem to influence the time of blooming"


95
admittedly promising results. The project allegedly languished after
Melendez left the Institute to take up an administrative position in the
university.
It is uncertain that actual breeding ever took place at the
Institute. Melendez (p.c. 1989) affirms that his work never went beyond
evaluation of hybrids selected by Olmo in California. Most of those were
not even derived from V. caribaea. but rather from V. rotundifol ia
(Hernandez, 1975), a species unadapted to tropical daylengths. Vargas has
insisted that, in any case, the Venezuelan market would reject wine made
from other than "castas nobles" (i.e. recognized V. vinifera wine
cultivars).
Many of those who drink wine in Venezuela undoubtedly do so in
accordance with immigrant European preferences. One study indicates that
fully two thirds of all wine imported is (dry) table wine, and three
quarters of this is red (Millan, 1975). Most of the remainder is
champagne. Aperitive and dessert wines (vinos generosos) are about one
half of one percent. On the other hand, sufficient concentrated must is
imported to produce four times as much wine (Debandi, 1981) locally as
comes in from foreign sources (Millan, 1975).
Most of the imported must is used, as in Puerto Rico (See Chapter
5), to produce generoso type wines, such as vermouth and lambrusco, in
which sugar and added flavors commonly gloss over whatever qualitative
shortcomings the product may have. Total wine consumption in Venezuela
is roughly 8 million gallons annually, or on the order of two bottles per
person. Compared with Argentina, for example, where the proportion is 100


162
2. Seeds provided by Zehnder were planted in Aibonito, and resulted in
a well-adapted "home garden" selection: W67A-1 (Paquita). It is a
self-fertile, and fully productive muscadine flavored black grape
with small conical clusters of loose, oval, slip-skin berries. It
is a hybrid of Fennell's cross of Sanalba, a Munson rotundifol ia x
munsonia, by popenoei, crossed by an open pollinated third
generation backcross of Black Morocco (vinifera) and Hunt
(rotundifolia-munsonia).
3. Experimental selections of tropical hybrids sent by this researcher
to the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva have been
observed to bloom spontaneously in the greenhouse in late September
(Bruce Reisch, p.c. 1988) stimulated, perhaps, by clear early fall
weather.


7
In Chapter 2, the researcher expounds his hypothesis that a
geographical variable, daylength, underlies traditional techniques for
viticultural adaptation, from which the following two distinct regional
approaches have emerged. Chapter 3 proceeds to explore the tradition of
adaptive hybridization which is the dominant approach in Florida. Chapter
4 examines the emergence of adaptive pruning as a paradigmatic tradition
in Venezuela, while Chapter 5 evaluates critically the geographical
"barriers," physical and cultural, that have retarded viticultural
development in Puerto Rico, and articulates the prospects for a "state of
the art" synthesis of adaptive techniques. Finally, Chapter 6 offers
general conclusions that can be drawn from interweaving the preceding
cases into a conceptual tapestry that has wider implications for the
future of this activity.
The sources of information on which this dissertation is based vary
for each of the four main chapters because they constitute separate,
although conceptually interrelated, case studies. All rely to some extent
on the critical analysis of documentary sources. These comprise an
exhaustive and current cross-disciplinary bibliography, accumulated over
many years, and a personal collection of published and unpublished
documents: books, reports, letters and articles on viticulture and
related subjects pertinent to the research subject. The core of this
collection is the researcher's personal file of correspondence (1961-1990)
with leading figures of adaptive grape breeding in the Americas.
Additional sources of information resulted from course work in
anthropology and archaeology at the University of Florida between 1981 and
1984. This provided the philosophical rationale for understanding the


136
the end of the year it was verified that all had well developed root
systems and were very much alive, although in a state of suspended
vegetation.
A new dimension was added to the researcher's perspective when
Barrett (p.c. 1/22/65) suggested that the latitudinal difference in
photoperiod (daylength) might account for the unusual phenology. At the
time, references to daylength in grapes were rare and isolated from the
mainstream of viticultura! research and extension literature.
Authoritative sources mentioned the need for low temperature (Winkler,
1962) but were silent about daylength. Because the researcher had a
personal and professional interest in geography, Barrett's comment was a
revelation and marked the beginning of a quest to understand the
interaction of grape phenology with daylength, and apply such knowledge
to the development of adaptive viticulture in the tropics.
Awareness that daylength was important had not yet dispelled the
notion of a chilling requirement when the project was moved to the
altiplano. Insolation optimization was, however, recognized as an
important consideration. The southern edge of the east-central highland
(ca. 600 m) is one of the few locations on the island were cool sunny days
and cool nights prevail the year round (See Table 7). In general, the
climate is pleasant and the landscape agreeable, both reminiscent of the
tropical highlands at similar latitude and altitude in Brazil.
In retrospect, however, the relative humidity in Aibonito was all
too often close to the dew point. Breeding and selection for resistance
to Anthracnose, dry weather mildew (Oidium) and wet weather mildew
(Peronospora) became imperative. For example, El Bejuco (Criolla Negra)


22
Pruning may have developed as an adaptive technique when viticulture
diffused into areas subject to late killing frosts, as a means of
retarding spring budbreak. Because of apical dominance, when buds begin
to swell in spring, pruning delays budbreak temporarily (Rives, 1967;
Pool, 1984). However, since pruning uninhibits vine growth by eliminating
the distal buds that register and regulate daylength control of vegetative
activity, it can prove to be counter-adaptive if done too early (Ibid.).
(5)
The classical agronomists generalized that early pruning (November-
December) should be the rule in areas where cool winter weather arrived
early and remained constant until spring. Late pruning (February-March)
was considered advisable in areas with relatively warm winters, subject
to late freezes. This practice conveniently anticipates the equinoctial
change to longer days.
Dates for pruning grapevines differ substantially between
latitudinal subregions of the Caribbean. In the mid-region islands of
Puerto Rico and Hispaniola the custom of late pruning as practiced in
Arabic Andalusia--as described by Al-Awwam--sti11 prevails. An annual
cycle of cropping which follows the rise and decline of latitudinal
daylength is thereby established. Both Florida, located roughly between
latitudes 25 and 30 N, and the Greater Antilles at nearly latitude 20N
have been restricted to a single yearly pruning, because of the
inevitability of freezing weather in the first case, and because of the
inhibiting effect of relatively short "off-season" daylengths in both
cases.


ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE IN THE CARIBBEAN BASIN
By
FRANCISCO WATLINGTON-LINARES
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1990


113
measure to the ten degree latitudinal difference in daylength regime. The
finding is a caveat concerning the incomplete adaptation of subtropical
germplasm in the tropics, and its limited suitability for tropical grape
breeding.
In 1974 the UPR Agricultural Experiment Station published its first
bulletin on the "behavior of the table grape, V. vinifera in the Fortuna
substation" (Lopez-Garcia, 1974). The "most important varieties" were
illustrated and described briefly. These were: Exotic, Ribier, Fortuna
Red and Fortuna White. The latter two, it was explained, were local V.
vinifera selections from the Singh collection. The latter has since been
tentatively identified as a clone of Muscat of Alexandria (also known as
Muscat of Maiaga).
No data on productivity was offered for any of the recommended
varieties. Exotic was said to attain a cluster weight of up to 3 pounds,
Ribier up to 2.5 pounds, and the Fortunas as much as 2 pounds. The
intention is apparently promotional, since all of the weights are quite
exceptional. Lopez-Garcia, a junior author of the Singh report, devotes
the remainder of the bulletin to a cursory description of standard
viticultural practices (at higher latitudes) modified somewhat by
experience in Fortuna. Maladies are dispatched in a short paragraph with
the observation that environmental conditions at the substation do not
favor the incidence of disease.
In humid areas, he adds, mildews can be a problem easily controlled
with commercial fungicides. The author uses Winkler's authoritative
textbook (1962) as his major reference source. Thus, he was presumably
aware that clusters of Exotic crack so badly in California that its


109
Ribier is one of the three most important commercial varieties
(including Cardinal and Italia) in the Maracaibo area, with yields of 2
to 3 tons per acre each cycle (Corzo, 1987). Two cycles are normally
harvested each year for a total production of 4 to 6 tons per acre.
Exotic, a more recent introduction from California, is twice as
productive, with clusters twice as large (Tortolero, 1987).
The Singh report provides annual data (1962 to 1965) on the average
number of bunches per vine, and average weight of ripe bunches, but not
on total yield per vine. Therefore, only an indirect comparison with the
Venezuelan data is possible. Such analysis suggests that the highest
yield for each variety at Fortuna was roughly similar to the average for
a single cycle in Venezuela.
Thus, the average weight of a ripe bunch of Ribier in Fortuna was
10.2 oz. and the largest average number of bunches per vine was 12.6. It
might be assumed, therefore, that the yield per vine was in the order of
8 pounds. At a typical density of 610 vines per acre (Bracho and Doreste,
1975), the total yield would be 2.4 tons per acre, a good average for a
single cycle in Maracaibo (Corzo, 1987).
For Exotic the results are also comparable. In Fortuna the average
weight per ripe bunch was 20.5 oz. and the largest average number of
bunches per vine 12.3. Assumed yield per vine would be 15.75 pounds. At
a similar density the total yield would be 4.8 tons per acre, precisely
double the yield of Ribier, and in accordance with the Venezuelan
evaluation. Curiously, the average cluster weight for Exotic in El Tocuyo


Table 9. Puerto Rico: Mean Monthly Rainfall, Selected Stations
Station
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Isabel a
3.60
(91)
3.01
(76.5)
2.93
(74)
4.10
(104)
6.81
(173)
5.67
(144)
4.22
(107)
5.73
(145.5)
5.95
(151)
5.82
(148)
6.35
(161)
4.41
(112)
Aibonito
3.52
(89)
3.03
(77)
2.76
(70)
4.00
(100)
5.88
(150)
4.25
(108)
4.76
(121)
6.11
(155)
6.67
(169)
7.25
(184)
5.89
(150)
4.09
(104)
Juana D.
(Fortuna)
1.22
(31)
1.53
(39)
.95
(24)
2.64
(67)
5.00
(127)
3.88
(98.5)
3.32
(84)
5.33
(135)
7.85
(199)
6.81
(173)
4.58
(116)
2.05
(52)
Vieques
2.45
(62)
2.05
(52)
1.76
(45)
1.72
(44)
4.75
(120)
4.00
(100)
3.69
(94)
4.74
(120)
6.11
(155)
5.40
(137)
6.47
(164)
3.15
(80)
Source: U.S. Weather Bureau, 1965.
Note: Precipitation is in inches, approximate equivalent millimeters in parenthesis.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to express my appreciation to those who contributed in
some way to make this dissertation a reality.
Foremost is Dr. Cesar Caviedes, whose enlightened understanding made
the project possible, whose enviable breadth of expertise contributed
decisively to it, and whose skilled guidance saw it through. I am
similarly obliged to Dr. Jerald Milanich, whose early recognition and
continuing confidence bolstered my determination through difficult times.
I am especially grateful to Lee Newsom for her solidarity, and
selfless contribution of grape seed measurements which will help lend
credibility to the "Sauer grape theory."
Chapter 2 would not have been possible without the generous
assistance of Dr. John McGrew, perhaps the most knowledgeable American
authority on viticultural history. Dr. McGrew provided access to little-
known documentary sources and contributed useful comments on the first
draft. Others who read early drafts of chapter 2, offering encouragement
and constructive comments, were Dr. Harm de Blij, Editor of National
Geographic Research, and Dr. Max Rives of the Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research. Dr. Rives work was a major source
of inspiration and documentation.
Chapter 3 was reviewed by Dr. David Rogers, taxonomical authority
on native Florida grapes, and Dr. John Mortensen, viticultural geneticist
i i i
-


141
no signs of cracking or fruit rot were observed. In general, the results
of vinification confirmed the kitchen tests of earlier years that
established the enological possibilities of Valplatinta. The technicians
noted a combination of high sugar content and acidity, and intense color
in the fresh grapes and juice, a desirable composition for winemaking that
)L_ vinifera varieties rarely achieve under hot and humid growing
conditions in the tropics.
In 1987 wine was made from Valplatinta in Rama Caida, the
viticultural experiment station in San Rafael (lat. 3430S), Argentina.
Cuttings had been sent there in 1979, along with several other tropical
hybrids, for evaluation. Valplatinta turned out to be the healthiest of
the introductions under the environmental conditions of Mendoza, thus
extending the range of its potential adaptation into dry-subtropical
latitudes. Preliminary analysis of must obtained from 33 kg of grapes was
comparable to results obtained by the Pilot Plant.
The enological results, however, are even more encouraging.(32) Two
bottles of an excellent dry red wine aged for one year were received by
this researcher in early 1988, courtesy of BEARCO and Peaflor. BEARCO
president Debandi was much impressed by its deep and stable pigmentation
which was capable of lending a ruby red color to a white wine after a
dilution of one part in five. Because the wine was neutral, lacking
specific varietal flavor or aroma, he concluded Valplatinita is indicated
as a producer of generic or bulk wine for blending with less productive
and more strongly flavored varieties, as well as those requiring added
color and an improved sugar-acid ratio.


11
Notes
1. Cultural evolution is here defined as the adaptive transformation
of a cultural form, in this case a specific crop-technology complex,
through geo-environmental and cultural factors. It is equivalent
to Sahlins' (1960) "specific evolution," amended to emphasize
natural selection (Stoddart, 1966; Dunnell, 1978) and cultural
selection (Campbell, 1965; De Wet and Harlan, 1975).
2. Winkler (1962) was one of the first to challenge the "proprietary"
European view that assigned decisive qualitative attributes to
particular soil compositions and textures. Winkler conceded that
in northern regions, such as in Germany, slate-stone and shale might
be beneficial by absorbing heat during the day. Similarly,
limestone would offset the high acidity of grapes grown in the
cooler winegrowing areas of France (Ibid.).


149
October Rain
Peak
July-August
Dry Spell
Summer
Solstice
May Rain Peak
9 AM Midday
3 PM
Figure 11. Diurnal build up of tolda (cloud cover) in western
Puerto Rico, and approximate relation to daylength.
Source: Derived from unpublished graph, U.S. Weather Bureau
(1956-60), and Calvesbert, 1970.
Note: Values are tenths of sky covered. Light to dark shading
indicates 7 to 8 tenths cloud cover.


159
developed through genetic introgression from the wild Florida species V.
munsoniana. As a result, random cultivars of muscadine are tolerant to
tropical daylengths, at least as far as Puerto Rico. However, it is the
third species, V. popenoei (Fennell, 1940) from southern Mexico, that
holds the greatest promise.
Inter-subgeneric hybridization between the three muscadine species
on one hand, and Euvitis on the other, was pioneered in the 1960s by R.
Zehnder (Summerville, South Carolina) and has been followed up in Florida
by Mortensen and in Puerto Rico by this researcher.(2) However, the
inter-subgeneric hybrid selections sent to Venezuela by Olmo were of V.
rotundifolia (Olmo, 1978; Hernandez, 1975).
Tropical grape hybrids can be advantageously grown in many areas of
the American tropics north of the equator where appropriate climatic
conditions exist. Areas that are favorable include parts of Cuba,
Hispaniola, Yucatan, the Pacific coast of Central America, the Caribbean
coast and upland valleys of Andean Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
(Schwerdfeger, 1976). South of the equator lies by far the largest area
with potential, comprising northeastern Brazil from the uplands of
southern Goias state (ca. latitude 18S, longitude 50W) and northern
Minas Gerais through Bahia north to Sao Luis, Maranhao (23rS, 4314'W),
and east to Joao Pessoa, Paraiba (latitude 79'S, longitude 3445'W).
In terms of locations with appropriate climatic conditions, the
tropical highlands of Brazil would seem to be the "El Dorado" of tropical
viticulture that Fennell dreamed of (da Mota, 1975). For many years, a
few semi-adapted North American and French hybrids have been grown near
the tropic of Capricorn and even farther north, for the local market (de


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mfle
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURES viii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION 1
Notes 11
2 THE GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT OF ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE ... 12
State of Knowledge 12
Adaptation in Grapes 15
Adaptation in Viticulture 18
Adaptive Insolation Optimization 18
Adaptive Pruning 20
Adaptive Hybridization 23
Notes 28
3 ADAPTIVE HYBRIDIZATION IN FLORIDA:
ORIGINS AND DIFFUSION 30
The Florida Mission Grapes 32
An Archaeological Clue 36
A Search for "El Dorado" 52
Notes 56
4 ADAPTIVE PRUNING IN VENEZUELA:
EVOLUTION OF A PARADIGM 60
The Beginning 64
The Pruning Calendar 67
The Creole Hybrids 90
Notes 96
v


75
official concern that low yields and high production costs threatened the
long term viability of viticulture as an economic enterprise.
Following the advice of Galet and Hidalgo, Garassini proposed that
the Institute focus on research toward development of a wine industry as
a promising alternative to table grapes. Grape varieties should be
introduced and evaluated, he argued, in terms of their potential for wine
making. Stressing the need to increase funding for such research, he
pointed to the lack of adequately trained technicians and the prevalence
of viticultural practices inappropriate for Venezuelan environmental
conditions.
Two years later, in 1978, an Institute faculty member, agronomist
Guillermo Vargas, submitted his thesis for a licentiate degree in
viticulture and enology from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain,
where he studied under Hidalgo. The Vargas thesis developed a model
application of the HI to eight scattered viticultural zones in the state
of Lara, for comparative evaluation and correlation with European grape
varieties of known HI values. Vargas' work marked the beginning of
serious studies of climate and grape phenology in Venezuela. It was to
be highly influential in determining the dominant research trend of the
1980s in tropical viticulture. However, this early thesis dealt only with
table grapes.
Vargas' model can be summarily described as follows. All
prospective viticultural zones of Lara state and the capital Barquisimeto
were pinpointed on an outline map. Mean monthly rainfall for each
location was presented in bar chart form accompanied by data on latitude,
altitude and total precipitation. A thin line was drawn across each chart


99
critical half hour shorter than in Venezuela. (1) In northern Florida
(latitude 30N) native grapevines respond to daylength decline under
twelve hours in October by becoming dormant in time for the first frost
when daylength has contracted to ten and a half hours in late November
(Bradley, 1975). In the islands the native V. caribaea also enters a
state of repose in October, from which it is released by the March
equinox.
Toward the spring equinox the Antillean region is briefly encroached
by the western Atlantic subtropical high pressure cell (Critchfield,
1974). The subsiding cool dry air of the so-called Bermuda high provides
the principal respite from the moisture laden oceanic monsoon that is
dominant during most of the year. Topography plays a major modifying
role. To the leeward of the mountain chains that define each island there
are rain shadow zones that are semiarid when the northeasterlies prevail,
and quite humid when tropical air masses move in from the southeast as the
intertropical convergence zone moves north in late summer.
This so-called "wet and dry" climatic pattern (Critchfield, 1974)
typical of southern and western coastal plains and piedmonts on the
Caribbean side is transitional to the true semiarid climate along the
continental border of the same basin. Thus, few semiarid zones in the
islands are quite as dry as their mainland counterparts. In other words,
while the landscape of south coast Puerto Rico may appear very similar to
that of coastal Venezuela, its mean annual rainfall of about 50 inches
(1,270 mm) is roughly twice that of Vargas' (1978) recommended upper limit
of 25 inches (650 mm) for prospective viticultural zones in Venezuela.
There are a few zones in the larger island of Hispaniola that do qualify.


139
seeds and a high percentage of germination. For the first time,
photoperiod response was used as a parameter of evaluation to accelerate
the process of selection.
Laura is a female (pistillate) variety, similar in foliar and fruit
traits to its North Carolina parent. It is, however, fully adapted to
tropical conditions and highly fertile. Although vigorous, productive and
healthy, its major limitation is fruit subject to cracking and rotting
when ripening in very humid weather. Laura appears to have commercial
potential for tropical semiarid zones under either double pruning or
successive pruning. Its root system is excellent and it does not need to
be grafted. The fruiting cycle requires 130 to 140 days from pruning.
Unlike its sister, Georgina is self-fertile. It has a green-white
oval berry (with a purple blush on some) of large medium size (15 x 17
mm), in large medium clusters (18 cm). A showy vine with attractive
foliage and fruit, similar in most respects to its sibling. The fruit is
a typical vinifera "sweetwater" type, lacking varietal flavor. It may be
useful as a source of neutral white wine must. Both varieties have been
propagated from lignified cuttings. There has been restricted
distribution of Georgina and Laura among cooperative home gardeners for
evaluation toward patenting.
On March 19, 1981 the researcher submitted an application to the
Puerto Rico Patent Committee in request for assistance to patent W73B-3,
Laura.(31) The variety was described as having large ovoid berries (20
x 25 mm), blue-black in color, few seeds, flavor and texture similar to
commercial quality California table grapes, and large semi-compact, wide-
conical clusters (1 to 2 lbs. or more).


129
Sao Paulo was dotted with tidy homestead farms featuring attractive peach
orchards and vineyards alongside conventional crops of citrus, bananas and
coffee.
Much of the central highland region of Puerto Rico has more or less
analogous climatic characteristics and the researcher became enthusiastic
with the prospect of introducing new subtropical fruit crops.(25) A
specific interest in grape cultivation began on acquaintance with
Brazilian viticulture, ably expounded by Sousa (n.d.). Later (1962-63)
the researcher became familiar with the adaptive grape breeding program
of the Instituto Angonomico at Campinas (latitude 2253'S). In charge was
J. A. Santos-Neto, an agronomist who had been persuaded by H. P. Olmo in
the mid 1940s to follow up Fennell's pioneer effort to create tropical
cultivars (Santos-Neto, 1955).
In early 1963 the researcher began a correspondence with Santos-Neto
that was to endure for many years. At the same time a similar exchange
was started with R. T. Dunstan, of Greensboro, North Carolina, a leading
aficionado within a fraternity (including many professionals) which
carried on the native tradition of adaptive grape breeding in the
southeastern United States. Through Dunstan contact was made with other
committed amateurs, including R. L. Farrer (Atlanta, Georgia), R. J.
Zehnder (Summerville, South Carolina), and M. Bosch (Madeira Beach,
Florida). Through the group, the researcher entered a network of
information and germplasm exchange that opened the way for adaptive grape
breeding in Puerto Rico.
Munson (1909), Griffith (1923), and Fennell (1945), provided a
"theoretical" foundation for the project, which from the start was


175
Miller, G., 1963, "Grape growing under glass," Journal of the Royal
Horticultural Society, vol. 88, pp. 85-91.
Ministerio de la Defensa (MINIDEFENSA), 1984, Atlas climatolgico de la
fuerza aerea de Venezuela. Servicio de Meteorologa, Maracay,
Venezuela.
Minnis, P. E., 1981, "Seeds in archaeological sites: sources and some
interpretive problems," American Antiquity, vol. 46, pp. 143-152.
Mishkin, D. J., 1975, The American Colonial Wine Industry: An Economic
Interpretation. 2 volumes, Arno Press, New York, New York.
Moore, F., 1744, A Voyage to Georgia: Begun in the Year 1735. J.
Robinson, London, England.
Moret, A. and A. Belardo, 1990, "Evaluacin de 11 variedades de uva para
vinos," Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico,
vol. 74 (3), np.
Mortensen, J. A., 1966, "Comparative growth and yield of ten grape
varieties sprayed intensively for insect and disease control," Proceedings
of the Florida State Horticultural Society, vol. 79, pp. 390-395.
Mortensen, J. A., 1971, "Breeding Grapes for Central Florida,"
HortScience, vol. 6 (2), pp. 149-153.
Mortensen, J. A., 1977, "Sources of resistance to Pierce's disease in
Vitis." Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science,
vol. 102 (6), pp. 695-697.
Mortensen, J. A., 1978, "Grapes in Florida: Past, present, and future,"
Fruit South, vol. (3), pp. 86-89.
Mortensen, J. A., 1980, Variety Improvement of Bunch and Muscadine Grapes.
WG 80-2, Institute of Food and Agricultural Science, Leesburg,
Florida.
Mortensen, J. A., 1981, "Grape varieties and culture in tropical and
subtropical areas," Simposio Nacional de Fruticultura, Guadalajara,
Mexico.
Mortensen, J. A. and C. P. Andrews, 1981, "Grape cultivar trials and
recommended cultivars for Florida viticulture," Proceedings of the
Florida State Horticultural Society, vol. 94, pp. 328-331.
Moschkov, B.S., 1935, "Photoperiodism and frost resistance of perennial
plants," Bulletin of Applied Botany, Genetics and Plant Breeding.
Ser. 3, 6, pp. 235-261, Moscow, USSR.


33
refortified, the vineyard replanted, the outpost lost its pre-eminence to
the more secure southern position. Officially abandoned eleven years
later (1587) under threat of Indian rebellion, apparently the settlement
did not disappear entirely.
Waring (1970) noted that a Captain William Hilton of Barbados
visited Santa Elena in 1663. He found "Spanish" Indians living there,
seventy-six years after the presumed abandonment of the former mission
village. They lived amid artifacts that included a standing wooden cross,
and orchards of peaches, figs and grapes. That these were not relics but
actively cultivated there can be little doubt. With the exception of
native grapevines and their adapted hybrids, capable of self renewal by
spontaneous layering, the exotic peach, fig and European grape are
reputedly short lived in the Southeast without skilled husbandry.(3)
In 1735, Francis Moore, an English visitor to Georgia, accurately
described the two common native wild grape species, V. aestivalis Michx.
and V. rotundifolia Michx. He then commented on a curiosity he had seen
on St. Simon's Island, site of the mission of Santo Domingo de Asaho:
But there is on St. Simon's, a wild Grape much nearer the Europe
Vine, the Fruit being exactly the same as the common white Grape,
though the Leaf is something different. The Birds and wild Animals
like it so well, that they suffer it seldom to ripen. All the Vine
Kinds seem natural to the Country. (Moore, 1744: p. 55)
Similarly, late 18th century settlers discovered feral grapes of
apparent V. aestival is x vinifera hybridity (Rea, 1941; Mishkin, 1975),
growing within the former Hispanic/mission, and subsequent Anglo-Indian,
borderland in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. This buffer zone,
then populated by remnant Indian tribal communities, included Hispanicized


81
He concluded the variety was suitable only for annual cycle pruning. A
close sixth is Violeta (or Victoria), possibly also a native second
generation backcross hybrid, and a heavy bearer at lower elevation in Lara
(Diaz and Agero, 1975). Last is Mustosa, similarly a heavy cropper in
Lara (Ibid.), but which performed irregularly at the trial site in Merida.
Bautista concluded that the first three varieties, Villanueva,
Muscat Hamburg and A. Lavallee, are the best adapted of those tested. He
also noted that the semester initiated by pruning in January is more
productive than the semester initiated in July. The explanation is, of
course, that buds fruiting after pruning in January were formed during the
relatively longer days of summer. Whether Villanueva would be much more
productive at higher latitudes remains to be determined.
A position paper by Bautista and Vargas (1980) summarized the status
of Venezuelan viticultural science at the turn of the decade. The infant
local research establishment had by then been inserted in the
informational network linking similar organizations world-wide.
Concurrently, environmental limitations to adaptation of viticulture in
the tropics had been reduced to rainfall, and the need to fill the heat-
insolation requirement of the heliothermic index (HI). Henceforth,
official viticultural research in Venezuela would conform by and large to
the European mainstream of applied viticultural theory.
Following the path initially proposed by Hidalgo (1974), adaptive
research in the 1980s would emphasize massive testing of imported
varieties for appropriate "fit" to specific local heliothermic
"microclimates." The vines would be mainly V. vinifera selections
introduced from "safe" (certified disease-free) sources.(7) On the other


110
is 22.9 oz., slightly larger than at Fortuna. For Ribier, however, it is
5.6 to 7.7 oz., or half to three quarters the cluster average in
Fortuna.(8)
The Singh report also featured two selections from a different
family of cultivars, the Florida bunch grape hybrids. Three
representative varieties had been the first introductions from the
continental United States. There was Lake Emerald, the successful cross
that launched state funded adaptive grape breeding in Florida (Mortensen,
1971). Blue Lake, the second successful selection of the same program
(released in 1960) was included. Finally there was Tamiami, the only one
of Fennell's hybrids to achieve commercial .popularity (in the 1950s).
The performance of Lake Emerald in Fortuna was impressive by
comparison with the selected V. vinifera varieties. Although average ripe
bunch weight (9.4 oz.) was slightly less than that for Ribier, its 1owest
estimated yield per vine, 8.5 pounds, was somewhat above the highest for
Ribier, although somewhat less than that of Exotic (15.75 pounds).
Tamiami was even more impressive.(9) With an average ripe cluster
weight of 14.7 oz. its estimated yield increased progressively to a mean
of 32.6 pounds per vine, four times the highest yield of Ribier and double
that of Exotic. Concerning traits other than productivity, the Singh
report was sketchy. The V. vinifera were described as "sweet" and the
Florida hybrids as "sweet with distinct flavor" (Singh et al., Op. cit.:
passim). There was no mention at all of the far superior adaptedness of
the Florida grapes to hot and humid growing conditions. No data was
offered on Blue Lake, with yields reputedly comparable to Lake Emerald in
Fortuna.


105
vines was entrusted to the federal experiment station in Mayaguez and
apparently added to an existing collection planted in the late 1930s on
Las Mesas mountain at an elevation of 1,000 ft (Horn and Cobin, 1943).
No subsequent report on the fate of this planting has been found.
However, Thomas Fennell is said to have taken material from the plot to
Vieques Island (Figure 6) in 1945 (Joseph Fennell, p.c. 1982).
At any rate, Fennell's grape breeding project failed to enlist a
following in the well staffed federal and local agricultural research
establishments. Once more Puerto Rico had missed the historical
opportunity to pioneer adaptive grape breeding in the tropics.
Institutional indifference to such projects as proposed by Griffith and
Fennell is probably linked to an uninformed lack of appreciation of the
immediate and long term benefits. After all, it was not impossible to
have an apparently productive vineyard of fine Spanish table grapes, if
one were familiar with the proper techniques of training and pruning.
A documented example is that of Galo Hernandez, a Spanish
businessman and successful farmer who had a one acre vineyard on his
suburban estate on the outskirts of Ponce, in the south coast piedmont
(Figure 6) during the 1930s and early 1940s (Rodriguez-Arias, 1941). The
tidy plot reputedly produced up to 3,000 kg of top quality Muscat of
Malaga which was sold at a premium price.(5) The plantation, apparently
a profitable hobby, elicited the admiration of visiting agronomists from
the experiment stations until its eventual destruction by the fallout from
a cement plant built across the road.
In the 1940s there was at least one other noteworthy viticultural
effort. A young Corsican immigrant came to Guayama in 1936, indentured


46
Comparison of the Hontoon seeds with those of VG is limited by the
size and structure of the latter sample. Fennell apparently selected
representative seeds in terms of their number per fruit. The twenty seed
sample is based on two single seed berries (10%), three 4 seed berries
(60%), and one six seed berry (30%). There does not seem to be a clear
correlation between seed dimensions and number of seeds per berry.
Compared directly, (15) the longer VH seeds fall into the mean
length for VG (5.70 vs. 5.77) with a similar "median" of 5.67. The mean
width for all VH seeds, however, is 12.30% greater than that for the VG.
The mean thickness of the VH is also greater than that of the VG, by 11%.
The chalaza is 20% larger in the VH.
In relative dimensions there are corresponding differences that
belie the remarkable likeness between the VH and VG seeds. The L/W ratio
of VG is 17.7% higher (indicating a somewhat narrower form), and the L/T
ratio 16% higher (somewhat thinner), than the VH. The L/W value for the
VG chalaza is 12.4% higher, indicating a relatively elongated outline.
In general, the compared measurements show that seeds of the Hontoon
Grape are morphologically akin to those of Simpson's Grape and Fennell's
Grape. At the same time they are clearly distinct, individually and
collectively. Yet all three types were found in the same anthropogenic
context (shell middens), and within the same geographic area of south
central Florida. Is the archaeological grape a precursor of the two
living forms with similar seeds, that share horticultural attributes?
The possibility that the Hontoon Grape seeds represent an
archaeological cultivar raises further questions. The seeds of the three
forms compared do not suggest hybridization between a native type and


121
Olmo's all too brief evaluative report offered general suggestions
but made no reference to his detailed monographs on Venezuela (1968), and
India (1970), or to subsequent developments in those countries.(16) In
the Venezuela report he had proposed experimentation with "double
pruning," a system developed in India, and explained it in some detail.
In the "warmer regions of India" (Olmo, 1968: p. 22) the vines are pruned
to productive short spurs (three to four buds per cane) in October for
harvest at the end of the dry season in March-April. Immediately after
harvest each cane is pruned back to a single bud (weak canes are removed).
Since the basal buds of most varieties are virtually infertile (incidental
clusters are removed by hand), the new canes are allowed five months of
vegetative growth before being pruned again for production.
Olmo became more familiar with double pruning during a five month
assignment to India in 1969 (Olmo, 1970). Known there as "back pruning"
or "foundation pruning," it is the system used in the viticultural areas
of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, located largely within the same
latitudinal zone as the Greater Antilles: 17N to 20N (Bammi and
Randhawa, 1968). In subtropical northern India grapevines are pruned only
once a year, and in the more tropical southern "cone" (Tamil Nadu), at
10N to 16N, consecutive pruning-production cycles with a brief period
of rest in between is the rule, as in Venezuela.
Double pruning separates the two basic functions of fruiting per se,
and physiological preparation for fruiting. In India, foundation pruning
in April promotes fertile fruit bud formation and accumulation of
nutritional reserves during the favorable long day period of the year.
October pruning at the end of the rainy season schedules fruit development


172
Hidalgo, L., 1974, Informe sobre el cultivo de la vid en Venezuela,
Fundacin Servicio al Agricultor, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Horn, C. L. and M. Cobin, 1943, "Plant introductions," Report of the
Puerto Rico Experiment Station, 1943, (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico) pp.
20-21.
Hudson, C., M. T. Smith and C. B. De Pratter, 1984, "The Hernando De Soto
Expeditions from Apalachee to Chiaha," Southeastern Archaeology,
vol. 3 (1), pp. 65-77.
Huglin, P., 1958, "Recherches sur les bourgeons de la vigne, initiation
florale et development vgtatif," Annales de L'amelioration des
P1antes, vol. 8, pp. 113-265.
Husfeld, B., 1936, "Photoperiodismus bei reben," Forshunqsdienst, vol. 3,
pp. 116-123.
Ibn Al-Awwam, A. Z., 1802, [Original ca. 1200], Libro de Agricultura, J.
Banqueri (trans. and ed.), Madrid, Spain.
Instituto de la Uva, 1976, La Viticultura en el Estado Lara, Universidad
Centro Occidental, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Instituto de la Uva, 1988, El Insituto de la Uva, UCLA, Barqui simeto,
Venezuela.
Jacobs, A. M., 1966, "Grape culture in Belgium," Deciduous Fruit Grower,
vol. 16, pp. 62-67.
Janusevich, Z. V. and G. M. Nikolaenko, 1979, "Fossil remains of
cultivated plants in the ancient Tauric Chersonessos," Archaeo-
Physika, vol. 8, pp. 115-134.
Janzen, D. H., 1973, "Tropical agroecosystems," Science, vol. 182 (12),
pp. 1212-1219.
Jones, B. C., 1972, "Colonel James Moore and the destruction of the
Apalachee missions in 1704," Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties
Bulletin, vol. 2, pp. 25-33.
Kay, M., F. B. King, and C. K. Robinson, 1980, "Cucurbits from Phillips
Spring, new evidence and interpretations," American Antiquity, vol.
45, pp. 806-822.
Khalil, W., 1961, "Azione del fotoperiodismo sullo svuppo vegetativo
della vite," Atti Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino, vol. 13,
pp. 485-491.
Kliewer, W. M., 1968, "Effect of temperature on the composition of grapes
grown under field and controlled conditions," Proceedings of the
American Society of Horticultural Science, vol. 93, pp. 797-806.


108
introductions from California, Colombia, Florida, Georgia and Kansas.
Most of those that were gradually eliminated are not identified. However,
specific mention is made of a group of muscadine varieties (V.
rotundifolia) from Georgia, with the observation that the vines were weak
and unproductive. The report added that "it seems desirable that their
performance be studied in the Central Western Mountainous Region of Puerto
Rico where it is much cooler" (Singh et al.,1967: p. 10).
The procedure for planting the local varieties began with cuttings
taken in February (the traditional month for pruning in Puerto Rico),
rooted in a nursery and set out in the field in September 1960, probably
to take advantage of the rainy season. The young vines were cut back to
a single two bud spur and defoliated on planting. The following February
they were pruned again to a single strong cane for training to a two wire
horizontal trellis. A straightforward rationale explained the pruning
calendar.
It was observed that in the Southern Region of Puerto Rico unpruned
grapevines usually start producing much new growth during March.
Therefore it seemed logical to accord the first and all subsequent
prunings every year during February. (Singh, et al., 1967: p. 6)
The results reported in 1967 mentioned that several local and
introduced varieties were acceptably good. However, a handful of
introductions was selected as superior in terms of productivity and
described in detail. Two widely known cultivars head the list: Ribier
(Alphonse Lavallee) and its offspring Exotic.(7) Both are showy black
table grapes, also among the best adapted of such varieties in Venezuela
(See Chapter 4).


94
1988) or by the Centro Viticola (Araujo, p.c. 1988). A modest private
breeding program at Hacienda Tucutunemo (Aragua) is the only documented
effort to implement this adaptive technique in Venezuela (Hernandez,
1975). Apparently, no significant introductions have been reported by the
project.
Both Olmo and Hidalgo urged local agronomists to adopt the practice
of grafting imported vines on native varieties as rootstocks. This is one
recommendation concerning native vines that has lately been accepted by
institutional viticulturists, probably because it has helped buttress the
sometimes faltering cultivation of V. vinifera. For example, Vargas and
Bautista (1987b) discovered that the fruiting cycle of select early season
European wine grapes such as Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Syrah, can be
shortened ten days (to 3.5 months) by grafting on Criolla Negra, a late
variety, rather than on "early" foreign rootstocks.
In summary, viticultural research in Venezuela has long discounted
interspecific hybridization between the native V. caribaea and non-native
cultivars as an adaptive technique in favor of a precarious strategy of
working with V. vinifera. that depends largely on the technique of
adaptive pruning, and considerable inputs of chemicals. Leading
researchers such as Corzo and Vargas (p.c. 1988, 1989) argue vehemently
in favor of the prevailing approach on the grounds that it is more likely
to produce practical results in less time than adaptive breeding.
A historical accident may have contributed to the present course of
events. Researcher Orlando Melendez is said to have initiated breeding
trials in the Grape Institute between 1972 and 1974, in cooperation with
Olmo (Bautista, Vargas, p.c. 1989). Early selections were vinified with


148
Effective daylength in all the proposed areas may be further reduced
below latitudinal limits by orographic and convective tolda (heavy cloud
cover) during May-early June and September-October (Figure 11). Morning
tolda affects mainly the eastern half of Puerto Rico, afternoon tolda the
western half. Both tend to lengthen the photo-effective duration of
nighttime (see Chapter 2). However, this environmental phenomenon may
actually enhance qualitative development of a grape crop that has already
"set," by channeling metabolites into the fruit clusters rather than into
production of foliage.
High levels of relative humidity can be a problem during periods of
tolda, promoting mildew infection at night in areas and sites where air
drainage is inadequate. It is not as serious in the northwest meseta (50
to 200 m ASL), or in offshore Vieques' rolling terrain, as in the south
coast (Calvesbert, 1970), the al ti pi ano (400 to 600 m ASL), and the
enclosed La Plata Valley (350 m ASL). According to Calvesbert, "generally
speaking, relative humidity values of 90 percent or above during the
nighttime are not infrequent" (Calvesbert, 1979: p. 10). Such values are
commonly attained in October and November. Thus, for practical purposes
it can be assumed that grape cultivation is likely to be economically
viable in Puerto Rico only with appropriate tropical hybrids.
Resistance to mildews and other fungus maladies is quite variable
among existing tropical hybrids because of the phylogenetic influence of
JL vinifera. Putative first generation hybrids such as the Venezuelan
Criolla Negra and its presumably "selfed" seedlings, all strongly
vinifera, would be likely to do well mainly in areas such as the northwest
and Vieques, where good nocturnal air drainage and the proximity of the


Table 1. Hontoon Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative Measurements (mm)
Category
Sample
Mean
Length
Mean
Width
Mean
Thickness
L/W
L/T
chaiaza
x/W L/W
Largest (longest)
(5.85-5.975)
#
6
%
12.50
5.92
4.56
3.25
1.29
1.82
1.76
1.15
Larger (longer)
(5.62-5.75)
9
18.75
5.67
4.57
3.41
1.24
1.66
1.62
1.19
Large (long)
(5.50-5.57)
6
12.50
5.53
4.52
3.15
1.22
1.75
1.52
1.30
All Larqe
21
43.75
5.70
4.55
3.27
1.25
1.74
1.63
1.21
Medium (length)
(5.40-5.475)
10
20.80
5.45
4.54
3.04
1.20
1.79
1.54
1.23
Small Med. (lgth.)
(5.07-5.35)
12
25.00
5.23
4.34
3.43
1.20
1.52
1.58
1.18
All Medium
22
45.83
5.34
4.44
3.23
1.20
1.65
1.56
1.20
Small (length)
(4.75-4.975)
5
10.41
4.88
4.27
3.12
1.14
1.56
1.47
1.19
All Seeds
48
100.00
5.45
4.47
3.23
1.21
1.68
1.58
1.20
Source: Direct measurements by Lee A. Newsom (1985), Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville, with "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper. Classification, means and
ratios by the author.


23
It is in the southern borderland of the Caribbean, at a
significantly lower latitude, that pruning attains its greatest potential
as an adaptive technique. In Venezuela (latitude 10N), where winter
daylengths are near the equinoctial threshold, pruning has been used
advantageously since early colonial times (Latorre, 1919) to promote
reproductive new growth during periods of high insolation throughout the
year. Even without pruning, the best adapted of the introduced cultivars
tend to grow in vegetative flushes the year around following changes in
available insolation levels and effective daylength (Purohit et al.,
1979).
Adaptive Hybridization
The use of hybridization as an adaptive technique in New World
viticulture has evolved from the experience that hybrid forms often
combine desirable traits of widely differing "races." The recognition and
selection of hybrids between indigenous forms and introduced cultivars has
been traditionally understood as essentially adaptational, although
appraisal of environment conditions has usually focused on "disease
resistance" rather than on daylength. Though evidence of colonial grape
breeding is rare, the exploitation of hybridity requires only the
recognition of sexual reproduction in grapes. A practical understanding
of plant sexuality was part of the Arabic agricultural legacy of Andalusia
at the time of the Discovery. On describing the well documented ancient
technique of hand pollinating the date palm, Ibn Al-Awwam adds:


181
Stover, L.H., 1960, "Progress in the development of grape varieties for
Florida," Proceedings, Florida State Horticultural Society, vol.
73, pp. 320-323.
Strahler, A.N., 1975, Physical Geography, John Wiley and Sons, New York,
New York.
Sugiura, A., N. Utsonomiya and A. Kobayashi, 1975, "Effects of daylength
and temperature on growth and bunch differentiation of grapevines,"
Japanese Journal of Horticultural Science, vol. 43, pp. 387-392.
Swanton, J.R., 1946, The Indians of the Southeastern United States, Bureau
of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 137, Washington, D.C.
Tebeau, C.W., 1980, A History of Florida, University of Miami Press, Coral
Gables, Florida.
Telles, M., 1967, La Viticultura en el Valle de Neyba y en la cuenca de
Azua, Ministerio de Agricultura, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Thornthwaite, C.W., 1943, "Problems in the classification of climates,"
Geographical Review, vol. 23 (2), pp. 233-255.
Tortolero, E., 1987, Evaluacin de variedades de uva de mesa en la zona
de El Tocuyo, Universidad Centro-Occidental, Barquisimeto,
Venezuela.
United States Naval Observatory, 1960, The Air Almanac, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
United States Weather Bureau, 1965, Climatography of the United States:
Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands, No. 86-45, U.S.
Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
van Balen, J., 1987, "Potential for wine production in Venezuela," Acta
Horticulturae, vol. 199 (8), pp. 30.
Vargas, G., 1978, Integrales Heliotrmicas como Factor de Produccin
Vitcola en el Estado Lara, Licentiate thesis, Instituto
Politcnico, Madrid, Spain.
Vargas, G., 1987, En zonas ridas de Lara se pueden producir los vinos de
mayor calidad de Venezuela, Segundo Encuentro Nacional de
Investigadores y Productores de Frutos de Clima Templado,
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Vargas, G., 1988, Investigacin Vitivincola y Capacitacin, Instituto de
la Uva, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.


2
much less interpreted in terms of a unifying geographic concept that lends
simplicity to a wider understanding of viticultural adaptation in the
tropics.
A better understanding of the geographical imperatives that underlie
traditional viticultural technology should go far toward enhancing its
effectiveness. Traditional practices and imported innovations must be
studied and applied collaterally, since as one cultural geographer has put
it:
Traditional techniques have deep roots in the aboriginal and
colonial past. Some of the approaches . have been or could be
applied to modern systems. And in Latin America today many, if not
most, farmers make use of both modern and traditional techniques.
(Denevan, 1980: p. 177)
However, folk technology is much too often underestimated by local
agricultural research and extension agencies, which similarly tend to
disregard the perspectives that "outside" disciplines, such as geography,
can offer to the discussion of cultural adaptation.
Although American cultural geographers from Sauer (1969, 1971) to
de Blij (1981) have written extensively on regional viticultural
traditions, none have undertaken the complex task of evaluating imported
viticultural technology in its adaptation to New World geo-environmental
conditions. There are, nonetheless, relevant antecedents in Kollmorgen's
(1943) model of crop-technology complex diffusion from institutional,
corporate and political "culture islands," and Lewis' (1979) correlation
of introduced grape cultigens and immigrant provenance in 19th century
FIorida.
Kollmorgen addresses pertinently the problem of the
institutionalization in Florida (and other Gulf areas) of maladaptive


71
September to October for a December to January vintage, and another in
April for a July harvest. For Lara there was a single pruning in the
period from October to December for harvesting from January to April. In
the Andean state of Tachira on the Colombian border, and the north central
state of Aragua (just south of Caracas) pruning was done in July for a
vintage in December.
Interestingly, a two-crop pattern was mentioned only for Zulia,
which was already in the lead of vineyard expansion. The first complete
viticultural handbook, compiled by the growers of Zulia (Rojnic et al.,
1972) did not specify pruning dates but stated somewhat vaguely that
pruning should be programmed so that the ripening period would not
coincide with the rainy season of October-November. The first official
pruning manual published in Lara (Melendez, 1978) explicitly recommended
pruning toward the end of the rainy period. This appears to have been the
general rule of thumb (Raniery, 1969).
Subsequently, Galet (1973) coincided with Araque on the first
pruning period for Zulia (September-October), but assigned the second to
February and March rather than April. He also differed concerning
Tachira, where he found two prunings also, in May and January. He listed
the neighboring Andean states of Merida with pruning in March-April and
August-October, and Trujillo with pruning every four months beginning in
April. With a certain exasperation Galet added, "and even all year
around: in January, May, June, August, September, October, November, and
December" (Galet, 1973: p. 6).
Galet's report is one of the earliest to mention a phenological
event, blooming, as occurring fifteen to thirty days after pruning,


100
The valleys of San Juan, Neyba and Azua in the southwestern Dominican
Republic are truly semiarid, lying in the rain shadow of the Cibao massif,
the highest and most extensive mountain range of the West Indies
(Schwerdtfeger, 1976). It is in these areas that traditional artisanal
viticulture based on V. vinifera has persisted (Telles, 1967), and where
attempts are being made to introduce the modern Venezuelan model (Corzo,
1985).
In Cuba, under practically subtropical conditions, viticultural
development with European grapes was a major component of the regional
plan for Banao in the province of Sancti Spiritus (Sanchez, 1968). There
are occasional reports of similar projects being attempted in other
islands, such as Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad (Pansiot and Libert, 1970),
and Virgin Islands (Cahoon and Padda, 1977). However, this chapter will
focus on Puerto Rico, where difficult environmental conditions contrast
with tantalyzing economic opportunities for grape growing enterprises.
Puerto Rico does not yet have a commercial viticulture. A long
history of abortive enterprises belies the possibilities revealed by
patient scientific commitment. Paradoxically, the island has been at the
crossroads of key contributions in adaptive technology for tropical
viticulture. The following pages describe how local research and
development agencies have responded to the opportunities that have arisen
over the years.
A History of Trials
Spanish grapevines were introduced to Puerto Rico by settlers from
Hispaniola in the early 16th century. The earliest reference is a report


Table 6. Critical Maxima, Monthly Rainfall: El Tocuyo (Lara), Venezuela, 1978-1988
Month* 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 Mean
Jan.
Feb.
Mar.
Apr.
May
June
81
(3.2)
91.5
(3.6)
216 93.75 109.5
(8.5) (3.69) (4.3)
91.5
(3.6)
88.5
(3.5)
75
(2.95)
91.5
(3.6)
117.75
(4.6)
75
(2.95)
July
Aug.
150
(5.9)
Dec. 75
(2.95)
Sep.
Oct.
Nov.
133.5
(5.25)
138.75 183.75
(5.46) (7.23)
84
(3.3)
93 93
(3.6) (3.6)
75 75
(2.95) (2.95)
76.5 133.12
(3.01) (5.24)
205.5 102 135.37
(8.1) (4.02) (5.32)
115.5 115.5
(4.5) (4.5)
87 81
(3.42) (3.59)
00
UD
Source: Instituto de la Uva, El Tocuyo (Lara), Venezuela. 1989.
*0nly values approximating 75 mm (3 in) or over are presented. All measurements are in millimeters.
Approximate equivalent in inches is in parenthesis.


65
(FONDFRU, 1975). In 1965, FUSAGRI, the Shell Foundation for Agricultural
Services, began varietal trials at its experiment station in Coro (Falcon
State).
As vineyard hectares multiplied, there seems to have been misgivings
in official circles concerning long term viability of the immigrant
temperate zone crop. The prevailing view among formally trained
agronomists was Winkler's (1962) authoritative dictum that without an
adequate low temperature period of rest V. vinifera vines in the tropics
could only be expected to produce small yields of poor quality fruit.
There was pressure also from the enduring viticultural community farther
inland, which began to feel left out of the incipient boom. FUDECO, the
government Foundation for Development of the West-Central Region, decided
to bring in an outside expert.
The choice was Dr. Harold Olmo (University of California, Davis),
renowned authority on grape genetics and geography. Olmo's 1968 survey
of Lara, Zulia, and neighboring areas identified prospective locations for
viticulture based on a subjective evaluation of geo-environmental
characteristics. He rejected the temperate zone tenet of "heat summation"
as inappropriate, and by implication laid to rest concern about the
chilling requirement, disregarding it altogether. Olmo also pointed the
way to a more scientific approach to adaptive pruning and adaptive
hybridization.
The Olmo report was officially presented at the First Symposium on
Production and Industrialization of the Grape in Venezuela (Maracaibo,
1969). In 1970, the grape growers of Zulia organized formally and
petitioned the government for protective legislation against imports,


16
hours for normal growth and productivity (Buttrose, 1969a; Sugiura et al.,
1975). How much longer for grapes in their native habitat depends on the
particular daylengths that commonly precede critical weather at a specific
latitudinal location and on the time required for appropriate
physiological adjustment.
Grapes native to climatic belts north of the 30th parallel respond
to equinoctial or lesser daylengths by preparing for freezing weather
(Moschkov, 1935). The more northerly forms must be progressively
unresponsive to daylengths not considerably longer than the equinoctial
threshold (Pierquet and Stushnoff, 1978). On the other hand, the
neotropical pan-species V. caribaea D.C. interprets shorter than
equinoctial daylengths as the harbinger of annual drought lasting around
four months (Schwerdtfeger, 1976). Though the range of variation in
daylength duration increases away from the equator, it appears to be
significant at least to latitude 10 or lower (Figure 1), where V.
caribaea is native.(3)
Daylength requirements and related responses for different stages
of the phenological cycle vary geographically between and within grape
species (Hackbarth and Scherz, 1935; Pierquet and Stushnoff, 1978). It
follows that natural selection in grapes favors ecotypical (essentially
latitudinal) adaptation in terms of synchronization of photo-phenology
with local seasonal climates (Rives, 1972). Consequently, adaptation to
a given daylength regime will largely determine 1) the comparative
adaptability of non-native cultivars; 2) the manipulation of phenological
cycles to coincide with tolerable daylengths and seasonal climatology;


36
type. It is unclear what varieties he used to make the red wine that won
recognition at the Paris Exposition of 1900.
An Archaeological Clue
The widespread occurrence of feral hybrid grapevines is not
unequivocal proof that intentional hybrid viticulture, much less grape
breeding, took place in colonial Florida. It has been suggested that the
conventional botanical classification of grape species and supposed
subspecies is "illusory" (Rives, 1971) because of the observed frequency
of spontaneous hybrids between geographically coterminous forms. Another
researcher proposed "indefinite specific limits" (Bailey, 1948).
Intermediate forms have been noted as especially common in the
anthropogenic environments produced by fire, cultivation and grazing
(Rives, 1963, 1971; See also: Chapman, et al., 1982). It has also been
proposed that central Florida is a likely center of origin of new
botanical forms emerging in the interface of formerly isolated peninsular
species (Woodson, 1947). (6)
A cultural context has not been definitely established for the
origin of any foundling Florida grapevine adopted as a cultivar or proto-
cultivar (for breeding purposes) in modern times. Flowever, because
natural hybridization is an ephemeral phenomenon (Rives, 1963; Anderson,
1949), the survival and diffusion of a hybrid grapevine may denote both
environmental and cultural favor. A natural hybrid may easily become an
artifact of material culture by means of asexual vegetative propagation.
Grape seeds of apparently hybrid morphology were recovered from a
historical archaeological context in Hontoon Island, central Florida


102
thriving vines scattered around the island. With some enthusiasm they
predicted that, "with well-adapted table varieties and judicious spraying,
grape growing could no doubt be made profitable" (PR Experiment Station
Annual Report, 1906: p. 23).
The project appears to have been abandoned after 1910, when accounts
cease. Ten years later (1920) a new collection was started with varieties
collected locally and in the Virgin Islands. The next reference is in
1925 when passing mention is made of downy mildew (PIasmopara) as the most
serious malady affection grapes (See PR Experiment Station Annual Reports
for indicated years).(3) Rodriguez-Arias quite reasonably attributes the
failure of these trials to the unsuitable climate and soil conditions at
the experiment station grounds in Mayaguez (Figure 6), on the west coast
of the island. Torrential rain that falls daily and waterlogged soils is
characteristic of the "wet-dry" climate of the area for nine consecutive
months of the year, including all of the "long day" growing season (Pico,
1950).
To clarify the qualification of "well adapted," the 1906 report
included a curious admonition:
The question of selecting varieties for localities is usually lost
sight of. If a variety succeeds well in the cool, moist mountain
districts, it could not reasonably be expected to succeed in the hot
dry plains near the seacoast. (PRES Annual Report, 1906: p. 23).
Although the comment indicates an awareness of the need to correlate types
of environments with types (i.e., species) of grapes, unfortunately no
specific reference was provided to allow for an interpretation in context.
Did it refer to the observation that V. caribaea is common in the
highlands but rarely if at all found in the semiarid south coastal plains?


62
Mara, Maracaibo and Urdaneta, in the immediate hinterland of the city of
Maracaibo, capital of the westernmost Venezuelan state of Zulia. The tide
receded in the early 1980s to about 1,000 ha in Zulia (Corzo, 1987). Lara
maintained a lagging second place with more or less 200 ha (20%) in
grapevines spread across five districts: Moran (El Tocuyo), Urdaneta
(Siquisique), Torres (Carora), Jimenez (Quibor), and Palavecino
(Tarabana), (Instituto de la Uva, 1988).
The two states, Zulia (capital Maracaibo) and Lara (capital
Barquisimeto), where viticulture has been relatively successful have in
common climatic conditions that assure maximum insolation for most of the
year (Figure 3). The traditional technique of adaptive insolation
optimization implicit in the selection of both regions by viticulturists
has been covered in detail in Chapter 2 and will only be dealt with
briefly in this chapter. Instead the following analysis compares the
development of the related techniques of adaptive pruning and adaptive
hybridization.
There are important differences as well as similarities between the
neighboring regions that imply alternative developmental constraints and
opportunities for viticulture. In both areas, the best land for vineyards
consists of nearly level alluvial terraces with well-drained, sandy
profiles at least one meter in depth (Vargas, p.c. 1989). However, the
so-called Maracaibo highland (altiplanicie) is really a peneplain raised
no more than fifty meters above its coastal periphery (Araujo, p.c. 1988).
In contrast, the inland fault valley depressions of Lara are elevated from
300 m at the foot of the Baragua escarpment in the north, to 700 m at the
edge of the Andes in the south (Guevara and Guevara, 1983).


31
Domesticated grapes appear to have evolved originally in the Old
World from discovery, collection and vegetative propagation of natural
hybrids combining fruit and vine traits of separate forms in advantageous
ways (De Candolle, 1886; Sauer, 1971). Replication of such an origin was
observed by Olmo (1970) in an ethnographic context in northwestern India.
Comparative studies of archaeological and living seeds suggest that the
cultigen continued to develop and spread as primitive selections were
taken to new geo-environmental areas and interbred with local wild and
cultivated ecotypes (Levadoux, 1956; Negrul, 1960; Rives, 1974; Janusevich
and Nikolaenko, 1979).(1)
C. 0. Sauer (1969) may have been the first to propose continuity of
Amerindian grape cultigens from prehistory to the present. The prominence
of grape seeds in archaeobotanical samples obtained by flotation since the
early 1970s (Watson, 1976) suggests that some aboriginal peoples may
indeed have practiced incipient viticulture between the late Archaic
period (4500 2500 BP) and the 18th century. Sauer's conjecture has
apparently not been seriously investigated previously.
Surprisingly, the existence of mission vineyards tended by Indian
labor from the late 16th to late 18th century was overlooked by Sauer, and
likewise ignored by archaeological researchers of Hispanic agriculture.
Most notably, grapes were left out of Ford's "Hispanic Complex" of
cultivated plants introduced by the Spanish and adopted by Southeastern
Indians (Ford, 1981). Since they were already avid consumers of fresh and
dried native grapes, there is little reason to believe the Indians did not
accept European grapes as readily as they did oranges, peaches, figs,


29
5. In Florida, where warm winter weather allows vegetal growth, the
custom of early pruning may be responsible for freeze damage and
subsequent infection with Pierce's disease, the most important
"natural barrier" to viticultural adaptation in Florida (Crall and
Stover, 1957).
6. On the islands, however, two or three successive crops (of uneven
quality) are possible with some cultivars, a fact noted as early as
1582 in a "state of the colony" report on Puerto Rico for the King
of Spain (Latorre, 1919).
7. Cowan's (1976) Arabic-Engl ish Dictionary defines talkih as either
plant pollen/pollination, or animal (and human) sperm/insemination.
The Arabic terms for horticultural budding and grafting are derived
from the same root.
A common colloquial expression in Puerto Rico, and other Hispanic
lands, refers to human sexual intercourse, specifically
insemination, as "echar un polvo," literally: "To (throw a) dust."
The original meaning has been lost but the derivation seems clear.
8. Although Vernet (1978) affirms that Herrera took his notions of
applied plant sexuality from Arabic texts, early settlers in the
Hispanic Caribbean gave common names to a few native trees which
reflect continuity of the folk belief that small differences between
otherwise similar forms (actually related species) imply separate
sexes of the same species (Gilormini, 1979). By contrast, common
awareness of plant sexuality in most of Europe had to wait for
experimental confirmation by Bobart, Camerarius and Grew in the 17th
century (Wolf, 1952).
Herrera may have thought that hybrids associated with grafts are
graft or vegetative hybrids, actually quite rare (Hartmann and
Kester, 1968). Graft failure on intended native rootstocks would
thus augment interspecific "intimacy" and consequent production of
hybrid seeds.
9.


19
to be essential for adequate development of fruit buds, blooming, fruit
set and maturation in Old World grapes (Baldwin, 1964; K1iewer,1981).
Such areas, where clear skies prevail, are in fact the major commercial
vineyard locations in the American tropics (Pansiot and Libert, 1970;
Boubals, 1988a).
Even such seemingly favorable areas tend to be perceived as somehow
environmentally inferior to the "old country." Under shorter daylength
regimes, most cultivars of European V. vinifera become relatively
unproductive, develop poorly and are prone to physiological maladies in
regions below the 30th parallel (Winkler, 1962; Branas, 1974).(4)
Controlled environment research suggests that the daily duration of photo-
inductive daylight is a regulator of adaptedness and productivity separate
from that of solar intensity, with which it interacts to some degree
(Buttrose, 1974).
On the other hand, low latitude regions with warm rainless periods
are partially analogs of the Mediterranean growing season, uninterrupted
in the tropics by extremely short days and rest-enforcing cold weather.
Although summer days in the tropics are shorter than those at higher
latitudes, tropical winter days are considerably longer than those at
latitude 30 N, the approximate southern viticultural border of the
Mediterranean subtropics. Therefore, reduction in native fertility of
adaptable immigrant cultivars is offset, often to a surprising degree by
more or less continuous cropping (Corzo, 1987).
The influence of latitudinal daylength on grape phenology is subject
to modification by the diurnal pattern of seasonal cloud cover and by
local topography and temperature regimes as well. Reduction of effective


4
Agricultural experiment stations in the tropics are no exceptions.
As Janzen pointed out:
Nearly all research in tropical agriculture is highly reductionist,
parochial and discipline oriented.
. . the plea for technological advance gives the scientific
community a perfect excuse to continue their reductionist and
esoteric approaches. (Janzen, 1973: p. 1212)
Local grassroots development of appropriate techniques obtained through
empirical trial and error may counterbalance a "reductionist" scientism,
whether or not this is a veil for self-serving chauvinism (Blaut, 1977).
For as one anthropologist has geographically observed:
Humans are unlike other animals in that they alone project
culture, in the form of conventional understandings, onto the
physical surroundings and then act on and interact with the cognized
environment. (Marquardt, 1985).
Thus, it has been suggested that scientifically sound practices are
empirically selected in cultural evolution (1), despite initial rejection
or lack of recognition by institutional superstructures that resist
deviations from paradigmatic (i.e., "internationally accepted") standards
(Campbell, 1965).
This dissertation is a broadly-based case study of viticultural
evolution in the Caribbean realm, considered from an "anthropogeographic"
perspective. It pursues a qualitative understanding of the complex
relationship between natural phylogenetic evolution in a crop plant, the
grapevine, and the development of its manipulation for human cultural
purposes under diverse tropical ecological conditions. The geographically
variable physical background in which the interaction takes place implies
that the dynamics of the relationship are adaptive (jn specific geo-
environmental locations) and diffusionary (to different geographic


182
Vargas, G., and D. Bautista, 1987a, Fenologa de variedades de vid para
vino en condiciones de Altagracia, Edo, de Lara, Segundo Seminario
Internacional de Viticultura y Enologa Tropical, Maracaibo,
Venezuela.
Vargas, G., and D. Bautista, 1987b, Influencia de la variedad y el
portainjerto en la formacin de vides para vino conducidas en
espaldera, Segundo Seminario Internacional de Viticultura y Enologa
Tropical, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Vargas, G., and Y. de Freitez, 1982, Evaluacin de cultivares de Vitis
vinifera L. en condiciones de Tarabana, Universidad Centro-
Occidental, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Vargas, G., R. Pire, M.L. Pire and P. Petit, 1984, Lineamientos Generales
para el Desarrollo de Viedos en la Regin Centro Occidental.
Instituto de la Uva, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Vlez-Coln, R., 1987, "Experiencias en la produccin de uvas para vinos
en Puerto Rico," in Planta Piloto de Ron, La Industria Vitivincola
Puertorriquea, Rum Pilot Plant, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, pp. 10-
25.
Vernet, J., 1978, La Cultura Hispanorabe en Oriente y Occidente, Ariel,
Barcelona, Spain.
Viala, P., 1889, Une Mission Viticole en Amerique, Coulet, Montpellier,
France.
Viala, P., and V. Vermorel, 1910, Amploqraphie, Vol. I, Masson, Paris.
Vicente-Chandler, J., 1978, Conceptos, Plan y Programa para una
Agricultura Moderna en Puerto Rico, Report to the Secretary of
Agriculture, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, pp. 321.
Vince-Prue, D., 1975, Photoperiodism in Plants, McGraw-Hill, London,
Engl and.
von Thunen, J.H., 1966 [original 1826], The Isolated State. C. M.
Wartenberg trans., Pergamon, New York.
Waring, J.I., 1970, The First Voyage and Settlement at Charles Town, 1670-
1680. Tricentennial Booklet No. 4, University of South Carolina
Press, Columbia, South Carolina.
Watlington-Linares, F., 1965, El Establecimiento de la Viticultura
Econmica en Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Watlington-Linares, F., 1976a, Propuesta para Siembra de un Viedo Piloto
en La Plata, Aibonito, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


86
technology being used was state-of-the-art in terms of adaptation to the
local environment. Various wines tasted by this researcher were
indistinguishable from the French archetypes. Vargas and his associates
have proved that wine growing on the European model can succeed in
Venezuela, with adaptive pruning--and native rootstocks. Whether the new
industry will be as competitive as its French counterpart remains to be
seen.
The principal weakness in the Vargas model is that dry periods in
the semiarid areas of Lara are not as well-defined in terms of calendar
incidence of rainy periods, and thus as reliable as he suggests. Yearly
deviation of critical rainfall maxima tend to be "averaged out" of long
term means. Unexpected shifts in seasonal rainfall cycles can add to the
difficulty of prediction (Caviedes, 1981). Vargas makes no use of daily
records which would be helpful in more accurately plotting characteristic
tropical precipitation, occurring mainly as torrential downpours. Such
records may be helpful also in detecting gara, a fine drizzle accompanied
by tolda (overcast) that can last for days, even weeks, with devastating
effects on V. vinifera, yet have little impact on monthly rainfall totals.
Whereas daily rainfall records in Venezuela are difficult to obtain,
the Institute's experimental station in El Tocuyo has maintained monthly
totals since 1978 that suggest a conceptual flaw in the Vargas model.
Vargas' (1978) Madrid thesis includes a 1973 FUDECO report in the
bibliography which is presumably the source (unspecified) of the long term
mean monthly rainfall data used for his graphs. His conclusion concerning
El Tocuyo, where he worked since 1975, is only partly in agreement with


158
A basic advantage of tropical hybrids is that the practical (i.e.,
economically viable) limits of viticultural enterprises can be extended
within the tropics beyond the annual isohyet of 650 mm (25 in) suggested
by Vargas (1978) to the 1,500 mm (60 in) line, and eventually to the 2,000
mm (80 in) limit. In terms of monthly rainfall during flowering and
ripening, this means extending the critical threshold from 100 mm (4 in)
perhaps to 125 mm (5 in). Altitude complicates matters because areal
topoclimatic differences change the elevation at which near-dewpoint
conditions prevail. (1)
Although grapes will continue to be a crop for relatively dry
environments within the tropics, their range can be extended by the use
of appropriate tropical hybrids from semiarid to subhumid coastal zones
and interior rain shadow areas with adequate air drainage and relatively
high levels of insolation. Eventually, cultivars fully adapted to cool,
moist highland conditions can be developed by incorporating germplasm from
the subgenus Muscadinia.
The muscadines are difficult to interbreed with other species of
grapes (Euvitis) because of chromosome differences (Dunstan, 1962a). They
are, however, the most highly resistant of all grapes to mildews and other
maladies resulting from very high humidities (Olien, 1990). The recently
discovered tropical "cloud forest" Euvitis species, V. nesbittiana
(Comeaux, 1987), and similarly adapted ecotypes of other forms may
eventually prove useful also.
Of the three known species of muscadines, V. rotundifol ia of the
southeastern United States is the only one that is fully domesticated.
Although intrinsically unadapted to tropical daylengths, the cultigen was


79
tabulations are useful. The first compares the mean number of fertile
shoots (canes) developed by variety after pruning each semester. The
second compares mean number of flower clusters developed by variety for
each semester. If the difference between short and long day semester
yields of each variety in both tabulations are multiplied, the result is
an absolute indicator of "daylength inducted productivity" (DIP).
A comparable index can be obtained by using the integer one as a
common dividend and each DIP as divisors. The resulting "daylength
sensitivity index" (DSI) reflects the degree to which productivity is
dependent on daylength above the mean minimum at the latitude (as modified
by altitude) where the vines were grown. The results are summarized in
Table 5. Interpretation of Table 5 is as follows. The native hybrid
Villanueva (according to Olmo, 1968, an apparent second generation hybrid
of V. vinifera and V. caribaea) is the most sensitive of the tested
cultivars, having the lowest DSI. In second place is Muscat Hamburg, a
traditional European "forcing" variety, only slightly more tolerant of
relatively short daylengths. Another traditional hothouse variety, A.
Lavallee (also known as Ribier) is third, and Italia, also a "boutique"
quality table grape being somewhat less short day intolerant comes fourth.
Unexpectedly tied in fifth place are Cardinal, a very short cycle
European type, and the native Criolla Negra hybrid. Because the absolute
productivity of the latter is surpassed by Villanueva, it would seem a
contradiction that its productivity is less limited by suboptimal
daylength. Nonetheless, Bautista was at a loss to explain why Criolla was
virtually infertile during the July semester, after pruning in January.


Ill
Since the introduction of Florida hybrids to Venezuela seems to have
been effectively banned (See Chapter 4), it is not known how well they
might adapt there. However, their early performance in Fortuna (latitude
18'N) can be compared with contemporary data obtained in Leesburg, Florida
(latitude 28*49^) by Mortensen (1966).(10) Mean yields of Lake Emerald
and Blue Lake were 26 to 30 pounds in Leesburg during the three year
period 1964-1966. This is roughly twice the estimated productivity of
Lake Emerald in Fortuna. Tamiami was up to 70% more productive in
Leesburg, with a peak yield of 55 pounds per vine in its third year.
A final inclusion in the Singh report was the brief description of
two California selections designated only as S91-59 and S92-49. While
Ribier and Exotic are typified as of "medium" vigor, and Lake Emerald as
having "high" vigor, both of the California numbers were classed with
Tamiami as having "very high" vigor (Singh et al., Op. cit.: passim).
Their productivity was also substantial. S91-59 produced a 10 oz. average
ripe bunch, and up to 13.75 pounds per vine, or an average yield somewhat
under that of Lake Emerald. S92-49 had a much larger bunch, 18.9 oz.,
approaching the cluster size of Exotic, and a mean yield per vine of 29
pounds comparable to that of Tamiami.
As with Lake Emerald, the California selections were described as
having small to medium berries, their color reddish rather than greenish.
Surprisingly, the palatability of both was characterized as "slightly
sour" (Singh, et al., 1976: pp. 15-16). No mention was made of their
hybrid rusticity that calls to mind the creole backcrosses of Venezuela
(Chapter 4). According to Olmo (p.c. 1990), the California numbers are
selections made at the University of California, Davis (ca. latitude 38N)


50
Hontoon Grape. Attempts to locate the author and the sample were
unsuccessful, as were efforts to obtain comparative seeds from Munson's
VL derived selections. Whether the Hontoon Grape is closely related to
modern VL or to archaeological Caddoan grapes could not be determined by
the researcher, and remains an open question.
It is not known what purpose was served by the Hontoon Grape,
presumably an Amerindian cultivar, in a settlement of Hispanicized Indians
of the late 18th century. At the time, Bartram observed that similarly
acculturated tribes in Georgia were still making smoked raisins in the
traditional manner, apparently with a cultivar unfamiliar to the
botanist.(18)
During our progress over this vast high forest, we crossed extensive
open plains, the soil gravelly, producing a few trees and shrubs or
undergrowth, which were entangled with grapevines of a peculiar
species. The bunches (racemes) were very large, as were the grapes
that composed them, though yet green and not fully grown, but when
ripe they are of various colors and their juice is sweet and rich.
The Indians gather great quantities of them, which they prepare for
keeping by first sweating them on hurdles over a gentle fire and
afterwards drying them on their bunches in the sun and air, and
store them up for provision. These grape vines do not climb into
high trees but creep along from one low shrub to another, extending
their branches to a great distance horizontally round about; and it
is very pleasing to behold the clusters pendant from the vines,
almost touching the earth, indeed some of them lie on the ground
(Bartram, 1775: p. 321).
The above quotation unequivocally indicates a non-vinifera bunch grape and
not, as has been recently claimed, a muscadine (Olien and Hegwood, 1990),
or even a 1abrusca or other native grape of the East, all of which were
familiar to Bartram. On the other hand, his description brings to mind
Munson's foundling Caddoan grapes (V. 1 incecumi) from Indian territory
west of the Mississippi River, a region unexplored by Bartram, who most
likely encountered a native cultivar, not a wild species.


101
to the Crown by one Alonso de Villanueva, who petitioned for a grant to
establish a town in a place he calls the valley of Jaynya (Gi1-Bermejo,
1970). His prospectus mentioned grapes, along with wheat and barley, as
promising crops. The location was most likely somewhere on the south
coast, the semiarid region that appears to have been most favored by
agricultural minded colonists. Thirty years later, in 1556, encouraging
results with grapes were cited in a petition to allow the settlement of
Portuguese peasants. It was part of an effort to stave off depopulation
as the first generation of colonists moved on to claim a share of mainland
riches.
By 1582 an official report on the state of the colony decried the
abandoned farms of the Guayanilla (Jaynya?) valley in the fertile south
coast piedmont, where grapes had been cultivated as in Spain (Latorre,
1919). Apparently some grapevines were still growing there. The reporter
mentions thick skinned black grapes that would, if pruned, give three
crops a year. (2) He added that there were wild grapes in the nearby
woods, also as in Spain. The native V. caribaea is still relatively
common in the southern foothills of Puerto Rico, as in similar habitats
of Venezuela.
During the centuries of Spanish rule viticulture was officially
restricted in the colonies to protect peninsular interest (Adams, 1978).
After Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States in 1898, grapes were
among the first crops considered for research and development. In 1906
the new federal experiment station's annual report mentioned the
establishment of a trial planting of many varieties (Rodriguez-Arias,
1941). The early investigators were encouraged by the observation of



PAGE 1

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165
Belardo, A., 1987, "Manufactura de vinos: Nuevas investigaciones en la
Planta Piloto de Ron," in Planta Piloto de Ron, La Industria
Vitivinicola Puertorriquea, Rum Pilot Plant, Rio Piedras, pp. 4-9.
Berrysmith, F., 1972, Vines under glass. Bulletin 102, Department of
Agriculture, Wellington, New Zealand.
Blake, L. W., 1981, "Early acceptance of watermelon by Indians of the
United States," Journal of Ethnobiology, vol. 1 (2), pp. 192-199.
Blaut, J. M., 1977, "Two views of diffusion," Annals AAG. vol. 67, pp.
343-349.
Bonnet, A., 1902, "L'hybridit chez la vigne premier memoires: Etude
de la graine," Annales de L'Ecole de Montpellier, vol. 2, pp. 343-
349.
Boubals, D., 1988a, "Une nouvelle viticulture se dveloppe dans les
regions tropicales et quatorial es," Progrs Aqricole et Viticole.
vol. 105 (2), pp. 29-32.
Boubals, D., 1988b, "Des hybrides interspcifiques frangais pour les
regions du monde a climat dificile pour la vigne," Progrs Aqricole
et Viticole. vol. 105 (2), pp. 122-124.
Boyd, M. F., 1939, "An attempt to identify the sites of Spanish mission
settlements...in northern Florida," Tallahassee Historical Society
Annual, vol. 4 (typescript, 11 pp.).
Bracho, E. and E. Doreste, 1975, "Encuesta sobre el cultivo de la vid en
la regin nor-occidental del Estado Zulia," in Segundo Simposio
sobre Produccin e Industrializacin de la Uva en Venezuela, vol.
I, pp. 168-207, Fondo para el Desarrollo Frutcola, Caracas,
Venezuela.
Bradley, J. T., 1975, Freeze Probabilities in Florida, Bulletin 777,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, Florida.
Branas, J., 1974, "Chapter III, Climate," Viticulture, pp. 343-369, Dehan,
Montpellier, France.
Branas, J., G. Bernon and L. Levadoux, 1946, Elements de Viticulture
General. Montpellier, France.
Brooks, R. M. and H. P. Olmo, 1957, "Registry of new fruit and nut
varieties, List 12," Proceedings of the American Society of
Horticultural Scientists, vol. 70, pp. 557-580.
Burckhardt, H., 1958, "Der umweltfaktor Klima im Weinbau," Wein-
Wissenschaft. vol. 12, pp. 59-65.


CHAPTER 3
ADAPTIVE HYBRIDIZATION IN FLORIDA: ORIGINS AND DIFFUSION
The present chapter elaborates on a previous investigation which
suggested that early Spanish colonial Florida had a particular
significance in the introduction of viticulture to the New World
(Watlington-Linares, 1983). In that report, the author proposed a
thorough examination of grape seeds as archaeobotanical evidence to
determine whether adaptive hybridization had taken place in the first
European settlements. Eventually, the opportunity arose to examine a
significant sample obtained from a late 18th century mission village in
east central Florida which offered important clues. Thus, the sources for
this inquiry include archaeological grape seeds, as well as available
documents, direct observations in the field, and the first-hand testimony
of modern pioneers in adaptive grape breeding.
Modern adaptive viticulture in the southeastern United States is
based largely on native interspecific hybrids, including foundlings of
antique origin and their descendants. Sauer (1969, 1971) suspected
prehistoric aboriginal domestication. Others (Munson, 1909; Fennell,
1941; Bailey, 1948; Rives, 1963) have generally assumed that such vines
originated as natural hybrids of wild species, or between native grapes
and European cultivars. It is possible that some of the vines in question
may represent survivals of adaptive hybridization in early Spanish
Florida.
30


39
cluster, large seed, large berry form, specifically V. shuttleworthi House
of southern Florida (syn. V. coriacea Shuttleworth), hybridizes with large
cluster, small berry species such as V. vul pi na L. (V. cordifolia Michx)
or V. aestivalis Michx. of wider distribution. Both "gigas" and
"simpsoni" have been alternately described by the creators of the taxa and
by others as possible hybrids of such origin. V. x hontunensis may
represent a similar hybrid form.
A pioneer of modern adaptive grape breeding, T.V. Munson recognized
and made extensive practical and promotional use of such forms. In the
late 19th century, Munson grew in his vineyard at Denison, Texas (latitude
3345' N), propagules of several central Florida grapes supposed by the
collectors to be natural hybrids of V. coricea (V. shuttleworthi) with
other species, namely V. cinrea, V. cordifoli a (V. vulpina) and V.
aestivalis (Munson, 1909). However, such finds which continue to occur
(10), were common enough before large scale destruction of the native
vegetation to result in the elevation to specific status of some
foundlings by Munson. In 1887 he described taxonomically a V. simpsoni,
honoring the collector J. H. Simpson of Manatee, Florida (Munson, 1887).
Ten years later Munson established a second "Simpsoni," of more promising
horticultural appearance (Bailey, 1934).
Munson eventually downgraded his first simpsoni to V. cinerea var.
floridana (Munson, 1909). The ensuing taxonomical confusion has occupied
subsequent ampelographers from Viala (1889) and Bailey (1934) to Rogers
and Mortensen (1979). Bailey, in particular, compounded the problem by


144
The major dry season for all of Puerto Rico, with monthly means
progressively under 4 in (100 mm) begins in November and extends into
April, about a full five months. Were it not for the fact that daylength
is less than 12 hours during nearly four of those months, there would be
ample time to accommodate an average phenological cycle of 4.5 months.
However, varieties are required that will grow normally and flower
adequately in daylengths close to twelve hours (roughly 11.75 to 12.25
hrs. of photoinductive daylight). Such grapevines can be pruned in
February-March for harvest during a less humid July, or pruned in June to
bloom in July-early August before the rainy season begins. Fruit bud
induction and development will consequently take place during relatively
"long day" periods.
For practical purposes, four prospective viticultural regions can
be tentatively identified cn the basis of climatic data and observational
experience. (34) All are roughly delimitted by the annual 60 in (1,500 mm)
isohyet, although the 5 in (130 mm) isohyet for the month of July offers
a better overall delineation (Figure 6).
The monthly distribution of rainfall for a "type" location within
each region provides a more accurate "profile" of regional variations in
seasonal weather, and is indicative of local constraints and opportunities
(Table 9). The four proposed areas, with "type" location in parenthesis,
are represented by the rainfall distribution graphs in: Figure 7, the
northwestern coastal tableland or meseta (Isabela); Figure 8, the east-
central highland or altiplano of the La Plata River basin (Aibonito);
Figure 9, the south coastal plain and piedmont (Juana Diaz/Fortuna); and
Figure 10, the offshore southeastern island of Vieques.


147
Figure 9. Juana Diaz (Fortuna): Mean monthly rainfall
in millimeters.
Source: U.S. Weather Bureau, 1965.
Figure 10. Vieques Island: Mean monthly rainfall
in millimeters.
Source: U.S. Weather Bureau, 1965.


135
stopped growing suddenly and gradually became senescent. It was later
found that Munson had documented a curious observation about Beacon:
"Growth medium in South Texas, becoming stronger in North Texas to very
strong in Missouri." (Munson, 1909: p. 185).
Vi11ard Blanc is a sophisticated descendant of the Munson selections
of V. 1 incecomii. V. berlandieri. V. rupestris and other native species
evolved into "one of the greatest hybrid grapes produced anywhere by the
hand of man." (Barrett, 1956: p. 139). It grew and fruited well in North
Carolina and was incorporated in Dunstan's major selections. However,
according to Zehnder (p.c. 1965) it was weak in South Carolina and feeble
in northern Florida.
Early in 1964 cuttings of several ecotypes of V. cinerea were
received from H. C. Barrett of the agricultural experiment station in
Urbana, Illinois. The species has the most extensive north-south range
of any North American grape, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico,
in humid lowlands of the Missouri-Mississippi basin (Barrett, 1957). It
is surprisingly similar in somatic traits and attributes to V. caribaea
to which it is apparently closely related.
Most of the cuttings rooted well without special treatment as is
often necessary for wild grapes. However, aerial growth "froze" at
different stages, according to ecotype. A few developed short canes with
healthy foliage. Another grew barely a few leaves. Others either failed
to grow, or more remarkably, stopped after the buds began to swell. At


132
a complex hybrid of V. 1abrusca ancestry, by Sultanina, a classical V.
vinifera variety also known as Thompson Seedless (Slate et al., 1962).
The resulting 250 seeds were marked "W66H" and vernalized dry in the
refrigerator until planting early the following year.
In late 1967 eleven surviving seedlings were taken to a fifth trial
plot in Aibonito, a small town in the subhumid altiplano (600 m ASL) of
the Rio de la Plata basin (Figure 6). Of the six that eventually fruited,
three were selected for further breeding. All had proved reasonably well-
adapted to local environmental conditions in terms of fertility and
tolerance of a high level of relative humidity. Briefly the selections
were:
1. W66H-3 (Atlantida): A vigorous female vine with dark green
foliage, intermediate in appearance between Labruscana and V. caribaea.
Flowering habit is annual. Fruit in medium clusters (10 to 15 cm),
cylindrical to conical, compact. Berries round, small medium (10 mm),
red-black with light bloom, thin tough adherent skin, resists cracking in
wet weather; pulpy, seedy, flavor neutral; ripe in mid July.
2. W66H-4 (Esperanza): Overall characteristics similar to number
3, but leaves larger, shoulder lobes prominent, flowers self-fertile.
Berries blue-black with variable bloom, round-petaloid medium (10 x 12 mm)
to large medium 15 x 17 mm) if grafted. Clusters often shouldered, medium
to fairly large (30 cm) when grafted. Annual flowering, ripe in July
after budbreak in March.
3. M66H-9 (9 de julio): A dwarfish self-fertile vine with small
caribaea-1ike leaves and small berries in loose, medium, cylindrical


34
villages forcibly relocated by the English upon destruction of the Spanish
west Florida province of Apalache at the beginning of the century (Jones,
1972).
San Francisco de Oconi was one mission community that may have
accepted relocation rather than the alternatives of enslavement or
slaughter. Those that went along with the English were settled amid the
Creeks, probably somewhere in the upper basin of the Altamaha River, and
most likely soon assimilated. Eventually, the northern branch of the
Altamaha came to be known as the Oconee.(4) Despite English encroachment,
the area remained under nominal Indian control until 1775 (De Vorsey,
1966).
In 1773, while traveling between the Oconee and Savannah rivers,
naturalist William Bartram observed that grapes and other orchard fruits
were cultivated in an Indian village that he visited. Fie later wrote:
The present nations that inhabit these lands seem very fond of all
kinds of eatable [sjc] fruits and nuts and take great care to
cultivate peaches, grapes, plums, & etc. (Bartram, 1775: p. 142)
A few years later, in an ethnographic paper on the Creek of the Oconee,
Bartram again made reference to the cultivated grapes he had seen in their
territory.
Vitis vinifera: I call them so because they approach, as respects
the largeness of their fruit and their shape and flavor, much nearer
to the grapes of Europe and Asia, of which wine is made, and are
specifically different from the fox or bull grape of Pennsylvania
and Carolina (Bartram, 1789: p. 49).
By the time of Bartram's visit some Creek had moved out of Georgia
and into northern Florida. A group that had lived on the Oconee River
became established, between 1733 and 1750, in the Alachua region (Tebeau,
1980). The Micosuki, as this people came to be known, was gradually


183
Watl ington-linares, F., 1976b, "Subtropical fruit culture in Puerto Rico:
the minimum chilling requirement and other environtmental factors,"
Proceedings, American Society for Horticultural Science, (tropical
region), vol. 24, pp. 206-214.
Watlington-Linares, F., 1983, "The first American wine," Eastern Grape
Grower & Winery News, vol. 10-11, pp. 50-52.
Watl ington-Linares, F., 1984, "Insites" from the Florida vineyard,
Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville,
Florida.
Watlington-Linares, F., 1987, "La Plata: Prototipo histrico de
planificacin para el desarrollo agro-rural de Puerto Rico," Revista
de Ciencias Sociales, vol. 26 (1-4), pp. 279-307.
Watson, P.J., 1976, "In pursuit of prehistoric subsistence, a comparative
account of some contemporary flotation techniques," Midcontinental
Journal of Archaeology, vol. 1 (1), pp. 77-100.
Watson, P.J., 1980, "The impact of early horticulture in the upland
drainages of the midwest and midsouth," in R.I. Ford (ed.), Origins
of Plant Husbandry in North America, unpublished m.s.
Weather Atlas of the United States, 1968, U.S. Department of Commerce,
Washington, D.C.
Winkler, A.J., 1938, "The effect of climatic regions," Wine Review, vol.
6, pp. 14-16, 32.
Winkler, A.J., 1962, General Viticulture, University of California Press,
Berkeley, California.
Wolf, A., 1952, A History of Science Technology and Philosophy in the 18th
Century, Harper, New York, New York.
Woodson, R.E., 1947, "Notes on the 'historical factor' in plant
geography," Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard
University, vol. 165, pp. 12-25.
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Report No. 16, Springfield, Illinois.
Yarnell, R.A., 1976, "Early plant husbandry in Eastern North America," in
C. Cleland (ed.), Cultural Change and Continuity, Academic Press,
New York, New York.


26
tolerated near, colonial vineyards for supplementary must as well as for
rootstocks and improved fecundation.
The vicinity of native vines in field-border hedgerows is a
condition sufficient for cross-pollination between wild and cultivated
grapes. All grape species of the major subgenus (Euvitis) have the same
number of chromosome pairs (2n=38) and will produce fertile hybrids if
cross-pollinated (Rives, 1974). The blooming periods of many species
often overlap, more so if synchronized by pruning (by either human or
beast).
An abundance of interspecific hybrid grape seeds was a likely
occurrence in colonial vineyards, whether or not intentional breeding was
practiced. Seedling vines with exceptional "hybrid vigor," productivity
(in part through expression of hermaphroditism), and adaptedness (notably,
appropriate daylength programming) to environmental conditions would have
been recognized, selected and propagated. Adaptively superior hybrid
vines would have gradually replaced the short lived V. vinifera as they
died out.
Despite a ban on commercial viticulture in the Spanish colonies by
Philip II in 1595, the religious orders were exempted and vineyards
continued to be planted, especially in the frontier mission settlements
(Adams, 1978). Elsewhere, grapes became dooryard garden plants.
Eventually hybrid "creole" or "mission" cultivars have been handed down
and achieved economic prominence in every viticultural region of the
Hispanic New World, including each of the three latitudinal regions
represented in this study.


173
Kliewer, W. M., 1973, "Berry composition of Vitis vinifera cultivars as
influenced by photo- and nycto-temperatures during maturation,"
Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science, vol. 98
(2), pp. 153-159.
Kliewer, W. M., 1981, "How grapevines make sugar," Eastern Grape Grower
and Winery News, vols. 8-9, pp. 38-45.
Kobayashi, A., A Sugiura, H. Watanabe and H. Yamamura, 1966, "On the
effects of daylength on the growth and flower bud formation of
grapes," Memoires of the Research Institute of Food Science.
University of Kyoto, vol. 27, pp. 15-27.
Kobayashi, A., A. H. Yukinaga, T. Fukushima, N. Nii and K. Harada, 1967,
"Effects of day and night temperatures on the berry set, growth and
quality of Delaware grapes," Memoires of the Research Institute of
Food Science University of Kyoto, vol. 28, pp. 35-46.
Kollmorgen, W. M., 1943, "A reconnaissance of some cultural-agricultural
islands in the South," Economic Geography, vol. 19, pp.109-117.
Kuhn, T. S., 1970, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.
Latorre, G., (ed.), 1919, [original 16th century] Relaciones Geogrficas
de Indias. Tipografa Zarzuela, Seville, Spain.
Lavee, S., U. Regev and R. M. Samish, 1967, "The determination of
induction and differentiation in grape vines," Vitis. vol. 6, pp.
1-13.
Levadoux, L., 1956, "Les populations sauvages et cultivees de Vitis
vinifera L.," Annales de L'amelioration des Plantes, vol. 1, pp. 59-
117.
Levadoux, L., D. Boubals and M. Rives, 1956, "Le Genre Vitis et ses
especes," Annnales de L'amelioration des Plantes, vol. 12, pp. IO
TA.
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viticulture," Agricultural History, vol. 53 (3), pp. 622-636.
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economic pressures," Acta Horticulturae, vol. 104, pp. 33-48.
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of Venezuela, Fundacin Servicio al Agricultor, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Lippencott, J. S., 1862, "Climatology of American Grapevines," United
States Department of Agriculture Report. Washington, D.C., pp. 194-
208.


90
Although cycles initiated during short days take longer to complete,
it appears that pruning for the first cycle should not be performed until
late November because of lingering conditions of tolda and gara (Vargas,
p.c. 1989). Similar conditions prevail from mid-April to mid-June and
explain why pruning for the long day cycle should be postponed until June
(Figure 3). The same pattern of cloud cover holds for the Maracaibo area
where torrential rainfall is minimal, exceeding the critical threshold
only in October (Figure 5). Thus, it is evident that Vargas has used the
100 mm rainfall limit as a surrogate for a more complex and subtle
barrier, involving the influence of tolda and gara on relative humidity
and most likely on effective daylength.
The Creole Hybrids
Hybrids between New World grape species and Old World V. vinifera
cultivars have been planted in Venezuela since well before the modern
viticultural boom. With rare exceptions (10), V. 1 abrusca and V.
aestivalis hybrids from the eastern United States, as well as muscadines
(V. rotundifolia) and a few imports from Florida, have fared poorly,
despite being well-adapted in their latitudes of origin to hot and humid
growing conditions.
On the other hand, early attempts to develop local viticulture were
based on a handful of vigorous, healthy and productive "creole" varieties
which Olmo (1968) recognized as hybrids between V. vinifera and the native
tropical species V. caribaea. The most widespread of these is the so-
called Criolla Negra (Black Creole). Capable of growing to enormous
proportions, with extraordinary yields of acceptable quality red


57
3. However, the location on the Atlantic Coast of Santa Elena and the
other Sea Island settlements provided long term protection from
lethal freeze damage for tender Mediterranean fruits (See "South
Carolina" and "Georgia" in Weather Atlas of The United States.
1968).
4. According to Marvin T. Smith (p.c. 1984), the upper branch appears
to have been considered the main Altamaha by natives of the area at
the time of De Soto's passage in the spring of 1540 (See also:
Hudson et al., 1984). Covington (1964) mentions a group of
Apalaches resettled on the Oconee until 1715.
5. It has been noted that the Creek were dedicated horticulturists who
insisted on planting and cultivating orchards even as they were
being dispossessed and forced to rely on less sedentary subsistence
strategies such as fishing, gathering and herding (Fairbanks, 1952;
Mason, 1963; Covington, 1964).
6. Woodson refers to the archipelagic condition of peninsular Florida
(Central Florida he calls "Orange Island") during the Pleistocene
interglacial periods.
7. The practice was widespread from the Late Archaic period (3,500 to
4,500 BP) on, as indicated by the abundant presence of charred seeds
in the archaeological record (Yarnell, 1976; Watson, 1980; Ford,
1981).
8. The species are: V. munsoniana. V. rotundifolia, V. aestival is. V.
vulpina, and V. shuttleworthi (Rogers and Mortensen, 1979). A
number of seeds suggested intermediacy between vulpina and
aestivalis. Grapevines of phenotypically hybrid appearance have
been observed by the researcher as comprising perhaps 10% of the
wild Vitis population in some areas. This is in agreement with the
experience of viticultural botanists in other parts of the U.S.
southeast over the years (Bartram, 1804; Rafinesque, 1830;
Engelmann, 1883; Bailey, 1948; Munson, 1909; Fennell, 1945; Rives,
1963; Olmo, 1976; Duncan, 1975).
9. Sources included the University of Florida Herbarium, the living
collection of Vitis forms at the Leesburg Agricultural Research
Center (IFAS), the U.S. National Herbarium of the Smithsonian
Institution, the University of Tennessee Museum, the American Museum
of Natural History, Florida State University (Margaret Scarry), and
documentary sources featuring illustrations of grape seeds.
10.In reply to a classified advertisement placed in the July 15, 1983
edition of Florida Market Bulletin, several south central Florida
residents sent descriptions and samples of hybrid-like foundlings,
suggestive of both V. shuttleworthi and V. aestivalis.


178
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LIST OF FIGURES
page
Figure 1 Transit of daylength at selected
northern latitudes 17
Figure 2 Hontoon Grape seed (vitis x hontunensis) 38
Figure 3 Semiarid areas of western Venezuela, and
approximate extent of April-June and
September-November tolda (6/8ths cloud cover) .... 63
Figure 4 Mean monthly rainfall in El Tocuyo, Lara,
Venezuela 88
Figure 5 An impressionistic comparison of rainfall and
number of days with tolda (7/8ths cloud cover)
by month in Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela 91
Figure 6 Puerto Rico: proposed viticultural regions 106
Figure 7 Aibonito: Mean monthly rainfall 146
Figure 8 Isabela: Mean monthly rainfall 146
Figure 9 Juana Diaz (Fortuna): Mean monthly rainfall .... 147
Figure 10 Vieques Island: Mean monthly rainfall 147
Figure 11 Diurnal build up of tolda (cloud cover) in
western Puerto Rico, and approximate relation
to daylength 149
vi i i


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mm
2
o
VO
Figure 5. An impressionistic comparison of rainfall and number of days with
tolda (7/8ths cloud cover) by month in Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela.
Source:
Adapted from graphs by Rubio-Garay in Fregoni, 1977.


117
roots but were infertile included Centurion, Carnelian and French
Colombard. However, it was discovered that these very same varieties
grafted on Lake Emerald and Tamiami were fully productive.
In 1984 the grant to the substation that had covered the 1981
varietal introduction expired, whereupon the Pilot Plant then took the
initiative and obtained follow-up funding which renewed the project and
extended research to 1987.(14) In 1985 an attempt was made to taste-test
juice and wine from all varieties in production at Fortuna in accordance
with accepted enological standards (Cacho, 1987). It was concluded that
the most productive varieties, Lake Emerald and Tamiami, were too low in
sugar and high in acid to make commercially acceptable wine. By then it
was clear, however, that the California varieties were insufficiently
productive.
Moreover, it was felt that the results of vinification were falling
short of organoleptic (taste-test) parameters because the vintage
coincided with the May-June rainy season. Actually, there is evidence
that mismanagement of the harvest and inadequate winery procedure
continued to plague the project. In early tests, for example, Lake
Emerald had attained the highest sugar content (22 Brix) of all varieties
evaluated (Belardo, p.c. 1990). This and other relatively "late"
varieties were not being allowed to ripen properly.
Subsequent to the 1985 results, two crucial decisions were taken:
Pruning was advanced from January-February to November, so that the
vintage would occur during the dry season in March-April (Cacho, Velez-
Colon, 1987). Recognized wine varieties were to be grafted on Lake
Emerald and Tamiami as rootstocks (Ibid.). Field grafting began


164
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(Puerto Rico) 4/6/86, 3.


Copyright 1990
by
Francisco Watlington-Linares


15
of cumulonimbus cloud cover. It has been observed that tolda may
influence daylength responses in many plants, particularly if occurring
at the beginning of day, thereby extending the duration of night-time, the
effective "operand" of photoperiodism (Vince-Prue, 1975). Nonetheless,
over half a century since Garner and Allard first defined photoperiodism
(Ibid.) the lack of an applied integration with actual geographic
daylength is suggested by the questions raised in a current review of the
state of knowledge on photo-phenology.
Under natural conditions the transition to and from darkness is not
abrupt but occurs through a gradually changing intensity of
twilight. At what point does the plant begin to respond to
darkness? Or to light at dawn? Is the effective length of day
influenced by morning or evening clouds? ... It has been suggested
that the presence of clouds during twilight and dawn can influence
the photo-periodic response. (Vince-Prue, 1975: 80-81).
Adaptation in Grapes
All grapes are perennial woody vines that respond to seasonal
changes in their native habitats with appropriate physiological
adjustments (Branas, 1974). They tend to stop growing and shed their
leaves in response to shortening daylengths that signal the arrival of a
season sensed as unfavorable: winter in the higher latitudes, estio or
dry season in the "wet-and-dry" tropics (Critchfield, 1974). However,
seasonal vegetative inhibition also promotes conditioning for the fruiting
cycle that ensues with the return of longer days and favorable weather
(Kliewer, 1981). Adaptation in grapes is thus conditioned by the need for
alternating periods of both "favorable" and "unfavorable" daylengths.
Because the onset of critical seasonal changes is generally preceded
by equinoctial daylength, most grapes require days longer than twelve


3
agricultural technology developed for northern American and European
geographic conditions. A similar concern has occasionally been expressed
with reference to the tropics (Barringer, 1965; Janzen, 1973; Blaut,
1977).
A research problem emerges because in viticulture, as in agriculture
generally, cultivational practices are circumscribed geographically by
their very nature. A cultural success, on the other hand, has a tendency
to spread far beyond its area of origin, the locus of its original
adaptation. This means that adaptive processes, bio-genetical and
cultural, must continuously begin anew as a crop is introduced to new
geographical regions.
The issue that arises is twofold. Cultivated plants must undergo
phylogenetic adaptation, an evolutionary process that takes time, though
not necessarily a very long time. More difficult, perhaps, is the
institutional tendency to enshrine traditional practices and artifacts
(including plants) that buttress cultural continuity. Does scientific
training contribute to adaptive change? Not necessarily, this
researcher's experience concurs with that of other observers. Modern
agricultural science is often strongly paradigmatic, parochial, and
politicized (Janzen, 1973; Busch and Lacy, 1983; Smith, 1990). Its
assumptions, procedures, objectives, achievements and limitations reflect
the biases of structural vested interests and traditions as much as any
other activity or institution.


Table 3. Fennell's Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative Measurements (mm)
Category
Mean
Mean
Mean
chaiaza
Sample
Length
Width
Thickness
L/W
L/T
x/W
L/W
Largest (longest)
#
%
(6.025-6.20)
Median (long)
7
35.00
6.08
3.92
2.98
1.55
2.04
1.20
1.38
(5.80-5.95)
Smal 1
5
25.00
5.86
4.00
2.89
1.46
2.02
1.21
1.30
(5.625-5.75)
Smal1est
6
30.00
5.67
3.95
2.86
1.43
1.98
1.14
1.35
(5.475)
2
10.00
5.47
3.83
2.77
1.43
1.97
1.12
1.47
All Seeds
20
100.00
5.77
3.92
2.87
1.47
2.00
1.17
1.37
Source:
Direct measurements by Lee A. Newsom (1985), Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville, with "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper. Classification, means and
ratios by the author.


78
in Madrid, an important evaluation of Venezuelan viticulture by the
Italian researcher Fregoni featured the observation that:
The difficulty of adaptation of Vitis vinifera in the tropics
is linked to photoperiodism; indeed, it may generally be
considered a long day species. A few varieties, however, can
adapt to short day areas (Fregoni, 1977: p. 27).
This comment by Fregoni appears to have gone unnoticed, probably
because daylength per se had not been recognized as a meaningful parameter
by Venezuelan researchers. However, a pioneer experimental study compared
varietal productivity during four successive calendar semester cycles
initiated by pruning in January and July (Bautista, 1975). Eight
relatively well adapted cultivars (featuring at least two reputed V.
vinifera-caribaea hybrids) responded similarly with respect to seasonal
productivity. Irrespective of varietal differences, all were considerably
more fertile (floriferous) after pruning in January than after pruning in
July.
Bautista's results are consistent with the findings of previous work
(notably Kobayashi et al., 1966; Buttrose, 1969a, 1974) reported in
Chapter 2. That is, grapevine buds formed during relatively long days
(i.e., over 12 hours) produce more fertile canes and more flower clusters
per cane than those formed during relatively short days (i.e., under 12
hours). In other words, in Venezuela also, buds formed during the long
days after pruning in July are more productive than those formed during
the short days after pruning in January.
The data available from Bautista's (1975) study, although severely
limited (6), is suggestive of a measure that might be used to compare
varietal sensitivity to daylength in terms of fruitfulness. Two of his


58
11. Viala noted many similarities of "simpsoni" and coricea. In
particular, that the very short beaked seeds of the first were
indistinguishable from those of certain forms of the latter. He
concluded that hybridization between diverse forms must be common
in Florida.
12. Slimpson's Grape according to Bailey, equivalent to Munson's revised
V. simpsoni.
13. All seeds of the three samples were measured by Lee A. Newsom,
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville,
using a "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper.
14. Coffee, for example, loses about 18% of its weight and presumably
reduces its proportions accordingly when roasted. See also, Shea
and Crites (1980), Minnis (1981).
15. Considerable shrinkage is assumed to have occurred in the herbarium
sample of V. gigas collected by Fennell in 1938, near Roseland,
Brevard County, Florida.
16. Fernald found a direct correlation between seed and berry size which
justified his separation of VL from aestivalis. Abandoned
cultivars, on the other hand, would presumably generate populations
of wild descendants in which their horticultural attributes would
tend to be genetically dispersed.
17. Very high soluble solids, mainly sugar, (over 20 Brix) has been
noted by this observer and others in some Florida forms of V.
aestivalis, in contrast to other local species, but in accordance
with V. vinifera.
18. That Bartram was puzzled is surprising. He has long been considered
a competent botanist and ampelographer. His father John Bartram
organized the first living collection of North American grapes in
his Philadelphia botanical garden. William authored a pioneer
American ampelography (Bartram, 1804).
19. Following Chapman et al. (1982), the Southeastern cultural periods
for prehistorical archaeological purposes is, in part, as follows:
Middle Archaic, 5,000 to 8,000 BP; Late Archaic, 2,500 to 4,500 BP;
Woodland, 1,000 to 2,000 BP; Mississippian, Contact (500 BP to 1,000
BP.
20. It has been proposed that the spread of the bottle gourd (Lagenaria)
in the Southeast is a likely indicator of an ideological (religious
and political) movement or "Great Tradition" that may have led to
the adoption of other plants for shamanist rather than subsistence
purposes (Hall, 1977).


87
his graph for the same area (Figure 4). Both are at variance with data
from the records of the Institute for the ten year period 1978-1988 (Table
6).
According to Vargas (1978) the first rainy season is from April to
June at El Tocuyo, with a peak in May. This is supported by Figure 4.
However, Table 6 shows that critical maxima have occurred mainly in April
during the past decade, twice in March and only once in May. The second
rainy season is said to include October and November, with a peak in
October, that according to his graph is substantially under the 100 mm (4
in) critical limit. However, his conclusion is that the ensuing dry
season begins December first. Table 6 indicates that rainfall maxima in
excess of the critical threshold have occurred as often (three times) in
September as in October. Only in the anomalous year of 1988 was there a
protracted rainy season that began in August and actually ended in
December. In 1980 also, there was a brief near-critical peak in December.
The reason for the discrepancies can be explained in part as
follows. If the winter solstice dry season generally ends in April,
pruning at the beginning of December would allow a full four months for
the fruiting cycle to be completed under relatively dry conditions.
Similarly, pruning in late April would allow roughly four months before
the start of the next rainy period in September. However, as Bautista and
Vargas (1981) discovered, a difference of one hour and seven minutes
between the shortest and longest days of the year results in a difference
of up to fourteen days (for A. Lavallee) in the length of the fruiting
cycle.


115
In the 1980s there was an upsurge of efforts to develop viticulture
as an agricultural industry in Puerto Rico. The interest was sparked by
the establishment in 1981 of Bodegas Espaolas-Argentinas Corporation
(BEARCO). The company began as a joint venture of a Spanish fruit juice
processor, Zumos de Navarra, and the major Argentine winegrowing combine,
Peaflor. In the mid 1960s the Argentine company developed technology to
produce concentrated grape musts in order to channel excess production
competitively to lucrative northern hemisphere markets such as Japan.
Japanese wineries augment the limited supply of home grown grapes by
adding rehydrated imported musts (de Blij, 1982).
According to company president L. A. Debandi (p.c. 1985, et seq.),
BEARCO was conceived to exploit Puerto Rico's strategic geopolitical
situation. Concentrated must from Argentina could be transported
economically and enter United States territory under an advantageous
tariff. "Quality" wine would be made in thirty five days by adding three
parts distilled water and yeast (Debandi, 1981). The relatively cheap
product would be competitive in an unsophisticated local market and also
be exportable, duty free, to the mainland as well as to the lesser
Caribbean islands.
Since local wine consumption was only a bottle a year per person
(totaling 3.6 million standard 3/4 liter bottles), compared to 100 bottles
a year per person in Argentina (Debandi, Ibid.), an appropriate marketing
strategy would be pursued to increase consumption. For example, Old World
tradition was emphasized in the promotion and labeling of the first
product line, Castillo Real (Royal Castle). On another level, from the
outset the local government was enticed to concede tax exemption and other


42
question. If compared directly, the absolute dimensions of VH fall into
the size range of the smaller VS, except for one feature, the chalaza,
which averages 16% larger in the VH seeds.
If 18% shrinkage is allowed for in the archaeological sample, and
the VS similarly "reduced," the longest (i.e. the "largest") VS become
equivalent in length to the mean for the "large" VH. (14) In addition,
31% of the VH seeds represent potentially greater live lengths, roughly
7 to 7.2 mm. All together, the longer VH seeds (43.75%) appear wider by
14.7% and thicker by 10% than their VS counterpart (the "largest" VS
comprise 18.36% of their sample).
The chalaza of the VH appears much larger than the shrinkage
adjusted value for all the VS. The mean is 31% larger, but the largest
VH seeds have chalazas 35% wider than the widest VS (surprisingly the
"small medium" seeds). The mean "diameter" of chaiaza for all the VH is
also 31% larger than the adjusted mean for the largest chalaza of
Fennell's Grape (VG). The advantage is 17% for the unadjusted
measurement. Curiously, the "median" VG seeds have the largest chalaza.
Comparison of the relative dimensions for VH and VS tends to confirm
the visual similarity of proportions between the two forms. Small VS
seeds (2.24%) have a mean L/W ratio of 1.25, identical to the value for
"large" VH. The "small medium" VS (28.5%) have an L/T ratio of 1.82,
identical with the value for the largest VH. The whole VS sample has an
L/T value of 1.81, virtually the same as the "largest" VH. The L/W ratio
of the chalaza for all VS is 1.22, almost the same as the mean for all the
VH (1.20).


77
To complete his model, Vargas simply "fits" the zonal His with those
of grape varieties classified in Europe as early, midseason and late, to
thereby confirm Hidalgo's prediction that early to midseason (so-called
"first season") varieties could be double cropped in the preselected
viticultural zones. His conclusions include the admonition that during
periods of high rainfall the vines should be kept in a "repose"
characterized by cropless vegetation, during which new foliage is formed
and nutrient reserves are accumulated. Preventive control of fungi is
required (42 to 58 days depending on the zone) to avoid premature
defoliation and initiation of a new cycle while undesirable conditions
persist.
The assumption that reserves are accumulated in the vine during the
rainy season is in line with Eguiraun's (1945) "slight recess in
vegetation", previously cited, and with the popular designation of such
periods as "winter." However, it contradicts the theory initially
proposed by outside experts of continuous and exhaustive vine growth under
tropical conditions. The overcast or tolda produced during the rainy
season most likely shortens photoinductive daylength below the twelve hour
threshold, signaling the vine to stop growing and commence the
accumulation of reserves (See Chapter 2). Thus, the traditional allowance
for a rest period in the pruning calendar becomes functionally adaptive.
In a final conclusion Vargas advised that his theoretical exercise
should be the object of experimental field trials for verification, and
that other (geo-ecological) factors affecting viticulture be related to
the HI. Clues pointing to daylength (as a regulator of phenology) as one
of those factors continued to appear. Indeed, while Vargas was studying


118
immediately on the few rows available of the Florida hybrids. The new
pruning calendar was implemented that same year (1985) on the ungrafted
wine varieties.
The spring harvest of 1986 fulfilled the qualitative expectations
of the Fortuna-Pilot Plant research team (Ibid.). The fruiting cycle had
been initiated and completed within the driest period of the year. It is
also the season with the highest level of insolation and lowest nocturnal
temperatures (Table 7). Both conditions favor an optimal development of
qualitative components (Kliewer, 1973, 1981). The only selection for
which yield was reported is Fortuna White, identified as a clone of Muscat
of Alexandria (synonym: Muscat of Malaga) by the project consultant from
California (Olmo, 1986).
A plot of 44 well established vines of the traditional local
cultivar produced a total of 179 pounds of grapes, or an average of 4
pounds per vine (Velez-Colon, 1987). The meager yield could have been due
to a combination of factors, including the considerable age of the vines
(25 years), inappropriate cane pruning (15) and possibly a pre-bloom
period of relatively short days. During his visit of late March 1986,
Olmo raised the question of when and how often to prune.
No second pruning has been employed after harvest. Thus,
experimental work is needed to determine the best time for pruning
and whether one or two cycles of cropping should be used. (Olmo,
1986: p. 1)
The research team responded quickly and rather extemporaneously to
Olmo's suggestion. A few varieties that had bee.n cropped in March-April
1986 were pruned in May for a September-October harvest at the height


61
geographic areas in which people were striving to establish vineyards.
This is made clear in Table 4, where grapevine areas are compared by state
between 1969 and 1975.
Table 4, Vineyard area in Venezuela. By State. 1969 and 1975
State 1969 1975 % Change
Ha.
%
Ha.
%
(1969-1975)
Anzoategui
(uniisted)
38.5
6.6
Aragua
59
19.8
91
15.4
54
Carabobo
6
2
6
1
Lara
21
7
61
10
190
Merida
7
2.3
3.5
.6
-50
Miranda
4
1.3
(uniisted)
Sucre
11.5
3.8
5
.9
-56
Tachira
11
3.7
4.5
.7
-59
Truji 11o
17
5.7
(uniisted)
Zul ia
162
54.3
380
64.5
135
Venezuela
298.5
100
589.5
100
97.5
Source: MAC, 1969; and Ramirez-Soto, 1976.
The table shows that ten states had vineyards during the post-war "grape
rush." At the end of the period, however, plantings had declined or
disappeared in all but four states.
Only Zulia, Lara, Aragua, and Anzoategui (in descending order, and
from west to east) had experienced a "grape boom" by 1975. By 1980 total
hectareage for Venezuela had again doubled, to 1,200 ha. (Bautista and
Vargas, 1980). Half of the area, 600 ha, was planted in the districts of


38
dorsal view
ventral view
frontal view
Figure 2. Hontoon Grape seed (Vitis x hontunensisi. enlarged
approximately ten times. Drawn by the author.


37
(latitude 29*10'N, longitude 8130'W) by Purdy and Newsom (Newsom, 1987)
in 1982. The site comprises a sequence of aboriginal occupations
culminating in an agricultural (mission) settlement during the Spanish
colonial period. Charred grape seeds are among the more common floristic
remains at all levels. This is not surprising in view of the fact that
large scale smoke-drying of grapes was practiced by Indians in the
Southeast from prehistory through Contact (Sauer, 1971) to the late 18th
century (Bartram, 1775).(7)
Following Rogers and Mortensen (1979), most of the grape seeds from
Hontoon were tentatively identified as belonging to five broadly defined
species found in central Florida, and a few incidental hybrids.(8) The
most notable find is a substantial sample of 51 well preserved, apparently
charred, specimens which has been dated to the historic period, ca 1775-
1800 (Volumetric Sample 5, obtained 40 to 50 cm below the surface of the
dig). The sample is composed exclusively of relatively large bunch grape
seeds (Euvitis) of extraordinary and uniform appearance (Figure 2).
Interpretation of the VS 5 sample, provisionally named "Vitis x
hontunensis," was possible only after a considerable search for comparable
herbarium and living specimens.(9) No survey was made of grapes presently
found on Hontoon Island. The V. x hontunensis seeds have been found to
closely resemble the shape and dimensions of two supposed taxonomical
species, V. simpsoni Munson, otherwise known as "Simpson's Grape," and V.
gigas Fennell, the "Florida Blue Grape."
The two forms share the horticultural attribute of bearing
relatively large clusters of comparatively large berries. This
combination of traits is rare in nature, but can occur when a small


82
hand, because correlation of the fruiting cycle with local weather is
critical, rainfall and eventually other climatic data would be recorded
more systematically.
Studies which, in fact, measured daylength controlled responses were
engaged as necessary evaluation of physiological differences between
European varieties in the tropics. For example, Bautista and Vargas
(1980) cite pertinent authority in recognition that floral induction and
differentiation is completed within newly formed buds of an actively
growing grapevine shoot (cane) by the time the currently expanding flower
clusters open (Lavee et al., 1967; Pratt and Coombe, 1978). They then
affirm, following Huglin (1958), that vine fertility varies according to
variety, in terms of the position of the buds on the cane, and more
ambiguously on the environment.
No mention was made of the equally pertinent fact that the number
of flower clusters "imprinted" in a formative bud is in direct relation
to photoinductive daylength (Kobayashi et al., 1966; Buttrose, 1969a,
1974). Subsequently, a report by the same researchers measuring the
"heliothermic requirements" of six cultivars, concluded interestingly
enough that:
The duration of the cycle and its subperiods are affected by
daylength. Cycles initiated in short days tend to be more
prolonged than those initiated in long days. Therefore, it
is considered that the [semestral] cycles of the same year are
not homologous (Bautista and Vargas, 1981: p. 19).
The 1981 report by Bautista and Vargas was the first detailed study
of grapevine phenology in the tropics. Measurement of the fruiting cycle
covered four subperiods initiated by semestral pruning: 1) budbreak,
2) bloom, 3) veraison (beginning of fruit coloration), and, 4) harvest


140
On the same date a separate application was submitted for an
entirely different selection, W73D-6, "Idy" (later renamed Val piatinta),
a hybrid of IAC 823-47 by W66H-4, Esperanza. It was selected from six
seedlings out of 1,000 seeds, in Barrio Borinquen, Aguadilla, in the
northwest corner of the island. Valplatinita can be summarily described
as having ovoid, medium, blue-black berries (12 x 15 mm to 15 x 18 mm),
moderately seeded, juicy pulp with balanced sugar and acidity, stable
color and neutral flavor, appropriate for winemaking.
Valplatinita clusters are medium (250 g), long-conical (18 cm) and
loose. The vine bears an average of three full clusters per cane pruned
to two-bud spurs. Determined yield (on own roots) is 15 to 20 lbs. on a
two year old vine. Fruit ripens with a high degree of uniformity and is
resistant to cracking in wet weather. Normal cycle from pruning is 130
to 135 days. Vine is vigorous, healthy and fertile, highly resistant to
mildews and other fungi. May require grafting on nematode resistant
rootstocks for best performance.
Detailed information on the enological aptitude of Valplatinta has
accumulated over the years following its propagation by cuttings and
evaluation in widely separate regions. In June 1981, a crop of 15 lbs.
from a two year vine growing in a trial plating on the outskirts of Ponce,
was delivered to the Pilot Plant for vinification. Tests were being
conducted with samples from Fortuna. It was observed in the ensuing
report (Murphy and Torres, 1981) that mean weight per berry was 1.4 g,
that there were 2 to 3 seeds per berry, and roughly 100 berries per
cluster. It was further noted that the size, color and maturity of the
grapes was relatively uniform, and that despite an unusually wet season,


20
daylength by morning or evening tolda can be enhanced by mountains that
intersect the angle of incidence of the sun (Mac Hattie and Schnelle,
1974). Thus, narrow interior and coastal valleys bordered by north-south
ranges can be influenced by tolda much more than the highlands that rise
above them. Herrera was emphatic in stating that: "Valleys, mainly if
they are deep, are the worst of all places for vineyards." (Herrera, 1513:
p. 55).
Immigrant high-latitude viticulture would be expected to adapt best
to locations least disadvantageous in terms of interactive daylength-
restricting topographic conditions. In addition, favored sites should
have locations that counteract high atmospheric humidity. For example,
viticulturists throughout the Caribbean would agree with the Sevillean
agronomist Ibn Al-Awwam (of 12th century Seville) in that:
Grapes prosper by the sea, and are benefitted by maritime breezes,
which is not the case in the vicinity of rivers where there are
marshes and lagoons. (Ibn Al-Awaam, 12th century: p. 214)
On the other hand, cool temperature regimes of tropical highland climates
seem to counteract the inhibitory effects of inadequate daylength on some
high latitude cultivars (Sugiura et al., 1975).
Adaptive Pruning
Pruning is the primary cultivational technique used to control and
optimize production of grapes in a particular geographical environment.
Its adaptational purpose is to coordinate fruiting phenology with
relatively favorable climatic conditions, including optimal effective
daylength. Thus, the calendar of pruning in varying photoclimatic regimes
at different latitudes is a major concern of adaptive viticulture.


67
The Pruning Calendar
The pruning of grapevines in the tropics pursues adaptive goals
analogous to those at higher latitudes. Pruning is done to train vines
to a manageable framework, to optimize productivity, and to coordinate
critical stages in the fruiting cycle with adequate climatic conditions.
On the other hand, procedures introduced from higher latitudes and applied
without modification are often ineffective, and at worse counteradaptive
in the tropics (See Chapter 2).
Therefore, Venezuelan viticulturists have had to develop special
procedures for adaptive management of their immigrant crop. For example,
while long or cane pruning is productive at higher latitudes, only short,
or spur, pruning can deal with the problem of apical dominance and
consequent irregular, weaker budbreak of "unrested" vines under tropical
conditions (Bautista and Vargas, 1980). On the other hand, the more or
less continuously active vegetative state of adapted V. vinifera cultivars
at ca. latitude 10N allows training of the vine to a mature bearing
structure within a year, in contrast to the three or four years required
in places with discrete and shorter growing seasons (Simancas, 1988;
Vargas, p.c. 1989).
However, realization that pruning rather than repose (with or
without chilling) would renew the fruiting cycle marked the discovery of
tropical viticulture in the colonial period and its recurrent rediscovery
by immigrant growers and modern researchers (Bautista and Vargas, 1980).
For it is the prospect of two or more harvests yearly that has heartened
grape growers faced with the disappointing productivity of their imported
vines.


Source:
Derived in part from 130 mm (4 in) July Isohyet (Gray, 1944; Ravalo
et al., 1986).


25
idea is that wel1-developed native vines be used as adapted rootstocks,
following the general rule that "where there are similar wild species
doing well, domesticates of their own kind can be planted." (Herrera,
1513: p. 101). There is little doubt that Spanish grapes in the New World
colonies were routinely propagated and grown on stocks of native American
grape species. Expressions of wonder at the abundance and fertility of
the native grapevines are found throughout accounts of the Contact period.
In the circum-Caribbean mainland and major islands, V. caribaea was
common (Levadoux et al., 1962; Olmo, 1968). In Florida a surprising array
of grape species, possibly including indigenous cultivars, awaited the
Spanish settlers (Sauer, 1969, 1971; Rogers and Mortensen, 1979). A
bewildering diversity of forms was available in Mexico (Olmo, 1976).
Cortes, the Conquistador of Mexico, made sure the indigenous vines were
put to good use, and in his "Ordenanzas" of 1524 decreed that every
settler who received an allotment of land and Indians was obliged to plant
a proportionate number of native vines as rootstocks, to be duly grafted
with scarce scion-wood from Spanish cultivars (Adams, 1978).
A widespread common name for V. caribaea on the mainland is agras.
The term was applied in Spain to special purpose acidic grapes. In the
northern part of the peninsula, acid juice was obtained from wild grapes
as a culinary and medicinal substitute for vinegar and sour orange, while
in the south such grapes were regularly needed to balance the chronically
acid-deficient wine musts of the hot climate. If suitable wild grapes
were unavailable, a late crop that would not ripen was intentionally
induced on cultivated vines by summer pruning. It seems likely,
therefore, that wild Caribbean grapes would have been planted in, and


167
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Chomko, S. and G. Crawford, 1978, "Plant husbandry in prehistoric Eastern
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Columella, L. J. M., 1941, [Original ca. 42 AD], On Agriculture, H. B. Ash
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Comeaux, B. L., 1987, "A New Vitis (Vitaceae) from Veracruz, Mexico,"
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Cook, T. D. and C. S. Reichardt (eds.), 1979, Qualitative and quantitative
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Corts, M., 1987, "Anlisis del mercado de vinos en Puerto Rico," in
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Corzo, P., 1985, Viticultura del Valle de Neyba, Repblica Dominicana
(Recomendaciones), Secretara de Estado de Agricultura, Repblica
Dominicana.
Corzo, P. 1987, "Tropical viticulture in Venezuela," Acta Horticulturae,
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Corzo, P., 1988, "Factibilidad del cultivo de la uva para vino en la
regin zuliana," Agrotcnico, vol. 6 (3), vol. 46-48.
Covington, J. W., 1964, "The Apalachee Indians move West," FIorida
Anthropology, vol. 17 (4), pp. 221-225.
Cowan, J. M., 1976, Arabic-English Dictionary, Spoken Language Services,
New York, New York.
Crall, J. M. and L. H. Stover, 1957, "The significance of Pierce's Disease
in the decline of bunch grapes in Florida," Phytopathology, vol. 47,
pp. 518-535.
Crane, C. J., 1982, "Plant utilization at Spoonbill, an early Caddo site
in northeast Texas," Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, vol. 7,
pp. 81-97.
Critchfield, H. J., 1974, General Climatology (3rd edition), Prentice
Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
da Mota, F. S., 1975, Meteorologa agrcola, Nobel, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


In Puerto Rico both hybrids from Florida and Venezuelan pruning were
uncritically introduced with confusing results. Independently, a more
promising mode of adoption and synthesis of the alternative techniques is
beginning to emerge. Throughout the three case studies--Florida,
Venezuela, and Puerto Rico--it is argued and demonstrated that a
geographical variable, effective davlength. underlies all of the
traditional empirical techniques of adaptive viticulture, a fact that has
escaped recognition by local and international viticultural research and
extension agencies.
x


153
14. A proposal was submitted in November 1983 to the Caribbean Basin
Advisory Group of the United States Department of Agriculture and
approved for three years (1984-87), with a budget of nearly
$150,000. The grant was later extended for an additional year
(Bel ardo, 1987).
15. Olmo observed that cane pruning was "a method not useful in tropical
climates, where chilling is insufficient to break bud dormancy."
(Olmo, 1986: p. 1)
16. Olmo did suggest including Chenin Blanc, a traditional European wine
grape that he cited as promising in India, in the Fortuna trial
collection (Olmo, 1986).
17. Rainfall in the mid-section of the Indian subcontinent is less than
800 mm (30 in) yearly (Olmo, 1970). It is comparable to the mean
at Fortuna and a relatively narrow strip of the Puerto Rican south
coast (Ravalo et al., 1986). The monthly distribution is somewhat
similar, more highly skewed in India, so that the rainy season
describes a single peak from June to September, with monthly means
between 100 mm and 200 mm (4 to 8 in). The remaining months are
well under the 100 mm "critical threshold" for viticulture proposed
by Vargas (1978).
18. Mildew tolerant V. vinifera varieties are adequate in central India
where viticulture is practiced at elevations between 500 m and 600
m (Olmo, 1970). In Mysore (ca. latitude 13N), however, at over 900
m, an American Labruscana hybrid, Bangalore Blue, is much better
adapted to the cool and humid highland climate. It is the principal
variety, representing over 90% of total acreage in that state
(Ibid.1.
19. In Venezuela Muscat of Malaga/Alexandria has a cycle of 4 to 4.5
months. Fortuna vines pruned in November require 5 to 5.5 months
to ripen (Velez-Colon, 1987).
20. In 1981 the researcher urged Andreu to consider hybrids developed
specifically for tropical conditions. Later D. Gilormini also
advised him to use the Criolla Negra hybrid as a rootstock, and
offered free cuttings from his own collection (Gilormini, p.c.
1990).
21. According to Beardsley (1984, 1986), Andreu initially invested
upwards of $400,000 in private funds. In 1984 he obtained a
$450,000 line of credit, and in 1985 a $500,000 loan, both
underwritten by the Puerto Rican government. Under conditions of
poor productivity, therefore, debt service could have become a
crushing burden.
Anecdotal factors included the insistence of local field workers on
long pruning, because that is the way they learned to do it as
migrant labor in California (Lozada, p.c. 1990).


48
The territory of V. aestivalis proper covers most of southeastern
North America (Bailey, 1934). In the northern reaches and higher
elevations of its range it gives way to a hardier variant, V. argentifolia
or bicolor. West of the Mississippi River, from eastern Texas and western
Louisiana north to the Ozark highlands of southern Missouri, the
subspecific Post-Oak or Caddoan Grape prevails. Often considered a
separate species, V. 1 incecumi Buckley, the Caddoan Grape has been
suspected variously as a natural hybrid swarm (Rives, 1963) and as a horde
of horticultural escapes from early mission vineyards (Branas, 1974).
V. 1 incecumi does suggest hybridity between V. aestivalis and the
large berry V. candicans which shares the southern part of its range and
is closely related to V. shuttleworthi of southern Florida. Sauer (1971)
pointed out that the first missionaries to visit the area (from the
Spanish colonies in Mexico and Florida) were surprised to find the Hasinai
and Caddoans tending grapes similar to theirs. In 1876, T. V. Munson, the
"father" of modern adaptive grape breeding chose to settle in Denison,
Texas on the Red River across from the Indian Territory of Oklahoma
(Munson, 1887, 1909).
Munson made the Caddoan Grape the focus of his breeding work. Fie
searched land the Indians had not long before vacated and collected
exceptional vines bearing large grapes (around an inch in diameter) in
heavy clusters. These he bred with cultivars of other species and
regions. His selections were widely disseminated. Taken to France, they
became the phylogenetic foundation of modern adaptive grape breeding in
Europe (Galet, 1956) and after World War II in the United States (Barrett,
1956).


180
Schwerdtfeger (ed.), 1976, Climates of Central and South America. World
Survey of Climatology, Vol. 12, Elsevier, New York.
Shea, A.B. and G. Crites, 1980, "A procedure for establishing a modern
wood charcoal collection as an aid in the identification of
archaeological samples," Southeastern Archaeological Conference
Bulletin, vol. 22, pp. 60.
Simancas, R., 1988, "Poda de formacin," Cuarto Curso Produccin de Uvas
en el Trpico, Centro de Desarrollo Vitcola Tropical, Maracaibo,
Venezuela.
Singh, T., J. Lpez and A. Cedeo, 1967, Progress in grape variety studies
in the southern region of Puerto Rico, University of Puerto Rico
Agricultural Experiment Station, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Slate, G.L., J. Watson and J. Einset, 1962, Grape Varieties Introduced by
the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station 1928-1961,
Bulletin No. 794, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station,
Geneva, New York.
Smith, H.G., 1956, The European and the Indian: European-Indi an Contacts
in Georgia and Florida, Florida Anthropological Society Publication,
No. 4.
Smith, P., 1990, Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America, Viking-
Penguin, New York.
South, S., 1980, The Discovery of Santa Elena, Research Manuscript Series
No. 165, Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of
South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
Srinivasan, C., and M.G. Mullins, 1980, "Effects of temperature and growth
regulators on formation of Anlagen, tendrils and inflorescences in
Vitis vinifera L.," Annals of Botany, vol. 45, pp. 439-446.
Srinivasan, C., 1981, "Physiology of flowering in the grapevine--A
review," American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, vol. 32 (1),
pp. 47-63.
Stanislawski, D., 1975, "Dionysus westward: Early religion and the
economic geography of wine," Geographic Review, vol. 65, pp. 427-
444.
Steyermark, J.A., 1963, "Vitaceae," Flora of Missouri, Iowa State
University Press, Ames, Iowa.
Stoddart, D.R., 1966, "Darwin's impact on geography," Annals AAG. vol. 56,
pp. 683-698.


177
Olmo, H. P., 1978, "Genetic problems and general methodology of breeding,"
in Eleventh International Symposium on Grapevine Genetics and
Breeding, Institute Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris,
France, pp. 3-10.
Olmo, H.P., 1979, "Vineyards in the year 2000: Technical pressures," Acta
Horticulturae, vol. 104, pp. 11-19.
Olmo, H.P., 1986, Report submitted to Eduardo Cacho, Project Leader, Wine
Project 84-CRS R-2-2471, Fortuna Research and Development Center,
Rum Pilot Plant, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Paisely, C., 1968, From Cotton to Quail: An Agricultural Chronicle of
Leon County, Florida, 1860-1867, University of Florida Press,
Gainesville, Florida.
Pansiot, F.P. and J.R. Libert, 1970, "Culture de la vigne en pays
tropicaux," Bulletin de l'O,I.V., pp. 485-6, pp. 595-661.
Parsons, H., 1955, Grapes under Glass, Transatlantic Arts, Hollywood by
the Sea, Florida.
Perttula, T.K., C.J. Crane, and J.E. Bruseth, 1982, "A consideration of
Caddoan subsistence," Southern Archaeology, vol. 1 (2), pp. 89-102.
Pic, R., 1950, The Geographic Regions of Puerto Rico, University of
Puerto Rico Press, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Pic, R., 1954, Geografa de Puerto Rico, Parte I: Geografa Fsica,
Editorial Universitaria, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Pierquet, P. and C. Stushnoff, 1978, "Variation and breeding potential of
some northern clones of Vitis riparia Michx," Fruit Varieties
Journal, vol. 32 (4), pp. 74-84.
Pires, E.J., I.R. Passos, M.M. Terra and F.P. Martins, 1586, "A expansao
da viticultura no Brasil," 0 Agronmico, vol. 38 (2), pp. 139-144.
Planta Piloto de Ron, 1987, Propuesta de investigacin sobre
vitivinicultura a realizarse por Planta Piloto de Ron bajo los
auspicios de la Resolucin Conjunta del Senado de Puerto Rico 1831,
Rum Pilot Plant, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Pool, R.M., 1984, "Vineyardists' Notebook," Eastern Grape Grower and
Winery News, Vol. 10 (1), pp. 46.
Pratt, C. and B.G. Coombe, 1978, "Shoot qrowth and anthesis in Vitis."
Vitis, vol. 17, pp. 125-133.
Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, 1984 to 1987, Annual Agricultural
Statistics of Puerto Rico, Santurce, Puerto Rico.


Table 5. Evaluation of Fertility Differences in Grape Cultivars,
by
Semester (Merida,
Venezuela:
1 at. 830N)
Cultivar
No. Fertile
Canes
Diff.
No. Clusters/Cane
Diff.
DIP
DSI
Dates:
7-11-72 I
-6-73
(2-1)
7-11-72
1-6-73
(5-4)
(3x6)
TTVTT
Vi 11anueva
1.5
7.0
5.5
1.7
9.35
7.65
42.07
.023
Muscat Hamburg
2.5
6.8
4.25
2.2
10.0
7.8
33.15
.03
A. Lavallee
1.5
5.6
4.1
2.0
3.7
1.7
6.97
.14
Italia
2.15
3.7
1.5
2.3
5.0
2.7
4.18
.23
Cardinal
2.3
3.9
1.6
3.7
5.4
1.7
2.72
.36
Criolla Negra
1.3
2.75
1.45
2.6
4.5
1.9
2.75
.36
Viol eta
2.2
3.3
1.1
2.3
4.5
2.2
2.42
.41
Mustosa
2.0
2.4
.4
1.8
1.6
-.2
.08
12.50
Source: Bautista, 1975; additional computation by the author.
Note: DIP is "daylength inducted productivity;" DSI is "daylength sensitivity index."


27
To summarize, it has been proposed in this chapter that the
geographical limiting condition in the diffusion of viticulture toward the
equator is the diminishing calendar range of photo-inductive daylength,
which is reflected in the phenological responses of cultivars originating
beyond the tropics, where the range is progressively greater and
phenological adaptation critical to survival. The condition is enhanced
on one hand by the additional seasonal reduction of effective daylength
resulting from periods of persistent cloud cover (tolda), and on the other
hand by the basic physiology of grapevines which uses daylength under
twelve hours to store metabolites for future growth, and daylength beyond
that threshold for productive phenology (i.e., flowering and fruiting).
The above proposition is grounded in the findings of researchers
from ancient times to the present. The introduction of viticulture to the
tropics has relied on three distinct adaptive techniques, all empirically
based on the underlying need to optimize the interaction of grapevine
physiology with the variable daylength environment. Historically, the
most primitive technique appears to be adaptive insolation optimization,
to which later was added the complementary techniques of adaptive pruning
and adaptive hybridization.
Historical analysis suggests that none of the two latter techniques
have evolutionary precedence, nor are they incompatible. However, in the
following chapters it will be shown that fortuitous geographical
circumstances (geo-environmental and cultural) have favored the
development of either approach on a regional basis, to the exclusion and
virtual banning of the other!


CHAPTER 2
THE GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT OF ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE
State of Knowledge
In this chapter the working hypothesis of the present dissertation
is elaborated. The research method utilized has been the historical
analysis of adaptive techniques in viticulture recorded from the earliest
to the most recently available documents. On one hand, the survey focuses
on how these relate to environmental conditions, and on the other hand,
to grapevine phenology and physiology. Consequently, the research is both
cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural, as well as historical.
Adaptive viticultural techniques linked to geographic parameters
have been reported in European agricultural treatises of the Classic,
Medieval and Renaissance periods. Exemplary contributions are those of
the Andalusian Spanish agronomists Columella (42/1941), Ibn Al-Awwam
(1200/1802), and Herrera (1513/1970). It has been suggested that
traditional folk technology for grape cultivation was introduced to the
Spanish settlements of the New World in the 16th century, precisely from
Andalusia, along with the Old World grape cultigen Vitis vinifera L.
(Watlington-Linares, 1983).
Adaptive viticulture evolved empirically in various regions of the
Ibero-American tropics and subtropics since the early colonial period.
However, its counterpart in modern middle latitude viticultural technology
12


116
incentives on the promise of vinifying locally grown grapes as soon as
they were available.
The Rum Pilot Plant, a UPR-RUM AES research unit had fermented
batches of mostly table grapes during the early 1970s at the request of
the Fortuna substation (Belardo, 1987). At the beginning of the 1980s the
Pilot Plant staff was at loose ends with the decline of the rum industry
and open to the suggestion from Debandi and others that they explore the
possibility of winemaking with locally produced grapes. Testing was
renewed under Project C-455, an umbrella for assistance to industry.
In 1981 twenty five wine grapes varieties were added to the Fortuna
collection as the "California Orchard" (Velez-Colon, 1987). New
introductions from the same source were added the following year. A few,
including Centurion and Carnelian, were also grafted on vines in the "Old
Orchard." Vinification of the available table grape crop was renewed.
Predictably, the use of unsuitable varieties and staff inexperience
produced unpromising results (Cacho, 1987).
Meanwhile, BEARCO had managed to elbow its way into an unexpectedly
competitive local market only to find itself in a struggle to keep from
being pushed out. The possibility of adding local grapes to his wines and
local pride to his marketing strategy moved Debandi to offer badly needed
expertise. The Pilot Plant staff was advised regarding basic winemaking
procedures (Murphy et al., 1983).(13)
In Fortuna changes began to take place. By 1983 only a few of the
grapes from California planted two years earlier had survived or proven
fruitful (Velez-Colon, 1987). Rubired and Ruby Cabernet were two red wine
selections that seemed promising. Others that grew well on their own


134
pollen for the researcher's project. Over half of all the selections
tested by 1965 were predominantly Labruscana in lineage. Enlightening
observations resulted from the said trials. In general, dormant
(leafless) bareroot vines were planted in late February or March. Most
would initially grow vigorously, developing healthy foliage. By midyear,
however, many had stopped growing and their canes were quickly maturing
(becoming lignified). Only a few continued to grow normally. Leaf
characteristics of the more adapted ones leaned toward V. vinifera.
Verification of parentage revealed that they were indeed "half" V.
vinifera, hybrids of Labruscana by European types rather than Labruscana
by Labruscana. The observation held true both near the coast and in the
highlands.
In addition, the native fertility of even the least unadapted
varieties was apparently impaired (for a reason that was not understood
at the time) so that production of pollen for breeding purposes was
problematic. On the basis of the trials, one of the introductions,
Lakemont, was selected as an initial parent. Another promising
introduction, Golden Muscat, provided an archetype of the ideal to be
pursued. It produced large, loose clusters of large golden berries with
delectable flavor uniquely combining the uncommon muscatel flavor of
certain V. vinifera and the special fruitiness of V. labrusca.
Other introduced types also yielded useful observations. The
related Munson (1909) and "French" hybrids (Barrett, 1956) responded much
as the Labruscana. although less predictably because of their genetic
complexity. Munson's Beacon, and Seyve villard 12.375 (Villard Blanc),
for example, initially developed exceptionally healthy foliage then


49
Interestingly, the seeds of V. 1 incecumi (VL) described, illustrated
and measured by Bonnet (1902), Munson (1909), and later by Gleason and
Fernald (cited in Steyermark, 1963) appear very similar to those of VH,
VS and VG. Compared directly, the longest VH fits the lower range of
length for VL (7 to 7.25 mm). The mean L/W ratio for VS fits the middle
range for VL (1.40 to 1.33). Countering both Fernald and Gleason,
Steyermark found no correlation between seed size and berry size in the
modern feral population of "V. aestival is" (i.e. 1 i ncecumi) from southern
Missouri. (16) On the other hand, he conceded that "the fruits are sweet
and edible and used for preserves and jelly" (Steyermark, 1963: p.
1037).(17)
It is well documented that the Caddoans produced smoked raisins and
had a horticultural tradition that may have included clonal propagation
of selected grape varieties (Swanton, 1946; Griffith, 1954; Perttula et
al., 1982). Munson (1909) described two botanical varieties of the
Caddoan Grape. One was a smaller fruited, sweet and juicy type
appropriate for winemaking. The second was a larger fruited kind,
described as having tough, dry, very acid and astringent pulp, traits that
suggest the possibility of uncommonly good prune-like or apricot-like
raisins. If the large seeds are considered as "grape-nuts," it would seem
the Indians had a superior product by present standards.
A report on a late Woodland Period (ca 1,000 BP) grape seed find
from a typical Caddo site in northeastern Texas mentions the presence of
preserved dried pulp (Crane, 1982). Although the seeds are described as
identical to modern summer grape (V. aestivalis), a photo, inadequate for
lack of scale and resolution is suggestive of V. 1 incecumi. and of the


97
surprised by extensive vineyards of American hybrids in the cool,
moist Galician countryside where V. vinifera could not be grown
economically (Simancas, p.c. 1988; Vargas, p.c. 1989). A French
expert recently proposed the obvious, that their "French" (i.e.
American) hybrids be exported to tropical and other regions of
"difficult" climate (Boubals, 1988b).
5. By comparison, current yields of table grapes in Zulia range from
ten to twenty tons per hectare (Corzo, 1987).
6. The data was obtained from an ad hoc planting made in 1971 in the
Lagunillas district of the Andean state of Merida (ca. 1,200 m ASL).
It was laid out in randomized blocks of eight varieties and four
repetitions of five plants of each. However, the published results
cover only the first four semesters (1972-73), before the vines had
matured fully.
7. Regions of traditional Mediterranean viticulture were preferred,
including southern Europe, South Africa, Australia, California,
Argentina, and Chile. But a few varieties were introduced also from
Peru, Colombia, and Brazil (Diaz and Agero, 1975; Tortolero, 1987).
8. Villanueva was the most important variety, followed by French
Columbard, Inzolia, Trebbiano and Palomino, all white grapes.
Tempranillo, Malvasia and Bacchus were the leading reds (Araujo,
1988).
9. El Tocuyo, Quibor, Carora, Altagracia, Siqui sique-Baragua, and
Arenales-Rio Tocuyo.
10. Successful varieties include the 19th century "Isabella" (a
Labruscana hybrid also known as "Fragola" by Italian immigrants).
Ubiquitous in Latin America, it is commercially important in
southern Brazil for a Concord type grape juice. Another Labruscana.
Golden Champion is grown to a limited extent as a table grape.
11. Chromatographic analysis of the pigments of Criolla Negra revealed
the presence of diglucosides not present in V. vinifera. only in
American species, including V. caribaea (Olmo, 1968).
12. Surprisingly, Criolla Negra was little known in Zulia until recent
times. There it is known as "Yaque," a derivation of Jacques, a
European synonym of the V. aestivalis hybrid Black Spanish, vaguely
similar in appearance (Hidalgo, 1974).


40
renaming the second "Simpsoni," V. smal1iana, and insisting that his
description applied to Simpson's intended "Simpsoni":
This is undoubtedly the plant understood as Simpsoni by Simpson
himself in a communication of Nov. 8, 1898, in which he says,
"bearing vines [i.e. female clones] seldom found except on shell
mounds near salt water." (Bailey, 1934: p. 207)
Meanwhile, in 1888 a French mission led by Viala examined Munson's
collection of "Simpsoni." Later Viala (1889) described what he saw as a
hybrid "melange" of V. coricea (shuttleworthi1.(11) The "type" that he
returned with to France was identified as "Nash no. 399" from Lake County,
central Florida. A plate and measurements by Bonnet (1902), and a plate
by Gillet published years later by Viala and Vermorel (1910) are
presumably representative of the Viala accession in the Montpellier
collection. All are in agreement with Munson's (1909) brief description
of V. simpsoni. Both descriptions are congruous with the recovered
V. x hontunensis. A comparable sample of 49 seeds was obtained as a
medium (15 cm) cluster of fruits from a vine in the Leesburg (Lake County)
Agricultural Research Center germplasm collection. The medium cluster,
large-medium berry clone is listed as "Florida no. 399, V. smalliana
Bailey.(12)
A second comparable sample comprises 20 seed specimens from the
original and only known botanical type of V. gigas Fennell (1940): Sample
no. 2216242 in the U.S. National Herbarium (Smithsonian Institution).
Fennell described an isolated population of vines which seemed akin to V.
aestivalis, and bore impressively large clusters of large berries with
meaty, sweet and tangy pulp. Proclaiming his find a new species: V.
gigas, Fennell described its habitat as restricted to "the dry shelly


104
districts of South Africa. He also mentions the existence of healthy
grapevines in Ponce and other south coast towns, and in San Juan and
Arecibo on the north coast. However, his selection of Cayey, at ca. 400
m elevation in the upper La Plata basin (Figure 6) for a trial planting
is a suggestive precedent. Was he thinking in terms of a "chilling
requirement," or rather of an optimal daily range of temperature? It is
impossible to say, because the project disappeared from the available
record without a trace.
Griffith's grape breeding project was ahead of its time. Private
breeding was started in Florida by Charles Demko in 1927 and taken up in
1936 by Joseph Fennell (Mortensen, 1978). A state sponsored program had
to wait for Stover in 1945 (Ibid.). In Puerto Rico, meanwhile, there was
no immediate sequel to the Griffith project. Had it been continued, that
would have marked the beginning of adaptive grape breeding in the tropics.
Official interest in viticulture appeared again briefly at the start
of the 1940s, an endnote of sorts to the ill fated agrarian reform of the
local "New Deal" (Watlington-Linares, 1987). The threat of wartime
isolation rekindled the dream of at least partial self-sufficiency by
substitution of imports that could presumably be grown locally. Governor
Rexford Tugwell, long involved in implementing agrarian reform, had hired
Thomas Fennell to head an agricultural development company entrusted with
an ambitious diversification program.
Hearing that Thomas' brother had a tropical grape breeding project,
Tugwell offered to provide sponsorship (See Chapter 3). Joseph Fennell
arrived in Puerto Rico in 1942 and left a year later when funding failed
to materialize (Fennell, 1945, and p.c. 1982). A collection of 350 hybrid


137
was quickly discarded as a progenitor because its susceptibility to
mildews made it impossible to grow inland even below the 60 inch annual
isohyet. After five years the mirage of a better microregion beckoned and
the project was moved in 1973 to a three acre homestead in the nearby La
Plata Valley (Figure 6). The valley is a subhumid rain shadow area with
low relative humidity during the daytime much of the year.
At La Plata a sixth trial planting was started with hybrid progeny
and breeding selections evaluated in the altiplano. An intuitive early
decision excluded Florida species and their hybrids as adaptive parents,
except for the quasi tropical V. shuttleworthi, with large 1 abrusca-1 ike
berries, much recommended by Fennell (1945). The effort to develop a
unique Puerto Rican breeding line led to obtention of a female clone of
the south Florida "Caloosa" grape from the University of Florida
viticultural germplasm collection in Leesburg. After determining that the
species had excellent adaptation in the highlands, including adequate
fertility, it was used in hybridization with W66H-9 to produce the
selection that has been a cornerstone of the researcher's adaptive
breeding.
W70D-1, "Carlos Badillo" (V. shuttleworthi x W66h-9) is a very
vigorous self-fertile vine with small leaves that are light green when
young, becoming much darker as they mature. Immature vegetation is
covered with cottony pubescence, leaf undersides remain felty white.
Leaves are deeply four lobed on new growth. Overall, a synthesis of
caribaea and shuttleworthi traits. Fruit in small, loose to well-filled
clusters of black, smal1-mediurn, slipskin berries, of poor quality similar
to that of the maternal parent. The vine is strongly everbearing, and was


84
(versus about 15% for Lara). An Institute report outlining guidelines for
viticultural development in the west-central region of Venezuela,
discussed for the first time the implications on grape quality of
nighttime temperatures averaging 10C (18F) lower than daytime means
(Vargas et al., 1984).
At the same time, it had long been known empirically to growers in
Lara that imported varieties adapted best if grafted on the vigorous
native hybrid Criolla Negra (Olmo, 1968; Bautista, 1985). In Zulia,
however, vines were imported already grafted on foreign rootstocks (Corzo,
1987). Eventually the same rootstock varieties were imported and
propagated locally (Gallardo, 1988). Only near the end of the decade did
Zulian researchers cautiously begin to graft on native hybrids (Mielzarek,
1987). On the other hand, by 1986 the Zulia Center for Tropical
Viticulture had taken the lead by planting the first fifty of 3,000
proposed hectares of wine grapes (Corzo, 1988).(8) Two years later a
model experimental winery was inaugurated at the Center. Meanwhile,
evaluation of wine grape varieties was being stepped up in Lara (Vargas
and Bautista, 1987a).
In 1987, a decade after Garassini's initial proposal, Vargas
proclaimed that the wines of highest quality in all of Venezuela could be
produced in the state of Lara (Vargas, 1987). He identified six arid
zones with mean annual rainfall under 700 mm (27.5 in) and two well
defined dry periods of no less than 130 days each (4.3 months), delimited
by two rainfall peaks, generally in May and October.(9) He pointed out


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
ADAPTIVE VITICULTURE IN THE CARIBBEAN BASIN
By
Francisco Watlington-Linares
December 1990
Chairman: Cesr Caviedes
Major Department: Geography
This dissertation consists of three inter-related case studies on
the origins and evolution of viticultural adaptation in the Caribbean
tropics and Florida. Although the Old World grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)
is not a tropical plant, European immigrants have intuitively practiced
adaptive insolation optimization for viticulture in the tropics by seeking
out semiarid areas that are relatively free of cloud cover.
Another adaptive technique, hybridization with native American
forms, began in early Spanish Florida and has evolved into a modern
scientific approach which, nonetheless, has been slow to diffuse to the
tropics. One more important technique, adaptive pruning, seeks to
coordinate grapevine phenology with seasonal changes in weather. It has
become a quasi-paradigmatic approach in Venezuela, but attempts to
transfer the technology elsewhere have been disappointing.
IX


131
process of doing so, a number of varieties at least equal to the seventy
odd accessions jealously guarded at Fortuna.
Representative selections of traditional hybrid "families" were
tested including American Labruscana, the "French" (Franco-American)
Hybrids, Florida bunch grape hybrids (Euvitis), Munson hybrids, as well
as selections from the incipient Brazilian (IAC) hybrid family, from
private breeders such as Dunstan, and even a few straight V. vinifera from
California. By 1965 enough comparative data had accumulated for a
preliminary outline of breeding goals and a tentative selection of
parental types. Meanwhile, after an extensive search, an appropriate
female specimen of wild V. caribaea was located on a wooded roadside
escarpment in the Pedro Avila area of the Rio Matn basin southwest of
Cayey in the east central highlands (Figure 6).
At the end of 1965 the native vine was bud grafted on a mature
specimen of IAC 572, a Brazilian rootstock hybrid.(26) The stock-scion
interaction was unexpectedly favorable. The bud of V. caribaea began to
grow vigorously in March and started blooming in May continuously as it
developed. On its own roots in the wild, normally a single spring flush,
in March-April would be the rule. In this case the vine continued to
bloom strongly through midyear. A total of ten crosses were made that
first year, with selections in the researcher's collection, and also with
pollen brought in from the United States.
The first notable hybridization of V. caribaea was realized on July
9, 1966 with pollen of NY 15-305 obtained from the New York State AES in
Geneva. The parental cultivar, eventually released to the public as
Lakemont, is a golden berry seedless selection from the cross of Ontario,


166
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), 1981, Code of Federal
Regulations, Title 27: Part 4.25 (Labeling and Advertising of Wine;
Part. 9.3 (American Viticultural Areas), Washington, D.C.
Busch, L. and W. B. Lacy, 1983, Science, Agriculture and the Politics of
Research, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.
Buttrose, M. S., 1969a, "Fruitfulness in grapevines: Effects of
daylength," Vitis, vol. 8, pp. 188-190.
Buttrose, M. S., 1969b, "Fruitfulness in grapevines: Effects of light
intensity and temperature," Botanical Gazette, vol. 130, pp. 166-
173.
Buttrose, M. S., 1974, "Climatic factors and fruitfulness in grapevines,"
Horticultural Abstracts, vol. 44 (6), pp. 319-326.
Buttrose, M. S., C. R. Hale, and W. M. Kliewer, 1971, "Effect of
temperature on the composition of Cabernet-Sauvignon berries,"
American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, vol. 22, pp. 71-75.
Cacho, E., 1987, "Evaluacin de vinos de variedades de uva cosechadas en
Fortuna," in Planta Piloto de Ron, La Industria Vitivincola
Puertoriguea, Rum Pilot Plant, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Cacho, E., I. M. Gonzlez, A. Moret, and E. Fontanet, 1989, "Evaluacin
qumica y organolptica de vino de la variedad Fortuna Blanca,
cosecha 1986," Journal of Agriculture, University of Puerto Rico,
vol. 73 (1), pp. 11-21.
Cahoon, G. A. and D. S. Padda, 1977, Prospects for Growing Grapes in the
U.S. Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station
Report No. 10, St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
Calvesbert, R. J., 1970, Climate of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
United States Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
Campbell, D. T., 1965, "Variation and selective retention in socio
cultural evolution," in H. R. Barringer (ed.), Social Change in
Developing Areas, Schenkman, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Caviedes, C. N., 1981a, "Natural Hazards in Latin America," in G. S. Elbow
and T. L. Martinson (eds.), Geographic Research on Latin America:
Benchmark, Conference of Latin American Geographers, vol. 8, Muncie,
Indiana.
Caviedes, C. N., 1981b, "Rainfall in South America: Seasonal trends and
spatial correlations," Erdkunde, vol. 35, pp. 107-118.
Chapman, J. and A. B. Shea, 1981, "The archaeobotanical record: Early
Archaic period to Contact in the lower Little Tennessee River
Valley," Tennessee Anthropologist, vol. 6 (1), pp. 61-84.


mm
200
in
100
O
Jon Mar May Jul Sep Nov
r eb Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec
CO
CO
Figure 4. Mean monthly rainfall in El Tocuyo, Lara, Venezuela.
Source:
According to Vargas, 1978.


125
Although pilfering and vandalism continued to take a heavy toll
(Beardsley, 1986), the project was compromised at the outset by
inexperience compounded by disregard of expert advice. Andreu had
rejected recommendations to try hybrid varieties both as direct producers
and as rootstocks.(20) His former manager, Gilberto Lozada, a university
trained agronomist, affirms (p.c. 1990) that the poor productivity of the
chosen varieties and the low density of the vineyard were clearly
deficitary, and the principal reason why the enterprise failed.(21)
There can be little doubt that the Andreu project failed, not
because of an unforseen misfortune, but rather, like so many other
projects that preceded it, because it was developed in a hit or miss
fashion, without proper planning.(22) Regardless, the consequences were
disastrous for other projects more carefully planned, but less well-
endowed. In 1987-88 a pilot project proposed by Watlington was turned
down after an initial request for proposal by the PR Rural Development
and the PR Work Rights Administration. The proponent was told "off the
record" that viticulture had recently proven unfeasible in Puerto Rico.
The Fortuna project ran into opposition also, from the UPR
Horticulture Department "specialists" in Mayaguez, who followed the
Guanica project closely and assumed Andreu knew what he was doing.
Although the affair has been veiled by institutional confidentiality, it
transpired that a dispute arose over the desirability to continue funding
grape research at the substation. The Pilot Plant, faced with a


124
The first pruning for production appears to have been in January-
February of 1984, following what was then the practice in Fortuna. In
April of that year the press was summoned and a first vintage of 5,000
pounds (333 pounds per acre) announced for July, along with a request for
state financial assistance (Beardsley, 1984). Andreu also reported a
problem with pilferage and vandalism, which may have reduced the actual
crop to under 4,000 pounds. By midyear of 1985 an additional 11,000
pounds was reported (733 pounds per acre). Apparently, successive
semestral pruning was being practiced (Ibid.).
Since Andreu had become a respected advisor to the Fortuna project,
it is not surprising that the first November pruning in the substation
took place in 1985, after he and his manager had attended the short course
offered by the Center for Tropical Viticulture in Zulia. By 1986 the
Guanica vineyard is said to have expanded to 60 acres (Beardsley, 1986).
However, after a reported crop of 10,200 pounds for the fiscal year 1985-
86, the enterprise was suddenly abandoned (See PR Department of
Agriculture, Annual Statistics, 1984 through 1987).
Andreu claims that the vineyard was inundated for several days
during the disastrous south coast flooding of October 1986 (not hurricane
related) after which the vines declined irretrievably (Andreu, p.c. 1988).
However, a former manager (Lozada, p.c. 1990) has refuted the allegation
declaring that seasonal flooding from the intermittent Rio Loco occurred
yearly in May and September-October, and drained quickly, amounting to no
more than a few hours of beneficial irrigation. But there are other, more
compelling, reasons that help account for the sudden collapse.


41
banks of brackish waterways and lagoons" on the Sebastian River, ca.
latitude 2750' N (Fennell, 1940: p. 17).
Fennell implicitly admitted the possibility of a hybrid origin for
his "Florida Blue Grape":
In a few cases it takes close observation to distinguish by foliage
alone the Florida blue grape from some of the natural hybrids of V.
shuttl eworthi or of V. simpsoni (V. cinerea floridana). (Fennell,
1940: p. 17)
Fennell has never published his retrospective suspicion that his
foundling might be a remnant of antique viticulture (Fennel, p.c. 1984).
A collector of native grape hybrids in the wilds of southern Florida in
the 1930s, he was lured to gigas by reports of exceptional dooryard bunch
grapes in the vicinity of the hamlet of Mico (an Indian word for chief).
Recently he read of archaeological digs in the same area (Tequesta) and
reflected that his best finds had been associated with Indian shell
mounds. This coincides with Bailey's observation concerning a similar
habitat for Simpson's Grape.
Comparative measurements of V. x hontunensis and the living forms:
Florida no. 399 (Simpson's Grape or VS), and V. gigas (henceforth
Fennell's Grape or VG) are summarized in Tables 1, 2, and 3.(13) Despite
overall resemblance among the three types, the absolute and relative
measurements of each sample reveal distinctive differences as well as
similarities. Although seed morphology suggests the three forms are
closely related, their dimensions are indicative that they have separate
identities.
The V. x hontunensis (henceforth Hontoon Grape, or VH) seeds appear
to be in the same size category as Simpson's Grape (VS). Newsom (p.c.
1988) believes the degree of carbonization of the VH sample is open to


151
more than 3.5 months. A four month rainy period requires that a variety
have a six month fruiting cycle. Varieties now available have cycles of
4.5 to 5 months.
The first stage in double pruning would be initiated by single-bud
spur pruning in February to produce fertile canes. These are in turn
pruned to long spurs (6 to 8 buds) in mid to late June. The emerging
flower clusters would bloom in late July to early August and produce a
slowly developing crop that would mature in December or January. This
system may eventually prove to be the most productive for the island, as
it has elsewhere. It may also be the most appropriate in terms of
achieving qualitative attributes with wine grapes.
Notes
1. In Puerto Rico the shortest day has about 11 hours of daylight, an
hour less than the equinoctial threshold (Calvesbert, 1970). In
Venezuela the shortest day has a duration of about 11.5 hours
(Bautista and Vargas, 1981).
2. This reference vaguely suggests that a creole hybrid with
everbearing tendency was already in existence. Criolla Negra, for
example, will yield three successive (overlapping) crops with a
single pruning in February.
3. According to Winkler, "its seriousness in any region or season
depends on the humidity and on the frequency and duration of summer
rains or heavy dews. All varieties of V_^ vinifera are very
susceptible. All cultivated varieties of American grapes are more
resistant than the vinifera varieties." (Winkler, 1962: p. 383)
4. The winding old road descends the leeward slope of the Cordillera
Central from the rain shadow (subhumid) highland of Cayey (ca 400
m ASL) to the semiarid southern coastal plain. It is still one of
the best areas in which to find V^ caribaea.
5. A poor yield by commercial standards, equivalent perhaps to 5 lbs.
per vine. It is in agreement, however, with the median production
of the same variety in Fortuna (Velez-Colon, 1987).


179
Rives, M., 1971, "Ampelographie," Chapter 2, in J. Ribereau-Gayon and E.
Peyaud (eds.), Sciences et Techniques de la Vigne, vol. 1, pp. 131-
219.
Rives, M., 1972, "L'initiation florale chez la vigne," Connaissance du
Vigne et Vin. vol. 2, pp. 127-146.
Rives, M., 1974, "Les vignes sauvages comme sources de genes pour
1'amelioration," Vitis, vol. 13, pp. 186-197.
Rodrguez-Arias, J.H., 1941, "Grapes in Puerto Rico," Revista de
Agricultura, Industria, y Comercio, vol. 23 (4), pp. 613-617.
Rogers, D.J. and J.A. Mortensen, 1979, "The native grapes of Florida,"
Proceedings, Florida State Horticultural Society, vol. 92, pp. 285-
289.
Rojnic, I., T. Romero and A. Salas, 1972, Manual Prctico para el Cultivo
de la Vid en el Estado Zulia, Fondo para el Desarrollo Frutcola,
Caracas, Venezuela.
Rueda-Ferrer, F., 1953, "Les raisins d'Almeria," Congrs Internationale
de la Vigne et du Vin, Num. 7, Rome, Italy.
Sahlins, M.D. and E.R. Service (eds.), 1960, Evolution and Culture,
University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Snchez, R., 1968, "Los planes especiales de desarrollo regional: Banao,"
Bohemia, vol. 60 (5), pp. 4-11.
Santiago, S., 1987, "Tendencias en el mercado de vinos de Puerto Rico,"
in Planta Piloto de Ron, La Industria Vitivincola Puertorriquea.
Rum Pilot Plant, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, pp. 65-83.
Santibaez, F., F. Daz, C. Gaete and D. Daneri, 1986, "Bases climatiques
pour le zonage de la region viti-vinicole chilienne," in Proceedings
of the 19th International Viticultural and Penological Congress,
Santiago, Chile, pp. 95-124.
Santos-Neto, J.A., 1955, "Melhoramento da videira," Bragantia, vol. 14,
pp. 237-258.
Sauer, C.O., 1966, The Early Spanish Main, University of California Press,
Berkeley, California.
Sauer, C.O., 1969, Agricultural Origins and Disperals: The Domestication
of animals and Foodstuffs, 2nd edition, M.I.T. Press, Cambridge,
Massachusetts.
Sauer, C.O., 1971, Sixteenth Century North America: The Land and the
People as Seen bv the Europeans, University of California Press,
Berkeley, California.


35
forced southward, and in the 1820s briefly granted much of central Florida
from Ocala south to latitude 27 N. Isolated groups survived later
campaigns to remove them. It may be that many were gradually absorbed
into the dominant culture of later immigrants.
Feral grapes that appear to be "escapes" from cultivation or
abandoned cultivars from earlier occupation have been recovered in south-
central Florida, as in other Southeastern frontier zones where the Indian
presence lingered.(5) However, the original systemic or behavioral
context of such finds has not been as clearly established as certain
documented survivals from the preceding Spanish period.
In 1823 a surveyor preparing a site plan for the Florida state
capital at Tallahassee discovered the ruins of Fort San Luis, abandoned
one-hundred-nineteen years earlier. It was later reported that "within
the outerworks of this fort, are to be seen grape arbors in parallel
lines, which still maintain their pristine regularity." (quoted in Boyd,
1939: p. 4). Another contemporary observer described a vestigial street
grid nearby, with shade trees and "grape arbors of more or less
regularity." (Ibid.: p. 5). Unless the vines in question were overgrown
rootstocks of native species, their unusual longevity suggests the
possibility of hybrid cultivars.
It is interesting to note that toward the end of the century French
winemaker Emile Dubois established a winegrowing estate on the Fort San
Luis property (Paisely, 1968). Unlike many immigrants who brought in
muscadines (V. rotundifolia) from Georgia and the Carolinas, or introduced
V. 1 abrusca cultivars from farther north (Lewis, 1979), Dubois planted
hybrid V. aestival is x V. vinifera selections of the "Florida mission"


18
and, 3) the selection of adapted (i.e. healthy and productive) cultivars
from hybrid progeny.
Adaptation in Viticulture
Viticultural adaptation in the lower latitudes has been achieved
traditionally through empirically developed techniques that implicitly
circumvent the native adaptive responses of immigrant high-latitude grapes
to daylength patterns of the lower latitudes. Three specific approaches
can be recognized: 1) Adaptive Insolation Optimization; 2) Adaptive
Pruning; and, 3) Adaptive Hybridization. They have emerged as regional
practices that are presumably successful under the geo-environmental
conditions where they developed. When a locally adaptive tradition is
introduced to a different latitudinal region, it may, of course, become
counter-adaptive.
Adaptive Insolation Optimization
Adaptive insolation optimization concerns the interpretation of
solar intensity and daylength interactions with seasonal and diurnal cloud
cover patterns. The interplay of physiological and geographical factors
underlying insolation-adaptive viticulture has been understood by
viticulturists since ancient times. European immigrants in the New World
tropics and subtropics sought out locations for viticulture guided by the
perception of environmental analogy between colonial and Old World
1andscapes.
Apparent similarities of vegetation and soils have served to
identify semi-arid areas that provide the high levels of insolation known


127
Board, 1989) had grown to about 10% at the expense of the leading brand,
Welch (Debandi, p.c. 1990). BEARCOs product, Richy, is siightly different
in appearance and flavor because it is made from a Brazilian concentrate
of mainly Isabella grapes. Debandi has revealed that the parent company
(Peaflor) has lately established trial plantings of Concord, the
Labruscana variety from which Welch type grape juice is made in the United
States. While the famous grape will grow and fruit in Argentina, its
characteristic color and flavor are not manifested. Concord is at its
best well above the 40th parallel, whereas in Argentina grapes are grown
well below the 35th parallel.
In late 1987 the Pilot Plant team outlined the work plan rationale
of the research that had recently been promised funding by the legislature
(Planta Piloto de Ron, 1987). The project proper was described as
follows: A test vineyard of five acres would be established to include
five preselected wine varieties apportioned according to standard
experimental design. Sufficient vines of each variety were to be planted
to assure an adequate sample for vinification and marketing trials, using
commercial scale equipment. The five chosen varieties were: Ruby
Cabernet, Carnelian, Centurion, Fortuna White and French Colombard. At
the same time other California wine selections would be added to the
existing collection for observation.
Rootstock testing was originally one of the "treatments" to be
applied, and would perhaps have justified the allotment of one acre for
each variety. Later the decision was made to plant the entire five acres
of Lake Emerald as a uniform rootstock. Even if this empirical gamble
were successful in terms of enhanced adaptedness and productivity, the


6
favored locations are settled, disputed and resettled for similar
geographic reasons. Long lived, fire resistant orchard plants are likely
to be inherited by the successive occupants of a given site. Over time,
such crops would be modified by natural and cultural processes affecting
evolutionary selection in humanized environments. The human cultural
sequence would, thus, be reflected in the evolutionary sequences in hard
seeded crops such as grapes that leave clues in the archaeological record,
and in behavioral contexts as well, as it is discussed in Chapter 3.
Sauer was prescient that the study of cultural evolution in native
grapes would reveal much about Southeastern agricultural origins. He
implicitly proposed that grapes be examined as artifacts of material
culture, both in historic and prehistoric times, and he summarized his
insight memorably in the following passage:
Cultivated plants are living artifacts of times past,
available where archaeology and written document are wanting, or
making these more explicit. (Sauer, 1969: p. vii)
The present investigation follows a Sauerian methodological strategy
in which an explanatory framework is woven from diverse sources of
knowledge within the guiding coordinates of a historical and cultural
geographical perspective. Within this approach the research problem can
be expressed as follows: Why has viticulture, a modern crop-technology
supported by a sophisticated international research establishment,
remained underdeveloped in the Caribbean tropics, despite a long history
of incipiency? A corollary question that arises is: What are the
geographical barriers, physical and cultural, that have hindered the
diffusion of modern viticulture in the Caribbean and/or curtailed its
adaptation there?


150
ocean seem to minimize relative humidity at night. The contradictory
south coast and interior La Plata basin, semiarid by day and at times
oppressively humid at night, require deliberate hybrids such as
Valplatinta and Laura. The altiplano will likely require a more advanced
and rigorously selected generation of hybrids with inputs of other species
besides V. caribaea and Labruscana.
Short cycle (3.5 to 4 months) varieties that can be pruned for two
successive crops per year may hold promise for the sub-humid tableland of
the northwest coast, and for Vieques Island off the southeast coast. In
both regions pruning can be done in early to mid February for a harvest
in mid June, a dry month. Pruned a week later, during the summer
solstice, the vines would bloom in early August at the end of the summer
dry season or veranillo, and be cropped for the second time in November,
a changeable month which can mark either the end of the rainy season or
the beginning of the dry season. The second cycle would be prolonged by
tolda weather and shortening days, but would also benefit qualitatively.
Long cycle (4.5 to 6 months) varieties would also fit well in the
above mentioned areas and be particularly appropriate for the south
coastal plain and piedmont, and upper La Plata basin. Long cycle
varieties can be either single pruned, or double pruned for one crop per
year. Conventional single pruning would be done in February for a harvest
during June-July. Double pruning separates the formation of fruitful buds
during the period of lengthening days from crop production that assures
that fruit enlargement will take place during rainy weather and ripening
during drier days with cooler nights (Table 7). The intervening period
between fruit set and ripening may be wet, but should last preferably not


96
bottles yearly for each inhabitant (Debandi, 1981), one must conclude
that, by and large, wine has yet to become a really popular beverage in
Venezuela.
The supposed selectivity of the Venezuelan palate for V. vinifera
wines is predicated on the misconception that interspecific hybrids
necessari1y produce inferior or different wines. Because certain species
used in the early French-American hybrids did indeed have that effect,
there is a grain of truth in the bias, long since overcome (Galet, 1956;
Barrett, 1956). However, such is not the case with V. caribaea. As
creole varieties such as Villanueva, and intentional crosses such as
Valplatinta (See Chapter 5) have proved, some early generation vinifera-
caribaea hybrids produce wines that are indistinguishable from those of
pure V. vinifera.
Notes
1. According to Strahler (1975) this average is actually low when
compared to the overall mean of well over 80% for latitude 10N.
However, it is somewhat higher than the growing season mean for all
climates between latitude 30N and 40N (ca. 72%).
2. Independently of fungus infection, rain may reduce fruit set by
reducing the effectiveness of pollen in fertilization (Winkler,
1962). High humidity alone may impede shedding of the calyptra or
flower cap, which abscises properly only in dry weather (Ibid.).
3. However, Branas cites Hackbarth and Scherz (1935) to characterize
V. vinifera as a nearly daylength neutral short day plant, and
American species as decidedly short day plants. According to his
source, he should have transcribed "long day" rather than "short
day." Long day plants such as Vitis require daylength in excess of
twelve hours for normal flower bud formation and expression.
4. Such "direct producer" hybrids have been mostly banned since the
1930s (Galet, 1956) because their superior productivity and
adaptation threatened cultivation of "noble" varieties. However,
there are signs of changing attitudes regarding the so-called
cepages interdicts. Venezuelan agronomists touring Spain have been


154
22. It is tempting to conclude that Costa de Azahares failed not a costa
del azar (because of misfortune), but rather because la cosa se hizo
al azar (things were done as in gambling, on the basis of chance).
Andreu's investment was well hedged, however. He has a considerable
acreage of Tahiti limes in production and has diversified into
papayas and vegetables.
23. Joint Resolution of the Puerto Rico Senate 1831 of March 16, 1987.
24. Both Cacho and Velez had visited the Gilormini farm in Patillas on
the southeast coast before embarking on the current project. Cacho
should have recognized the variety being used very successfully as
a rootstock. It is identical with Criolla Negra, widely used in
Venezuela. Gilormini, with characteristic enthusiasm, offered to
provide cuttings, free of charge (Gilormini, p.c. 1990).
25. The southeastern edge of the Brazilian pi anal to is bordered by the
escarpment of the Serrra do Mar, which descends to a narrow coastal
plain on the South Atlantic Ocean. The topography and elevations
are for the most part very similar to much of the Puerto Rican
Cordillera Central also a dissected pi anal to or plateau. The
similar orographic influence of the Serra on precipitation from
oceanic easterlies confounds the continentality of the eastern
Brazilian highland, just as a rain shadow situation adds a touch of
continentality to the leeward edge of the east-central highland of
Puerto Rico.
26. IAC 572, tentatively named by the researcher "Caruri," is a male or
staminate vine from the cross of V. caribaea by the French hybrid
rootstock Millardet-De Grasset 101-14: V. riparia x V. rupestris
(Santos-Neto, p.c. 1963).
27. Carlos Badillo-Joy was a companion who died tragically in 1964 while
on a mission to rouse farmers in the western highlands against plans
to strip-mine the region.
28. Cuttings received in 1968 as IAC 823-49, a self-fertile selection,
turned out to be female. In a July 1971 visit to Campinas, the
identity of the mystery vine was discussed with F. Mendes-Pereira,
assistant to Santos-Neto (It was winter and the vines were
defoliated). He concluded that the cuttings had been taken from IAC
823-47, the neighboring vine in the row, and in his opinion the most
vigorous and fertile number in the entire tropical hybrid seedling
collection. However, Santos-Neto disdained the use of pistillate
vines as parents, and opposed their distribution.
29. Having examined the original accessions from Costa Rica in the IAC
collection, the researcher is of the opinion that the putative
tropical parents of the IAC 823 series represents two distinct types
of V. caribaea, possibly different ecotypes.


51
Curiously, there is no record of transcultural Indian communities
having adopted grape winemaking. In the Spanish missions winemaking and
winegrowing were under religious control, and the use of wine by Indians
generally prohibited. The powerful ritual role of wine in Spanish culture
may indeed have been a reason for the non-adoption of winemaking by the
Indians. However, the possibility that aboriginal uses of grapes were
likewise of religious or ceremonial nature should also be considered.
Fruits such as grapes have been considered by anthropologists mainly
in the context of "gatherer" subsistence strategies, as nutritional
supplements, or "snack foods" (Ford, 1982: p. 304). The unique importance
of grapes as a high energy source, in particular for the lean winter
months, is supported by archaeologic as well as ethnographic data.
The most frequent grape seed finds have been carbonized specimens,
although they have been found in a variety of conditions, matrices and
sample sizes (Yarnell, 1969; Kay, et al., 1980). Although grapes are not
generally accepted as prehistoric domesticates, grape seed remains seem
rather consistently associated with recognized Amerindian cultigens and
horticulture from the late Archaic (Chomko and Crawford, 1978; Chapman and
Shea, 1981) through the Woodland (Pertula et al., 1982) and Mississippian
(Watson, 1980) to the historical periods (Newsom, 1986). (19)
On the other hand, evidence of possible non-subsistence uses of
grapes, such as ceremonial or "soul food" for the living and the deceased,
medicine and dyestuff, although sparsely documented is also available in
the archaeological record. The presence of grape seeds appears associated
in one early site (Late Archaic, ca 4,200 BP) with the presence of gourds,


122
during the mild dry winter when cool nocturnal temperatures promote
qualitative attributes, including optimal cluster and berry size, fruit
color and balanced flavor.
In India double pruning has proved to be very productive. The areas
where it is practiced comprise the most successful viticultural region of
the country with average yields of 15 to 20 tons per acre (Bammi and
Randhawa, 1968). Although double pruning has not been adopted in
Venezuela, it has been introduced to Guatemala (latitude 15N) where a
mean yield of 12 tons per acre of high quality table grapes is obtained
(De Gauquier, 1984).
As Olmo (1968) had warned, the preparatory "foundation" cycle would
coincide in Venezuela, and in Puerto Rico, with one of two rainy periods
of the year.(17) Therefore, control of mildews by preventive spraying
would be necessary. However, the use of tolerant V. vinifera selections
or more highly resistant tropical hybrids would diminish the need to spray
accordingly.(18)
Another result of antedating pruning from February to November was
a protraction of the fruiting cycle, as was observed in Venezuela (Chapter
4). Velez (1987) reported that when pruning was done in February the
vintage would take place in May (June would seem more likely). When
pruning was moved forward to November of 1985, most of the crop did not
ripen adequately until April or May, one to two months after the March
target. Precise dates of pruning and harvest for each variety are not
available, nor comparable data for conventional (i.e., long day) cycles.
However, information concerning Fortuna White suggests its cycle was
prolonged by about one month.(19) The cycles of other varieties may have


47
European V. vinifera, but rather between native American species.
Foundling "mission grape" cultivars such as Herbemont and Black Spanish
have seeds readily discernable as intermediate in form between V.
aestivalis, a likely parental species of VH, and V. vinifera. Two
characteristic features of the European Grape, namely: 1) pronounced beak;
and, 2) chalaza located well above the center of the dorsal face, are
present in the "mission" foundlings, but absent in the three samples
studied.
Elucidation of the ancestry of Simpson's and Fennell's foundlings
will have to await more sophisticated techniques of genetic analysis.
However, mention of Sauer's proposition of aboriginal grape cultivars is
relevant at this point. Sauer (1971) inferred that three modern American
cultigens V. rotundifol ia. V. 1 abrusca, and V. aestival is were of pre
colonial origin. The historical record supports reasonably well the case
for Indian muscadine (V. rotundifolia) viticulture (Mishkin, 1975; Gohdes,
1982). The evidence in favor of V. 1 abrusca is at best tenuous.
The argument for V. aestivalis is complicated by the extensive range
of the species, taxonomic recognition of several geographic subspecific
forms, and widespread evidence of hybridization with other species. For
example, after a survey of herbaria, germplasm collections and the field,
Rogers and Mortensen (1979) recognized five subspecies of V. aestivalis
in Florida: 1) aestivalis; 2) sola; 3) diverqens; 4) smal1iana; and,
5) simpsoni. Following Anderson (1949), Rives (1963), and others, it is
likely that some or all of the subspecific forms could represent hybrid
"swarms" or "menages" resulting from interbreeding of the "true"
aestivalis with other species, including the introduced European cultigen.


21
Reproductive and vegetative development in grapes, as in other
perennials, is controlled mainly through leaves and buds that sense and
respond to seasonal changes in daylength stimuli (Vince-Prue, 1975).
Flower clusters emerge and develop with new growth from fertile buds
formed during the preceding growth season (Kobayashi, et al., 1966;
Buttrose, 1969a). At the same time, new buds are formed containing the
flower initials that would normally develop in the following growing
season. In the higher latitudes, where most cultivated grapes have
originated, new buds are formed in an environment of rapidly expanding
daylength and luminescence.
To be adaptable in the tropics, non-native cultivars from higher
latitudes must be tolerant of relatively short photo-inductive daylengths.
For those that do adapt, productivity depends on a sufficient daily
duration of high level insolation (Kliewer, 1981). Cumulatively, a season
with such days long enough for completion of the critical formative stage
(Buttrose, 1969b) is required. In the tropics, therefore, pruning must
be scheduled so that critical fruit-bud formation occurs during
predictable periods of relatively clear skies, and, preferably, with
daylengths of twelve or more hours.
Conversely, mature leaves respond to shortening days by directing
the physiological process towards vegetative rest or inhibition (Hackbarth
and Scherz, 1935; Moschkov, 1935). In the leafless vine rest is
maintained by the collective influence of daylength receptive dormant buds
(Alleweldt and Istar, 1969). After a period of vegetative inactivity,
when daylength again increases beyond the equinoctial threshold, the
reproductive cycle is reactivated with the oncoming season's growth.


168
Debandi, L. A., 1981, "Puerto Ricans are helping to produce prize-winning
wine," The San Juan Star, 4/23/81, S-15.
de Blij, H. J., 1981, Geography of Viticulture, Miami Geographical
Society, Coral Gables, Florida.
de Blij, H. J., 1982, "Wine in the land of the rising sun," Wines and
Vines, vol. 5, pp. 60-65.
De Candolle, A., 1859, "On the causes which limit vegetable species
towards the North," Smithsonian Insitution Annual Report, pp. 237-
245.
De Candolle, A., 1959 [original 1886], Origin of Cultivated Plants.
Hafner, New York.
De Gauquier, P., 1984, "La vigne en climat tropical: Ccaracteristiques
de la formation et de la taille de la vigne dans le vignoble de
Guatemala," Progrs Agricole et Viticole. vol. 101 (10), vol. 265-
269.
Denevan, W. M., 1980, "Recent research on traditional food production in
Latin America," CLAG Proceedings, vol. 8, (Geographic Research on
Latin America. Benchmark 1980). pp. 176-187.
de Sousa, J. S. I., n.d. [2nd edition, 1969] Cultura da Videira.
Melhoramentos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
De Vorsey, L., 1966, The Indian Boundary in the Southern Colonies, 1763-
1775, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North
Carol ina.
De Wet, J. M. J. and J. R. Harlan, 1975, "Weeds and domesticates:
Evolution in the man-made habitat," Economic Botany, vol. 29, pp.
99-119.
Diaz, A. and G. Agero, 1975, "Informe sobre los trabajos de investigacin
en el cultivo de la vid que se conducen en la estacin experimental
'El Cuji'," in Segundo Simposio sobre la Produccin e
Industrializacin de la Uva en Venezuela, vol. I. Fondo para el
Desarrollo Frutcola, Caracas, Venezuela, pp. 33-48.
Duncan, W. H., 1975, Woody Vines of the Southeastern United States.
University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia.
Dunnell, R. C., 1978, "Evolutionary theory and archaeology," in M. B.
Schiffer (ed.), Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, vol.
3, Academic Press, New York, New York, pp. 35-99.


83
(maturity). In the conclusion cited above, no attempt was made to elicit
broader implications by correlating, for instance, with Bautista's (1975)
earlier finding concerning semestral differences in fertility.
Consequently, the influence of seasonal daylength on fruit bud formation
continued to be ignored.
It appears that semestral pruning at the solstitial extremes does
not follow closely traditional empirical practice in Venezuela. Rather,
it may be a convenient administrative abstraction analogous to the use of
controlled environment "growth cabinets" in substitution of actual
geographic conditions in the field (Buttrose, 1974). Recognition of the
connection between changing seasonal daylength and potential grapevine
fertility would presumably lead to experimentation with pruning cycles
initiated in anticipation of the equinoxes, in order to assure that fruit
bud formation would take place close to the twelve hour threshold.
Bautista and Vargas (1981) had, indeed, established that less than
a month (19 to 26 days) of optimum daylength from budbreak to bloom would
suffice. However, such scheduling would occasionally run afoul of the 100
mm (4 in) mean monthly rainfall barrier which continued to rule the
pruning calendar (Ibid.). The question might then arise whether there was
not a better adaptive strategy than adaptive pruning.
During the 1980s the prevailing adaptive strategy, based on pruning,
remained unchallenged. Certain modifications did occur, spurred by the
gradual shift in emphasis from table to wine grapes. By 1984, researchers
at the Grape Institute had begun to realize that environmental conditions
in Lara held the promise of a competitive advantage over Zulia, which had
then completely dominated table grape production with over 80% of the crop


157
latitudinal locations. Such a relationship was formerly, either taken for
granted or ignored in tropical grape breeding.
Adaptive breeding emerges as the keystone of adaptive viticultural
technology for the tropics. Properly implemented, hybridization and
selection can effectively "tailor" new cultivars to the geo-ecological
conditions of a specific area. Hybridization may be carried out with
locally produced or imported pollen wherever the seed-bearing parent is
capable of growing and fruiting. However, the critically important
selection of adapted progeny should be executed on site in the same area
where the chosen variety will be definitely grown, or in a 1atitudinally
proximal environment. Otherwise the results are likely to be
disappointing. Such is probably the case with the V. caribaea hybrids
selected in California for Venezuelan conditions (Olmo, 1978).
Consultants from higher latitudes have commonly urged tropical
growers to cultivate short cycle varieties in order to obtain two or three
crops per year (Hidalgo, 1974; Olmo, 1986). Although cultivars with very
short cycles (approximately 3.5 months) are especially desirable for the
fresh fruit trade, they must be exceptionally tolerant to high humidity
and short daylengths for year-around production. On the other hand, a
surprising revelation of this study is that long-cycle varieties (4.5
months and over) have a place where "double pruning" is desirable, such
as in the Greater Antilles. By having a long-day cycle limited to
induction of fertility, and a short-day cycle during drier and cooler
weather for production, potentially high yields can be obtained, which is
an important consideration for juice and wine industries.


Figure 3. Semiarid areas of western Venezuela, and approximate extent of
April-June and September-November tolda (6/8ths cloud cover).
Source
After Guevara-Diaz, 1985; and M1NIDEFENSA, 1984


114
cultivation was displaced to drier Arizona (Ibid.. p. 587). However,
Lopez proposes that since Exotic ripens in May (after pruning in mid
January, the newly recommended date), it would compete advantageously with
the Arizona crop entering the market three months later. May is a peak
month in terms of humidity at Fortuna, with a normal rainfall well in
excess of four inches (Calvesbert, 1970).
An even more surprising feature of the Lopez bulletin is the
complete omission of the Florida hybrids, which had been revealed as
promising in the Singh report. No mention was made of rootstock varieties
either, a more conventional use of hybrids. It has been observed that
some otherwise well adapted hybrids of native American species, including
V. caribaea, are infertile if pruned and forced into growth during periods
of very short days.(12) Was the advancement of the pruning calendar from
February to January responsible for the elimination of Lake Emerald and
Tamiami as promising varieties? Although Ribier and Exotic would
subsequently be propagated by the substation for sale to the public, the
Florida hybrids have never been made available.
In any case, the Lopez bulletin established a subtle ban on hybrid
viticulture. Although a local agricultural development policy during the
1970s specifically favored viticultural projects as part of an emphasis
on crop diversification (Vincente-Chandler, 1978), a modest trial planting
of tropical hybrid grapes (Watl ington-Linares, 1976a) was denied funding
because it did not comply with the "official" recommendations (i.e., those
in the UPR-RUM AES bulletin) concerning appropriate varieties. A decade
earlier a similar proposal (Watl ington-Linares, 1965) had first been
approved then turned down for essentially the same reason.


14
France (Huglin, 1958), Russia (Grecisnikov, 1958), Italy (Khalil, 1961),
Japan (Kobayashi et al., 1966), and Australia (Antcliff and May, 1961).
The cumulative findings of this accruing body of research point
unequivocally to a geographical variable, latitudinal daylength, as the
principal parameter of viticultural adaptation. Concurrently, ambient
temperature has been qualified as an important complementary factor
(Kobayashi et al., 1967; Kliewer, 1973; Hale and Buttrose, 1974).
The viticultural implications of the latitudinal variation of the
amplitude of seasonal daylength as an adaptive parameter in grapes has not
been widely recognized. Physiological studies have been concerned
primarily with the abstraction termed "photoperiodism" (i.e.,
physiological responses to experimental cycles of light and darkness, in
abeyance of actual geographical conditions), in the controlled, artificial
environment of "growth cabinets" (Buttrose, 1974). Their research design,
interpretation of findings, and extrapolation to the "field" reveals, by
and large, surprising indifference to the geographic context of
"photoperiod."
Alvim (1964) reviewed the phenological effects of seasonal daylength
variation on perennial crops in the tropics and indicated that slight
seasonal fluctuations in calendar daylength is sufficient for response to
photoperiodicity in latitudes as low as 10 degrees or less. Alvim also
garnered evidence that photo-phenology in tropical fruit and nut crops is
often synchronized with alternating periods of clear skies rather than
with calendar daylength.(2)
Because rainfall in the tropics is essentially convective (Flohn,
1973), rainy periods are normally accompanied by heavy overcast or tolda


93
(in Cubiro, near El Tocuyo) had obtained plants "from the jungle" (Olmo,
1968: p. 20) and was using them as rootstocks.
With regard to the development of native hybrids, Olmo made sweeping
recommendations:
Large scale importation and trial of the European grape
should be discouraged. This type of vine is short-lived,
subject to heavy attack by fungus diseases.
The only enduring grape culture must rest on the
production by breeding of new and improved varieties adapted
to the tropical climate that are long lived, productive and
disease resistant.
A number of vines of native origin have been discovered
that are locally called "criollas". They represent
spontaneous hybrids of the native wild jungle grape and the
European type. These Venezuelan hybrids can serve as a basis
for improved varieties.
(Olmo, 1968: pp. 27-28)
Eventually, Hidalgo (1974) and Alleweldt (1975) made similar
recommendations. In fact, Hidalgo's proposal was even more comprehensive.
It outlined three points dealing specifically with grape breeding:
1. Evaluation of grape breeding efforts in Brazil, Costa
Rica and other countries for the creation of resistant
[i.e. adapted] hybrids of V. vini fera and native
American species;
2. A systematic search for natural hybrids in Venezuela;
3. Initiation of a breeding program based on V. caribaea
and available native hybrids.
(Hidalgo, 1974: p. 17).
Despite the early endorsement of adaptive breeding by three highly
regarded viticultural consultants, it is most surprising that twenty years
after Olmo's visit no adaptive breeding was taking place either at the
Institute in Lara or at the Center in Zulia. In fact, no such program was
under long run consideration by either the Instituto de la Uva (Vargas,


176
Munson, T.V., 1887, "Wild grapes," Proceedings, Society of Prominent
Agricultural Scientists, vol. 20, p. 59.
Munson, T.V., 1909, Foundations of American Grape Culture, T.V. Munson and
Son, Denison, Texas.
Murphy, N.F. and C.S. Torres, 1981, Uvas "Idy" cultivadas en Puerto Rico:
Evaluacin de una "nueva" variedad de uva como materia prima para
producir vino, Rum Pilot Plant, Report for the record: C-455-7-81.
Murphy, N.F., C.S. Torres, and I.M. Gonzlez, 1983, Evaluacin de uvas
cosechadas en la Subestacin de Frutales de Juana Daz, P.R. como
materia prima para la elaboracin de vinos de mesa, Rum Pilot Plant,
Report for the record: C-455-17-83.
Negrul, A.M., 1957, "The dimensions of grape seeds as a trait for
determining the origins of wild and cultivated grapevines (V_¡_
vinifera L)," Proceedings, Association of Botanists, Leningrad,
USSR.
Negrul, A.M., 1960, "Nuove indagini sull'origine della variet
centroasiatiche della vite," Atti Accademia Italiana della Vite e
del Vino, vol. 9, pp. 113-132.
Newsom, L.A., 1986, Plants, human subsistence and environment: A case
study from Hontoon Island, Florida, Master's Thesis; Department of
Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Newsom, L.A., 1987, "Analysis of botanical remains from Hontoon Island
(8V0202), Florida: 1980-1985 excavations," The Florida
Anthropologist, vol. 40, 1 (3), pp. 47-84.
Olien, W.C.and C. P. Hegwood, 1990, "Muscadine--A classic Southeastern
fruit," HortScience. vol. 25 (7), pp. 726-831.
Olmo, H.P., 1942, "The use of seed characters in the identification of
grape varieties," American Society for Horticultural Science, vol.
40, pp. 305-309.
Olmo, H.P., 1968, The Potential for a Grape and Wine Industry in
Venezuela, University of California, Davis, California.
Olmo, H.P., 1970, Report to the Government of India on Grape Culture. Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, TA No. 2825,
Rome, Italy.
Olmo, H.P., [ed. R. Teiser], 1976, Plant Genetics and New Grape Varieties.
California Wine Industry Oral History Project, No. 9, University of
California, Berkeley, California.


53
appealing forms and bred them with each other and with cultivars from
other areas (Fennell, 1941, 1945). In the process, he conceived an
ambitious project for developing the foundation of a tropical viticulture.
In 1942 Fennell moved to Puerto Rico where Governor Tugwell offered
support. In 1943, frustrated by political and bureaucratic obstacles, he
moved with his vines from the federal experiment station in Mayaguez to
the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Science (IICA) in Turrialba,
Costa Rica. Two years later, in 1945, he returned abruptly to Florida
where he continued breeding grapes privately on a limited scale. Fennell
ably memorialized his breeding work in search of a viticultural "El
Dorado" in articles written with contagious promotional enthusiasm
(Fennell, 1944-45, 1945).
Despite claims of success, Fennell's project came to a virtual
standstill in Costa Rica, for various reasons. Extreme cloud cover
(tolda) is characteristic of the growing season in Turrialba
(Schwerdtfeger, 1976) as it is in Mayaguez (Ravalo et al., 1986). (23)
Except for regional accessions of V. caribaea and V. popenoei, most of the
grapevines Fennell grew at the 11 CA he took there as hybrid seeds and
clones from Florida. Two growing seasons was insufficient time to fully
evaluate their performance.
Fennell (p.c. 1982) would recall that most of his material was
seriously affected by "rust," a mold which in grapes, as in peaches
(Prunus prsica). appears mainly on senescent leaves (i.e., a "serious"
attack implies the vines were not growing properly). An exception was
two "true" species introduced from southernmost Florida. V. shuttleworthi


5
locations). Therefore, in the following chapters adaptation and diffusion
in viticultural geography will be explored in a manner which differs from
the descriptive "geography of viticulture" expounded by de Blij (1981) in
its quest for geographically specific adaptive transformation of
viticultural techniques, and of evolution in grapes as "living artifacts"
of culture (Sauer, 1969).
Actually, C. 0. Sauer insisted that the evolution of crop plants be
studied as the conjunction of both physical geographical environment and
of cultivational traditions. He was also, apparently, the first to
propose a likely continuity of specific grape cultigens from prehistory
to the present, and to suggest that the study of aboriginal grapes might
provide an exemplar of fruit crop evolution for southeastern North
America.
Sauer's passing attention to grapes must be understood in the much
broader context of his interest in the New World's agricultural origins.
He seems to have discerned, before anyone else, that the cultural
evolution of perennial crops requiring long term fixed location would have
accompanied, if not preceded, the development of permanent settlements.
The persistence of orchards would have contributed to reinforce
territorial attachment to desirable sites (Sauer, 1971). His real concern
was to find ways of tracing cultural evolution within what he understood
as its proper geographic context--the continuity of human settlements in
preferred locations.
Sauer's conceptualization of permanent settlement in no way
conflicts with sequent discontinuities that result from destruction and
abandonment, or seasonal occupancy. Sauer understood that the same


55
that the grapes were not only ripe and quite sweet, but also wild from a
large vine eventually classed as V. simpsoni. (25) It was named Pixiola
and used by him as the female parent of the first hybrid selection
produced and released by the state's adaptive grape breeding program, the
Lake Emerald (Stover, 1960).
Stover, who had no formal training in plant breeding, expanded his
hybridization to include other foundling native grapevines. His work laid
the foundation for the present program, expanded considerably under his
successor, geneticist John Mortensen (Mortensen, 1971, 1980). The
development of adapted hybrid varieties for many uses has created a
diverse viticultural industry in Florida (Bates, et al., 1980).
In conclusion, it can be affirmed that the evidence articulated in
this chapter demonstrates the plausible evolution of adaptive grape
breeding in Florida from the Spanish mission settlements to the modern
state experiment station in Leesburg. However, the sequential pathway is
more often devious than direct, with many ramifications. The explanatory
scheme that is here presented is in the nature of a road map of a
territory that has considerable terra incognita.
On the basis of the archaeobotanical evidence, for example, the
Sauer grape theory of aboriginal cultivars cannot be decisively confirmed,
only elevated to a more sophisticated level of conjecture. Then also,
there are the apparent dead-ends of phylogenetic discontinuity. The
antebellum wine grapes Black Spanish and Herbemont, of presumptively
mission origin, were long eschewed as adaptive progenitors in Florida
(Mortensen, et al., 1977), probably because of a remnant prohibitionism
(Wat1ington-Linares, 1984).


56
On the other hand, the above varieties were used in hybridization
by Munson and by later breeders in France. Some of their descendants have
returned to Florida where they have become the parents of more recent wine
grape hybrids (Mortensen, 1971; Mortensen and Andrews, 1981). Fennell's
V. qigas was lost for many years. Recovered in the early 1980s (Fennell,
p.c. 1984), it may yet be used in breeding new varieties. Simpson's grape
has been used to a limited extent in the Leesburg program (Mortensen, p.c.
1984).
The main contribution of the Florida mission grapes has been
ideographic. Their very existence and functional utility has been
responsible for the widespread adoption of adaptive breeding, both as a
dynamic grassroots tradition and as a practical scientific approach to
viticultural adaptation. Although Floridian grape cultivars have been
disseminated world-wide, few have proven adapted outside the narrow
latitudinal limits of the peninsula. However, as will be appreciated more
fully in the following chapters, Florida has played a key role in the
stimulus diffusion of adaptive hybridization to the New World tropics.
Nonetheless, the process has been hindered by the lack of adaptedness of
Florida cultivars to relatively short tropical daylengths.
Notes
1. These researchers have demonstrated that geographical and
archaeological series of grape seeds can be used to detect origin
and diffusion of somatic traits reflecting intra and interspecific
hybridization (See also: Olmo, 1942; NegrUl, 1957).
2. Subsequently, a second corridor was extended westward across the
peninsula, incorporating the peoples of Timucua and Apalache. At
its height the Spanish mission sphere embraced some forty principal
village communities (Gannon, 1965).


146
Figure 7. Isabela: Mean monthly rainfall in millimeters.
Source: U.S. Weather Bureau, 1965.
Figure 8. Aibonito: Mean monthly rainfall in millimeters.
Source: U.S. Weather Bureau, 1965.
C OO


169
Dunstan, R. T., 1962a, "Some fertile hybrids of bunch and muscadine
grapes," Journal of Heredity, vol. 53 (6), pp.299-303, and
corrigendum, 1963, vol. 54, p. 25.
Dunstan, R. T., 1962b, "Vinifera type grapes for the East," Fruit
Varieties and Horticultural Digest, vol. 17 (1), pp. 6-8.
Edwards, G. R., 1987, "Producing temperate-zone fruit at low latitudes:
Avoiding rest and the chilling requirement," HortScience, vol. 22
(6), pp. 1236-1240.
Eguiraun, J., 1945, Ensayos de Viticultura en los Climas Clidos.
Ministerio de Agricultura y Cria, Caracas, Venezuela.
Engelmann, G., 1883, "The true grape-vines of the United States," in
Bushberg Catalogue, Bush & Son and Meissner, St. Louis, Missouri.
Fairbanks, C. H., 1952, "Creek and pre-Creek," in J. B. Griffin (ed.),
Archaeology of the Eastern United States, University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, Illinois, pp. 285-300.
Fennell, J. L., 1940, "Two new North American species of Vitis," Journal,
Washington Academy of Sciences, vol. 30, pp. 15-19.
Fennell, J. L., 1941, "Future 'ideal' grape," Journal of Heredity, vol.
32, pp. 193-197.
Fennell, J. L., 1944-45, "La uva tropical (I & II)," La Hacienda, vol. 39
(12) and vol. 40 (1), pp. 10-12.
Fennell, J. L., 1945, "The tropical grape," Science Monthly, vol. 61, pp.
465-468.
Fennell, J. L., 1947, "Un 'acelerador' para mejorar los cultivos de las
zonas templadas," La Hacienda, vol. 42 (2), pp. 41-42.
Fennell, J. L., 1948, "Temperate-zone plants in the tropics," Economic
Botany, vol. 2, pp. 92-99.
Fernndez, V., 1986, "Primeros pasos de un vino isleo," El Nuevo Dia.
(Puerto Rico) 9/9/86, pp. 38-39.
Flohn, H., 1973, C1imate and Weather, World University Library, London.
Fondo de Desarrollo Frutcola (F0NDEFRU), 1975, Segundo Simposio sobre la
Produccin e Industrializacin de la Uva en Venezuela, vol. I,
Caracas, Venezuela.
Ford, R. I., 1981, "Gardening and farming before AD 1,000: Patterns of
prehistoric cultivation north of Mexico," Journal of Ethnobiology.
vol. 1 (1), pp. 6-27.


24
Some horticulturists say that all trees are susceptible to talkih
or fecundation, by which means they yield very good fruit, and these
drop off less, and so it is said that all trees being male or
female, the latter are fecundated by the former. (Ibn Al-Awwam, 12th
century: p. 291)
Talkih. he explains, is the dusting of flowers on a female date palm with
"seminal dust" (pollen) from a male date palm.(7)
When the New World was colonized, Spanish agriculturists were well
aware that many orchard crops need cross pollination, and that some are
dioecious (separately sexed) like the date palm (Herrera, 1513).(8) All
species of grapes are largely dioecious in the truly wild state (Levadoux,
1956). While selection has made functional hermaphroditism the prevalent
condition in cultivated grapes, exceptional female cultivars have been
handed down through the centuries. Such is the Ohanez of Almeria, a
traditional Andalusian export grape which is artificially pollinated in
the same manner as date palms (Rueda-Ferrer, 1953).
Herrera advocated interplanting a few males in orchards of female
cultivars. Attributing fecundity to male "odor" (pollen?) and "heat"
(Herrera, 1513: p. 113), he alternatively proposed grafting female scions
on male rootstocks. Both practices enhance the possibility of
interspecific hybridization. Spanish horticulturists were presumably
aware of this. It is implicit in Herrera's praise of grafting:
With [grafting] more than any other craft wild trees become
domesticated, the sterile become fertile, the good much better.
[Grafting] is the cause for there to be each day new kinds of fruits
which did not exist anciently, nor were created at the beginning of
the world. So much so, that there are scarcely less trees invented
than natural, as from two species of animals a third is engendered
that is very different. (Herrera, 1513: p. 120).(9)
Grafting has long been appreciated as a means for quickly
establishing productive vineyards in newly colonized lands. The basic


152
6. The grapevine collection has been a major attraction for visitors
to the Fortuna substation, which also features collections of
mangoes and other tropical fruit trees. Perhaps because "grapes are
not expected to do well in the tropical climate of Puerto Rico,"
(Singh et al.,: p.2) the authors cautioned in the following note:
"The information presented in this report is not complete.
Therefore, on its basis no recommendations can be given to the
farmers. The copies of the report are supplied only to a small
number of technically trained personnel who are extending
cooperation or are otherwise closely concerned with this work."
(Singh et al., 1967: Hard cover title page)
The report has since been circulated widely, and is readily
available as a publication of the UPR-RUM AES.
7. Despite a suggestive name, Exotic is a purely V. vinifera selection
from the 1947 cross of Flame Tokay x Ribier. It originated in
Fresno, California, created by E. Snyder and F. Harmon, and was
introduced in 1958 (C. J. Alley, p.c. 1962).
8. Such marginal differences may be due to the use of rootstocks in
Venezuela versus own rooted plants in Fortuna, or to possible clonal
differences. Latitude is apparently less important in these
relatively short-day tolerant V. vinifera cultivars than in Florida
hybrids. Only the "long day" cycle is considered for Fortuna.
9. Tamiami was selected by Fennell in the near-tropical environment of
Dade County, Florida in 1943, from the hybridization of his No. 6
x Muscat of Malaga. Number 6 was a seedling of Sable, a supposed
natural hybrid of V. shuttleworthi and V. rufotomentosa (Fennell,
p.c. 1982; Brooks and Olmo, 1957).
10. At both Fortuna and Leesburg the same varieties were planted in
1960-61 on their own roots.
11. T. Singh retired in 1981.
12. Apparently, although flowering initials or primordials have been
formed in the bud, these abort and develop into tendrils under
daylengths much shorter than twelve hours.
13. Grapes were being delivered to the Pilot Plant either too "green"
(to evade rotting) or beginning to rot (whether or not fully ripe).
The crop was being crushed, stems and all, adding bitter herbaceous
flavors to the must. Among other things, Debandi advised removing
stems prior to crushing, girdling to promote even ripening, and
monitoring sugar content of the unpicked grapes to determine optimal
date for harvesting.


155
30. Carolina Blackrose is a magnificent V. vinifera phenotype table
grape with large clusters of large, oval berries on a vine adapted
to hot-humid conditions. It is Dunstan's masterpiece, a combination
of California Blackrose (Damas Rose x Black Monukka by Ribier) by
Dunstan 56 (Chaouch x SV 12.375). See Dunstan, 1962.
31. Puerto Rico Law 763 of July 23, 1974, as amended, provides for state
government underwriting of meritorious application for United States
Patent in exchange for 25% of royalties and benefits to be obtained.
Requests are channelled through an official Patent Committee
presided over by the Industrial Services Director of the PR Economic
Development Administration. The Director of the UPR Agricultural
Experiment Station is a member ex-officio of the committee. The
committee is charged with evaluating the originality of an invention
or discovery including new cultivars of plants that can be reliably
cloned, that is, propagated by asexual means, and also, its utility
in terms of the public interest.
32. Inadequate vinification resulted in a "stuck" fermentation and
spoilage of the must of Idy (Valpiatinta) in the Pilot Plant trial
(Murphy and Torres, 1981).
33. Letters to that effect were received from the spokesperson for the
Patent Committee, dated 6/18/81, 9/16/81, 12/29/81, 1782, and
4/17/86.
34.A proposed region may comprise several potential Bureau of Alcohol
Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) designated viticultural areas, each
distinctive in geographical features other than regional climate.
These might include microtopoclimate, soils, elevation and
landscape. Under Title 27, CFR Parts 4.25, 9.2 and 9.3, BATF may
approve viticultural areas and "appellations of origin" for wines
from such areas in Puerto Rico.


138
selected in part on that trait from 20 seedlings surviving out of 1,250
seeds, in Aibonito.
Carlos Badillo (27) represents the second generation of a breeding
line which has currently (1990) reached its fifth generation. The only
release has been W75A-5, Valplatea Plata: (IAC 405-6 x Carlos Badillo).
Similar in foliage to the latter, it is a vigorous, self-fertile
everbearing vine producing medium (10 to 15 cm) conical, loose clusters
of medium (10mm) round golden-white berries with thin adherent skin and
sweet, juicy, neutral flavor pulp. Suitable for the home garden, it was
selected out of 13 seedlings resulting from 400 seeds, in La Plata, in
1978.
However, the most successful adaptive parent was obtained from
Brazil in 1969, apparently by mistake.(28) It is a female selection,
tentatively identified as IAC 823-47, which is: IAC 405-6 (Muscatel
Rosada Argentina, a vinifera x V_^ "smalliana" staminate) by IAC 570-2
()L "til iaefol ia" x Golden Queen, a Labruscana).(29) The IAC 823-47 was
almost lost when a distant relative whose home address was unknown helped
himself to the only two rooted cuttings, outstanding even in their gallon
containers, in my absence. Once recovered, the selection eventually
produced the three finest hybrids of the program to date. These are the
following.
W73B-3 (Laura), and W73B-4 (Georgina) are siblings from the
combination of IAC 823-47 x Dunstan 200 (Carolina B1 ackrose).(30) These
two seedlings survived a rigorous selection process that began with 1,000


59
In the so-called "squash and gourd" zone at Phillips Spring,
Missouri, uncarbonized grape seeds (preserved by saturation)
outnumbered seeds of the early cultigens by six to one (Kay et al.,
1980).
21. Early Woodland (ca 2,000 BP) grape seeds have been found in human
paleofeces from dry caves in Kentucky (Yarnell, 1969). The context
suggests they were ingested in preparation for death.
22. The ephemeral commercial success of several Munson hybrids in
central and west Florida led Charles Demko (of Altoona) to begin
breeding native peninsular grapes with American cultivars in 1927
(Mortensen, 1971).
23. The daylength shortening effect of tolda is enhanced by the location
of Turrialba. Nestled in the eastern piedmont of the Cordillera
Central, evening falls early in the rainy season as cumulo-nimbus
clouds pile against the mountains, thus "advancing" the westerly
setting of the sun.
24. This researcher observed in 1971 and subsequent visits to Campinas
that part of the Turrialba material in the IAC collection was
mislabeled. Two were species supposedly used by Fennell. He claims
(p.c. 1984) he never took V. gigas or V. smal1iana to Costa Rica.
25. An expedient that conveniently avoids the problem of origin of this
exceptional native clone with horticultural attributes.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Francisco Wat!ington-Linares was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania,
where he spent his childhood before moving to Puerto Rico.
Completing an adolescent career in scouting, he attained the rank
of Eagle, and acquired a lasting passion for maps.
After earning a B.A. cum laude in economics at the University of
Puerto Rico (UPR), he went on to graduate study in regional planning and
public administration at Harvard. After a subsequent year of research in
Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship, he wrote a thesis evaluating government
planning of the unique geographical combination of recreational and
touristic resources in northeastern Puerto Rico. He received the master's
degree in public administration in 1967.
Subsequently he turned to teaching, research and consulting in
urban, rural and regional planning and geography. Since the early 1970s
these professional interests have been subsumed in the counter-culture
"Aquarius Experiment Station," and a real estate development company,
"Quintas Al tipi ateas, Inc."
He has two children.
184


128
basic issue of comparative performance would again be glossed over. Only
one type of grape V. vinifera was to be evaluated, and only one rootstock
variety. This raises obvious questions. Are California (i.e., European
type) wine grapes the only option that should be evaluated at the present
incipient stage of the industry? Should rootstock evaluation be limited
to a single choice? Why not, at least, compare the subtropical Lake
Emerald with the readily available Criolla Negra that the local grower
Gilormini has been using and promoting for years?(24)
By mid 1990 five acres of Lake Emerald had been planted and were
ready to be grafted with the proposed wine scions. Beyond the varietal
evaluation, a stated purpose of the project is to determine whether
techniques from traditional viticultural areas (i.e., California) are
applicable in Puerto Rico. This equivalent of reinventing the wheel again
sidesteps the real issue. If it is a question of technology transfer,
would it not be more appropriate to send technicians to Venezuela for
training?
Adaptive Grape Breeding
Adaptive grape breeding has been practiced by this researcher in
Puerto Rico since 1966. The avocation developed in consequence of a visit
to Brazil in 1960-61 as a Ful bright student concerned with the prudent
management of environmental resources. The researcher was much impressed
with the horticultural landscape of the tropical highland or pi anal to just
north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The highway through the hinterland of


CHAPTERS
5 TOWARD ADAPTIVE SYNTHESIS: PUERTO RICO 98
A History of Trials 100
Adaptive Grape Breeding 128
A Viticultural Prospectus 143
Notes 151
6 CONCLUSION 156
Notes 161
REFERENCES 163
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 184
vi


76
at the 100 mm (approximately 4 inches) level, indicating the critical
threshold at which development of the V. vinifera fruiting cycle becomes
hazardous. Curiously, this empirical rule of thumb had been independently
arrived at by this researcher after many years of geographical
observations in Puerto Rico (See Chapter 5).
Vargas was careful to prequalify his eight prospective zones "with
viticultural vocation" according to the following criteria:
1. Mean annual rainfall not over 650 mm [25.6 in.];
2. Elevation not over 662 m ASL;
3. Dry periods of no less than four months duration;
4. Zones without limitations for grape cultivation.
(Vargas, 1978: p. 8).
Essentially, he is offering an empirical description of proven locations
within the state of Lara. However, his modification of Branas' HI is
innovative. He assumes that in the tropics pruning is equivalent to the
high latitude 10C (50F) growing temperature baseline from which
effective heat (i.e., insolation) is accumulated.
The Vargas thesis proceeds as follows. HI formula data was
tabulated monthly for each zone, and two starting (pruning) dates assumed,
the premise being that two crops could be accommodated per year. In each
case, the first of December was chosen to initiate the first cycle. The
second cycle was initiated the first day of July in half of the locations
(the easternmost), and the first day of June in the other half (the
westernmost). The start of the cycles correlates in some locations with
the last month of a rainy season, and in others with the first dry month
thereafter. The end of the cycles coincides in every case with the end
of a dry period, April after pruning in December; September, October, or
November after pruning in June or July.


103
It can only be conjectured that the native grape was being considered for
possible use as a rootstock, and perhaps for a future breeding project.
In 1924 the first serious attempt to initiate adaptive grape
breeding in Puerto Rico (anteceding Fennell's project by over a decade)
was announced by the competing state experiment station in Rio Piedras
(Griffith, 1924). Apparently the U.S. Department of Agriculture assigned
geneticist J. P. Griffith to the Insular Experiment Station, in Rio
Piedras, a humid inland suburb (Figure 6) of the capital, San Juan, on
the north coast. In the article which publicized the mission, Griffith
outlined his plans:
At present we are pursuing the following objectives:
1. Determine the varieties most adaptable to the conditions of
Puerto Rico.
2. Produce adequate varieties by means of hybridization.
3. Evaluate the native grape (Vitis caribaea) as material to work
with other types of grapes from the United States and Europe.
Our native grape (Vitis caribaea or V. til iaefolia) which grows wild
along roadsides in different places of the Central Highway between
Cayey and Guayama (4) will be the foundation of the hybrid grape.
(Griffith, 1924: p. 402)
The Griffith article indicates that he had been influenced by the
pioneer work of T. V. Munson (1909) whose Texan V. 1incecumi hybrids had
made possible the short lived Florida grape boom of the 1920s, then at its
peak (Mortensen, 1978). According to the article, Griffith had planted
a number of Munson's hybrids in Rio Piedras and Cayey in the subhumid
east-central highlands. He also introduced several muscadines (V.
rotundifolia), as well as European selections for breeding purposes.
Interestingly, Griffith thought the south coast to be the most
suitable region for viticulture, comparing it with raisin growing


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Even the best of our agricultural textbooks are right and
valid only for a given set of circumstances; that they fail to make
this explicit, and so convey an air of general validity, is a most
grievous defect.
How does the soil-yield change with latitude, assuming that
soil is everywhere of the same quality, with the same humus content?
(J. H. von Thunen, 1826/1966: pp. 277-278)
In the Caribbean basin there is need for higher income agri
industrial crops such as grapes, which do well under permanent minimal
tillage cultivation even on degraded hilly terrain (Olmo, 1979). Grape
growing could provide supplementary income for many families that subsist
in marginal rural situations and depend on irregular low-wage jobs in
urban-centered economies (Lewis and Thiele, 1979).
Traditional adaptational practices in viticulture have been
repeatedly introduced to European settlements of the Caribbean basin along
with Old World grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). Geo-environmental
latitudinal differences, that will be explained in due course, have
favored the development of alternative approaches to viticultural
adaptation, namely, adaptive hybridization in Florida and adaptive pruning
in Venezuela. The search for locations that optimize exposure to sunlight
(insolation) has been, perhaps, the most universal practice in the search
for optimal locations. The empirical adaptive'techniques evolving in
different areas have not been previously analyzed as a coherent system
1


142
Val pi at inta has been under observation at the Central Florida
Agricultural Research Center in Leesburg since 1984. In Leesburg the
selection has proved resistant to frost, the endemic Pearce's disease,
anthracnose, bitter rot and the mildews (Mortensen, p.c. 1990). The fruit
has held up well in hot-humid weather, and juice color has shown
exceptional resistance to browning (oxidation). It is now being
propagated on appropriate rootstocks for winemaking trials.
The request for patent application assistance for Valplatinta and
Laura, filed in early 1981, came to a standstill later that year and
remained bogged for the rest of the decade because of a bureaucratic
impasse. The Patent Committee alleged it could not take action without
a recommendation by the state experiment station (UPR-RUM AES). The
director of the station is an ex-officio member of the committee. The
experiment station insisted that it could not comply without evaluating
the new varieties, and further claimed an evaluation was not possible
because it lacked resources for that purpose.(33)
In mid July 1990, the petition for evaluation of Valplatinta was
renewed in view of the incipient development of a project for submitting
several non-tropical selections to precisely the kind of comprehensive
evaluation (agronomical and enological) being requested. (Planta Piloto
de Ron, 1987). In late August of 1990 the preapplication for patent
processing was approved for Valplatinta by the Patent Committee in a
precedent establishing decision that obviates need for evaluation by the
UPR-RUM AES (J. Torres, p.c. 8/90). Shortly thereafter, a preliminary
agreement was independently reached with the UPR-AES for a full agronomic
and enologic evaluation of the new variety at Fortuna.


92
winegrapes (11), it is found in dooryard gardens and homestead vineyards
throughout the semiarid zones. It is especially common around El Tocuyo,
the 16th century heartland capital (Guevara and Guevara, 1983), from where
it appears to have diffused, following corridors of early colonial
settlement. (12)
Other creole cultivars may have originated as seedlings of Criolla
Negra. Olmo (1968) drew attention to one such selection which had been
found in Villanueva, a hamlet at the base of the piedmont near El Tocuyo.
It is a large cluster, white fruited variety with simultaneously high
sugar and acid content. The combination is ideal for wine making, indeed
the variety has proved to be the best general purpose wine grape for
Venezuelan conditions (FONDEFRU, 1975; Tortolero, 1987; Araujo, 1988).
In the 1950s the Tucupita, a large fruited purple table grape with hybrid
rusticity, was taken by mission priests from its unlikely place of origin,
a town by that name on the Orinoco delta, to the Baragua-Siquisique area
of northern Lara, where it has become an important crop in recent years
(Vargas, p.c. 1989). A similar variety from La Victoria (Aragua) was
successfully commercialized in the 1930s at Humocaro Bajo (Lara) by the
viticultural pioneer Fortunato Gil (Olmo, 1968).
Olmo (Ibid.) made a search for the native species V. caribaea. of
which he found scattered remnants at the head of piedmont valleys that had
been cleared for pasture, south of El Tocuyo. He expressed concern that
so little was known about its ecology, and that it was being obliterated
over much of the former range by fire and grazing. Olmo suggested the
tropical grape be studied in detail, and observed that at least one grower


69
under environmental stress. When atmospheric moisture approaches the dew
point, all parts of the actively growing grapevine are subject to
infestation by various fungus maladies.
Mildews, for example, attack the leaves, progressively defoliating
and weakening the vine. However, damage can usually be allayed by timely
spraying with fungicides. Equally susceptible, and rather more difficult
to protect, are the fruiting clusters which are especially vulnerable
during flowering and fruit set, and again during ripening.(2)
Consequently, deciding when to prune requires detailed knowledge of local
seasonal rainfall patterns and of the phenology of the varieties that are
cultivated. The study of both subjects has become a central concern of
adaptive viticulture in Venezuela.
Overall, there are two major seasonal patterns of rainfall
distribution in Venezuela (Guevara-Diaz, Ibid.). A unimodal pattern with
maxima in June, July or August prevails in most of the country. Toward
the Andes in the west the pattern becomes bimodal with maxima in April or
May and in October. However, oceanic and topographic influences result
in intricate transitional and local patterns. In general, it is drier in
the coastal zone and inland rain shadow valleys, and wetter in the
northeast and higher elevations to the south and west.
In the first Venezuelan pruning manual, Eguiraun observed "an
incomplete recess" in grapevine vegetative activity during December and
January in some areas, and a "slight recess" in July and August, "as if
there were two vegetative cycles in a year" (Eguiraun, 1945: p. 6). He
then theorized that vine repose could be obtained either with low
temperatures or by withholding water, as was done in Belgian hothouses for


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
Cesar iL-Caviedes, Chairman
Professor of Geography
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
Robert B. Marcus
Professor of Geography, Emeritus
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
2,
J&fnes A. Henry
Associate Professor of Geogr
phy
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy.
Jeyald T. Milanich
Professor of Anthropology
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Geography in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and
to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 1990
Dean, Graduate School


143
Enological data on Valplatinta is summarized in Table 8.
Table 8. Enological Characteristics of Valplatinta
Juice
Suqar
PH
Total Acid
(as Tartaric)
Alcohol
PP
19.2 g/100 ml
3.3
1.15%

RC
23 Brix

.93%

LF
18% sol ids
3.3
1.13%

Wine
PP
8 g/100 ml
4
*
00
10.05%
RC
5 g/100 ml

. 90%
12.95%
Source: Data obtained from: UPR-AES RUM Pilot Plant (PP), P.R.; Rama
Caida AES (RC), Argentina; Leesburg ARC, (LF) Florida.
*This unusually high value may be the result of acetification. See note
32.
A Viticultura! Prospectus
In conclusion, recent events suggest that a viable tropical
viticulture is emerging in Puerto Rico. Recognition of the integrative
approach proposed in the present dissertation would end a long history of
trial and error and provide a more effective basis for current and future
efforts. The new technology would combine traditional adaptive
techniques--pruning and hybridization--that have been independently
successful elsewhere, with a scientific understanding of the response of
grapevines to local latitudinal geographical conditions.


LIST OF TABLES
page
Table 1 Hontoon Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative
Measurements 43
Table 2 Simpson's Grape (Fla. 399) Seeds, Summary
of Comparative Measurements 44
Table 3 Fennell's Grape Seeds, Summary of Comparative
Measurements 45
Table 4 Vineyard Area in Venezuela, by State,
1969 and 1975 61
Table 5 Evaluation of Fertility Differences in Grape
Cultivars, by Semester (Merida, Venezuela:
latitude 830'N) 80
Table 6 Critical Maxima, Monthly Rainfall: El Tocuyo
(Lara), Venezuela, 1978-1988 89
Table 7 Puerto Rico: Mean Maximum and Minimum
Temperatures and Range, Selected Periods
and Stations 119
Table 8 Enological Characteristics of Val piatinta 143
Table 9 Puerto Rico: Mean Monthly Rainfall,
Selected Stations 145
vi i


120
of the rainy season (Velez-Colon, 1987). The ensuing second crop of the
Fortuna White was a total loss, attributed to mildew (Ibid.). The
following crop of early 1987 also failed, probably from the cumulative
weakening and decreasing bud fertility of the vines. Velez noted that
some of the other selections did better.
Ruby Cabernet was reported as somewhat tolerant to mildew and
promising for twice yearly cropping. However, the data shows that only
five vines were cropped in spring 1986, for a mean yield of 2 pounds per
vine. The fall 1986 yield per vine 2.7 pounds and the spring 1987 yield
of 3.7 pounds are both based on ten vines, only half of which were double
cropped (Ibid., p. 20). A plot of 28 young vines of S92-49 (the same
selection that gave close to 30 pounds per vine for Singh) produced an
average 6.8 pounds per vine in spring 1986 and only 1.2 pounds per vine
that fall. For whatever reason, the double cropping "experiment" was
quietly discontinued after spring 1987.
Additional information emerges from the early evaluation by Olmo.
The consultant revealed that damage from herbicide application and a
poorly drained location was responsible for decimation of the recently
planted California collection (Olmo, 1986). He recommended the use of
vigorous tropical hybrid rootstocks, such as Brazilian selections, and
concluded that:
It seems feasible with the present development to expand
trials of new and promising varieties of wine grapes imported from
abroad that would be better adapted to this tropical climate.
Hybrids of the native wild Caribbean grape Vitis tiliafolia
(caribaea) to introduce disease and insect resistance are of primary
importance. (Olmo, 1986: p.3)


123
been extended an average of fifteen days (Ibid.). Olmo (1986) recommended
trials to find early maturing selections. On the other hand, very long
cycle (5 months) varieties would be congruous with pruning in mid to late
June so as to have flowering during the relatively dry veranillo (little
summer) of July-August, fruit development during the rainy season, and
ripening at the beginning of drier, cooler weather in November-December.
Hybrids would, of course, best resist defoliation during the rainy period.
The inception of November pruning in Fortuna may have been inspired
by a private project established in another semiarid south coast location.
In 1981 Juan Andreu, a successful Spanish hotelier, traversed the Puerto
Rican countryside in search of an ideal site to fulfill the dream of
establishing a vineyard. Unsurprisingly, he settled in a landscape that
reminded him of his native Valencia. An enologist by profession, his
previous knowledge of viticulture seems to have been peripheral at best.
He was, however, acquainted with the Venezuelan model, which may have
influenced somewhat the poorly planned project on which he would squander
a small fortune in private funds and government loans.
In 1982-83 Andreu organized a company, Costa de Azahares (Coast of
Citrus Blossoms), the poetic toponym for the Mediterranean coast of his
homeland, and leased a government farm near Guanica, one of the
agricultural zones with the least rainfall on the island (Figure 6). In
midyear of 1983 fifteen acres of assorted table grapes from California
were planted under an overhead trellis, at an incredibly low density of
200 vines per acre (4m x 5m). Normal trellis densities in Zulia are from
two to over four time as great (Corzo, 1987).


CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSION
The lack of a comprehensive theory of adaptation has hampered the
development of viticulture throughout the Caribbean tropics. The
essential conclusion of this dissertation is that effective daylength, a
geographical variable, must be regarded as the principal parameter in
terms of which traditional adaptive techniques are to be managed and
improved. The three major techniques, namely, 1) adaptive insolation
optimization, 2) adaptive pruning, and 3) adaptive hybridization, can be
combined in an integrated technological package that would enable tropical
countries with appropriate climatic regions to achieve fully adapted
viticultura! industries that are comparatively cost-efficient and
competitive in the emerging world-wide economic order.
In the light of what is known about the interaction of grape
phenology with latitudinal daylength and seasonal weather in the tropics,
inter- and intra-regional optimization of insolation can be improved upon
considerably as a locational criterion. The increasingly sophisticated
environmental information obtained through remote sensing should
contribute toward that end. Moreover, alternative calendars of pruning
can be designed and compared experimentally. Likewise, adaptive breeding
can clearly define objectives in consideration of how seasonal weather and
grapevine phenology interact with changing daylength at specific
156


8
evolution of adaptive viticulture, and also an opportunity for the direct
study of archaeological and living grape seeds and grape vines as
artifacts of material culture. In addition, the researcher was able to
improve his skills in the use of interviewing techniques as research
sources and the recording of oral history.
Taped and untaped interviews with the pioneers of adaptive grape
breeding in Florida, with members of the Florida Grape Growers Association
and the North American Grape Breeders Conference, became important sources
of information on adaptive strategies. In addition, direct observation
of viticultural techniques were made in a number of Florida vineyards and
the native cultivars and wild grapes surveyed in much of the state,
including the extensive collection in the Leesburg Agricultural Research
and Education Center. Grape seeds were obtained from various herbaria
(see Chapter 3) as well as directly from the field.
Comprehensive field work that utilized various of the above
mentioned approaches of information gathering was conducted during two
visits to Venezuela, in April of 1988 (to the Tropical Viticulture
Development Center, near Maracaibo), and in November of 1989 (to the Grape
Institute, near Barquisimeto). Each visit was for a period of a week.
Similar field work has been realized in Puerto Rico, on a continuing
basis, from 1985 to the present.
Years earlier, before engaging in doctoral studies, periodic visits
were made to viticultural research centers in Brazil: in 1967 to the
Agronomic Institute in Campinas (Sao Paulo) and the School of Viticulture
and Enology in Bento Gongalves (Rio Grande do Sul). Likewise, the
researcher participated in 1971 in the first congress of the Brazilian


CHAPTER 4
ADAPTIVE PRUNING IN VENEZUELA:
EVOLUTION OF A PARADIGM
Venezuela provides a still unfolding epitome of a modern tropical
viticulture that is emerging from the largely empirical development of
traditional adaptive techniques. Although there are elements of
historical continuity from the early colonial period, it is largely a
recent phenomenon, arising from the geographic interface of diverse
cultural and geo-environmental factors during the latter part of the 20th
century. The process has generated a modest fund of documentary data and
direct sources of first-hand testimony that make possible the following
examination. Most of the information for this chapter was obtained in the
course of two visits to Venezuela, in April 1988 and in November 1989.
Before World War II grapevines were grown sporadically in gardens
and small vineyards throughout much of Venezuela between latitudes 8N and
12N (Eguiraun, 1945; Araque, 1969). After the war, a wave of immigrants
from Mediterranean Europe sparked an upsurge in planting and in public
interest concerning the possibility of viticulture as a viable agri
industrial enterprise. In 1961, the first agricultural census to feature
grapes recorded only 4.75 hectares (MAC, 1970). Although probably
underreported, the figure is in stark contrast with the roughly 300
hectares reported for 1969, eight years later (Ibid.).
By 1975, the number had doubled to 600 ha. However, the spectacular
growth of the 1960s and 1970s was not distributed evenly among all the
60


17
Figure 1. Transit of daylength at selected northern latitudes.
Source: Drawn by the author from data in the United States Naval
Observatory Air Almanac. 1960.


Table 2. Simpson's Grape (Fla. 399) Seeds, Summary of Comparative Measurements (mm)
Category
Sample
Mean
Length
Mean
Width
Mean
Thickness
L/W
L/T
x/W
chaiaza
L/W
Largest (longest)
(6.6-6.9)
ft
9
18.36
6.74
4.74
3.58
1.42
1.87
1.28
1.22
Large (long)
(6.42-6.55)
12
24.48
6.49
4.65
3.50
1.39
1.85
1.28
1.26
Small Large
(6.30-6.40)
8
16.32
6.36
4.70
3.41
1.35
1.86
1.28
1.28
All Larqe
29
59.18
6.53
4.70
3.50
1.38
1.86
1.28
1.25
Small Medium
(6.10-6.27)
14
28.57
6.20
4.59
3.40
1.35
1.82
1.35
1.22
Small (length)
(5.4-5.9)
6
12.24
5.78
4.63
3.64
1.25
1.58
1.37
1.15
All Seeds
49
100.00
6.34
4.65
3.48
1.36
1.81
1.31
1.22
Source: Direct measurements by Lee A. Newsom (1985), Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville, with "Manostat" dial type 6921 caliper. Classification, means and
ratios by the author.


160
Sousa, 1969). Vinifera table grapes, mainly "Italia," are grown in the
semiarid Sao Francisco Valley (ca. latitude 10S) and in northern Sao
Paulo (latitude 20S), largely for export to Europe (Pires et al., 1986).
Although cultivar adaptation is far from satisfactory, diseconomies are
apparently subsidized by low wages and cheap land.
Since the subtropical states of southern Brazil and marginal Sao
Paulo have wel 1-established viticultural enterprises, it is not surprising
that the pioneer adaptive grape breeding work in Campinas has languished
since the retirement of Santos-Neto in the early 1970s. To this
researcher's knowledge, his work has not been followed up in the more
truly tropical states of the northeast.
Other South American areas that are tropical by latitudinal location
have anomalous subtropical climates, and thriving viticultures based on
short-daylength-tolerant V. vinifera cultivars. Such is the case of the
Andean countries of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, where grapes are grown
under semiarid conditions either at higher elevations (over 1,500 m) or
at somewhat lower altitudes near the coast (Winkler, 1962), where the
Humboldt current maintains a relatively cool as well as dry regime
(Caviedes, 1981 a, b).
In lea, Peru (latitude 14S) vines are pruned for production and
irrigated in September, with bud burst occurring during the spring equinox
(Max Rives, p.c. 1987). At harvest in February irrigation is suspended
and leaves are allowed to drop in March-May. When the vines are more or
less defoliated, they are irrigated to promote secondary growth for
replenishing nutrient reserves. The vines will, nonetheless, defoliate


112
of a progeny of 230 vines from seeds of unknown parentage received from
Palmira, Colombia and planted in 1956.
Singh, a plant breeder, received the material from his former
professor, H. P. Olmo, in 1961. It has never, to this researcher's
knowledge, been used in grape breeding in Fortuna or elsewhere. Indeed,
the lack of a minimal genealogy, or desirable fruit traits, make the
selections practically worthless for such purpose. Regardless, both
numbers have been preserved faithfully for three decades, along with the
rest of Singh's col lection.(11) Irrespectively, no grape breeding project
has ever been attempted at the Fortuna substation or any other
agricultural research center of the University of Puerto Rico.
Some useful conclusions can be derived from the Singh report.
Despite the attractive large size of Exotic and Ribier as table grapes,
productivity and distinctive flavor were attributes that made the Florida
hybrids likewise commendable as table fruit, regardless of their smaller
size. Alternative uses to which the hybrids are much better suited, such
as juice products, wines and preserves, were not considered, despite the
obvious possibilities, and the fact that those are recommended uses in
Florida (Bates, et al., 1980).
Since the superior adaptedness of the Florida selections was
ignored, it would seem that the report intentionally avoided conveying any
message regarding the comparative economics of the selected varieties.
Because total yields per se were glossed over, the superior productivity
of the hybrid varieties was obscured.
It would seem likely, also, that the substantial difference in fruit
yields of the Florida hybrids between Leesburg and Fortuna is due in large


85
that heliothermic values were moderately low, that is, with diurnal
temperatures not so high as to undo metabolic synthesis and accumulation
of qualitative components of wine must.
Vargas clinched his argument with the observation that temperatures
in the viticultural areas of Lara rarely rise above 28C (ca. 83F) during
the day. At night the mean is always close to 19C (66.5F), a
difference, on average, of 9C (16.36F). Such optimal conditions for
development of a balanced sugar to acid ratio (Kliewer, 1981) were
compared "rhetorically" (i.e., without empirical data) with those of
unnamed areas where constantly high day and night temperatures cancel
metabolic gains through excessive respiration. Thus, both synthesis of
color and aromatics and their accumulation in the grapes are adversely
affected (Kliewer, 1968; Buttrose et al., 1971, and with specific
reference to Zulia, van Balen, 1987).
Shortly thereafter, Vargas' proposal found a sponsor. Polar, the
major Venezuelan brewery, and Martel, the great Bordeaux winery, organized
a winemaking joint venture for Lara. Vargas took leave of absence from
the Institute to undertake a research and demonstration project for a
Master of Science degree, under auspices of the incipient enterprise
(Vargas p.c., 1989). By late 1989 Vargas was completing the draft of his
thesis while on the job as general manager of Bodegas Pomar, C.A. in the
central Lara town of Carora. The recently completed $1 million plus
winery was preparing its first vintage for market.
One hundred hectares of choice French and Spanish wine grape
varieties grafted on Criolla Negra had recently begun production in the
firm's vineyard at nearby Altagracia. The viticultural and oenological


70
producing out of season table grapes. The problem in Venezuela, he
concluded, was to find varieties and pruning techniques that would yield
a crop within dry periods.
However, Eguiraun made no specific recommendation concerning when
to prune. Possibly he was constrained by his acceptance of the
theoretical need for a rest period by either chilling or drought. He did
not perceive the slowdown in vegetation as a response to shorter
daylength, both during the drier and cooler winter solstitial period and
again during the cloud covered summer rainfall climax. Apparently
attributing growth recesses to the lower temperatures that accompany the
increase in cloudiness, he rather expressed concern over the heat
summation required to complete the crop cycle.
Eguiraun carried out much of his work as a government horticulturist
in a coastal highland experiment station near Caracas (ca. 900 m ASL)
during the late 1930s and early 1940s. At the time many growers still
accepted temperate climate verities concerning the putative requirement
of cool weather. It is said that modern viticulture in Venezuela began
in 1938 when a home grown practitioner, Fortunato Gil, gave up trying to
grow grapes in the cool highland of Humocaro Alto (Lara) and established
a prize winning vineyard in the semiarid piedmont valley of Humocaro Bajo
(Araque, 1969; Vargas, p.c. 1989).
At any rate, in the early years the decision of when to prune
appears to have been highly subjective, based on each grower's
understanding of grapevine interaction with the local climate (Olmo,
1968). By the late 1960s regional patterns began to emerge. Araque
(1969) reported that in Zulia there were two pruning periods, one in


of the Leesburg, Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center.
Their comments and suggestions are much appreciated.
Much of the information for Chapter 4 was obtained through the
cooperation of the "Instituto de la Uva" (Lara), and the "Centro de
Viticultura Tropical" (Zulia). Special thanks are due Pastor Petit,
Guillermo Vargas, Damaso Bautista, Eliezer Tortolero, Francisco Araujo and
Pedro Corzo, among others.
Chapter 5 was brought to a happy conclusion due in good measure to
the timely assistance of Dr. Amador Belardo and Dr. Angel Cruz-Baez of the
University of Puerto Rico.
My sincere appreciation is extended also to Ms. Desired Robinett,
who conscientiously processed the manuscript through the final finishing
stages.
At last, I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Matthews, who got me to
follow the course of Ponce de Leon, and to Dr. Gordon Lewis, both former
directors of the Institute of Caribbean Studies of the University of
Puerto Rico. Dr. Lewis was unfailing in his endorsement of this project.
Finally, without the support of my parents at critical junctures
this dissertation would not have come to fruition.


68
The crucial question of when to prune arises because of the
demanding climatic requisites of V. vinifera grapevines. Having evolved
originally in the arid Middle East (See Chapter 2), the cultigen generally
requires a very dry growing season, uninterrupted by rain or high
humidity. Ideal conditions are rarely encountered, even in its European
range, where its perimeter has shifted unceasingly over the centuries.
Nonetheless, in the Mediterranean basin a virtually rainless growing
season is more or less assured (Critchfield, 1974). Not so in the
seemingly dry environments of the Venezuelan tropics. According to
Guevara-Diaz (1985), the viticultural areas of Zulia and Lara (Figure 3)
as well as a promising development in the eastern state of Anzoategui, are
in regions climatically typified as "semiarid," or "BS" in Kbppen's
classification. Tropical semiarid climates are characterized by
relatively high levels of insolation, hence high diurnal temperatures, and
evapotranspiration in excess over precipitation. Rainfall can be very
erratic, so that annual averages are of little help in delimiting
viticultural zones.
Moreover, relatively high levels of atmospheric humidity prevail.
In the semiarid areas mean relative humidity ranges from 70% to 76%
(Guevara-Diaz, ibid.). (1) Only the widespread incidence of the trade
winds moderates diurnal temperature and keeps relative humidity around a
diurnal mean of 70% (Vargas, p.c. 1989). At night, when the traae wind
ceases and temperature drops, relative humidity in the semiarid regions
normally exceeds 80% (Vargas, Guevara-Diaz, idem.). Although there are
wide varietal differences in tolerance to atmospheric humidity within V.
vinifera, the better adapted are precariously susceptible to breakdown


Table 7. Puerto Rico: Mean Maximum and Minimum Temperatures and Range,
Selected Periods and Stations
Station
Jan-Feb
Mar-Apr
Jun-Jul
Aug-Sep
Nov-Dec
Isabela max.
83.15
85.05
87.95
88.65
85.35
min.
65.35
66.30
70.65
70.75
68.00
range.
17.80
18.75
17.30
17.90
17.35
(9.8)
(10.3)
(9.5)
(9.8)
(9.5)
Aibonito max.
73.45
76.95
80.50
80.90
75.95
mi n.
62.00
60.45
67.35
68.05
64.90
range.
11.45
16.50
13.15
12.85
11.10
(6.3)
(9.1)
(7.2)
(7.1)
(6.1)
Juana D. max.
87.40
88.50
90.85
90.85
88.60
(Fortuna)min.
65.45
66.70
71.70
71.70
68.05
range.
21.95
21.80
19.15
19.15
20.55
(12.1)
(12.0)
(10.5)
(10.5)
(11.3)
Vieques max.
84.55
86.15
89.25
89.70
86.55
nn n.
69.10
69.70
74.65
74.30
71.30
range.
15.45
16.45
14.60
15.40
15.25
(8.5)
(9.1)
(8.0)
(8.5)
(8.4)
Source: Derived from data in U.S. Weather Bureau, 1965.
Note: Temperature is in Fahrenheit, equivalent Celsius is in parenthesis. In general, maximum
temperatures are diurnal, minima are nocturnal. Periods indicated are relatively dry and most
desirable for critical phenological stages in grapes: flowering-fruit set, and veraison-ripening.


73
(Winkler, 1962: p. 106). Branas (1974) also was somewhat aware of
photoperiodicity in grapes. He noted that leaves became very large close
to the polar limits of cultivation, but were rather small in the
tropics.(3)
Regarding the HI, Branas had offered the caveat that in the lower
latitudes where ambient temperature is always above 10C the HI formula
"loses all meaning" (Branas, 1974: p. 351). Nonetheless, to the nascent
research establishment Hidalgo's well articulated positivist prescription
must have seemed at once pragmatic and authoritatively "scientific."
Despite its flaws, the HI would become the cornerstone of adaptive
viticulture strategy in Venezuela in the 1980s. The pruning calendar
would evolve accordingly, as the principal instrument to implement that
strategy.
Nineteen seventy five marks a watershed of institutionalization for
Venezuelan viticulture. Plans for research and development were being
drawn up and priorities established within a coalescing framework of
public and private organizations sharing the interest. Expert European
opinion corroborating Olmo's 1968 assessment and the Second Symposium
(1974) gave impetus to the process.
European consultants, Galet (1973), Hidalgo (1974), and Alleweldt
(1975), agreed on the priority of expanding the narrow cultivar base with
quarantined introduction of promising V. vinifera varieties. Hidalgo
thought that those varieties that did well in southern Europe would be
most likely to adapt. Galet suggested premium wine clones from France to
initiate diversification away from table grapes. All shared the long
standing officially sanctioned European aversion for North American


52
suggesting a link with shamanist activities. (20) They also appear to be
characteristic of certain mortuary contexts. (21)
Medico-religious uses of grapes have survived in our own society as
a legacy of ancient Mediterranean culture. For example, the special
symbolism of dried fruits, including raisined grapes, in the celebration
of seasonal events is common to the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religious
traditions. Fresh grapes, and raisins also, can be used in effecting a
dietary "grape cure," or cleansing of the digestive tract in ritual
preparation for fasting. Did American Indians have similar traditions
four thousand years ago? If so, the presence and spread of hybrid grape
seeds would mirror the diffusion of early religious beliefs in a way
analogous to the diffusion of wine and winegrowing in the prehistoric
Mediterranean world (Stanisiawski, 1975).
A Search for El Dorado
Florida has often been regarded a geographic corridor for biological
and cultural transferal between North America and the Caribbean tropics.
The subtropical native grapes of the peninsula, for example, because of
their adaptedness to hot and humid growing conditions, would be adapted
also, it has been reasoned, to similar conditions between the Tropics of
Cancer and Capricorn.
Modern adaptive grape breeding was emerging in Florida in 1935 (22)
when a visionary young botanist, Joseph Fennell, became enthralled by the
hybrid diversity and attractive cultivar-1ike traits of the native grapes
he found growing in apparently feral conditions in southern Florida. Like
Munson, whom he sought to emulate, Fennell collected horticulturally


9
Fruit Culture Society, held in Campinas, in which viticulture was an
important component. A charter member, the researcher attended subsequent
congresses in 1973 and 1976. In 1975 he visited the Leesburg and
Homestead ARECs, the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Sciences in
Turrialba, Costa Rica, site of early tropical grape breeding, and attended
the 33rd Congress of the American Society for Horticultural Science,
Tropical Region, in which he was also active for several years. The
following year at the 34th Congress he delivered a paper which heralded
the present dissertation (Watlington-Linares, 1976b). To conclude, the
researcher's long years of "fruitful" experience as an adaptive grape
breeder and experimental viticulturist in the tropics has given him the
knowledge necessary to integrate his sources of information effectively,
and to elaborate and articulate this dissertation.
The cumulative body of research comprised in this work is "grounded"
in the life experience of its protagonist. Consequently, the "design of
research" is to be understood in terms of the qualitative paradigm (Cook
and Reichardt, 1979). This dissertation is the outcome of a personal
inquiry that began as an avocational involvement with tropical viticulture
in the early 1960s, in Puerto Rico. In pursuit of a dream of independence
on a few acres, this researcher was belatedly caught up in the social and
political turmoil of the times. Isolated from active participation by
personal circumstances, he sought an opportunity to make a meaningful
contribution.
Breeding grapes for the tropics eventually became a major endeavor
within a "scientific" activism that gave expression to his multifarious
interests and commitment. By the early 1970s these had become inseparable


32
pomegranates and watermelons, all of them Old World fruit crops (Smith,
1956; Mason, 1963; Blake, 1981; Ford, 1981; Newsom, 1986; Reitz and
Scarry, 1985).
The Florida Mission Grapes
Grapevines from Spain were introduced to the Caribbean region with
Columbus' second voyage (1493) when a vineyard was planted on the island
of Hispaniola (Sauer, 1966). Viticulture followed Spanish colonization
throughout the New World. Vineyards were planted and in many cases
maintained against environmental odds to assure a regular supply of wine,
a cultural staple vital to the social solidarity of the conquistadors.
Moreover, documentary and material evidence supports the proposition that
the process of adaptive hybridization postulated for Old World viticulture
continued in the New World, specifically in early Hispanic Florida.
In Florida, hybrid grapes may have first appeared in settlements
established by Spanish colonists in the late 16th century. During that
period also, the seasonally migrant Guale Indians were sedentized in
mission controlled villages on the Atlantic coastal Sea Islands from the
northern Spanish outpost of Santa Elena to St. Augustine in the South
(Gannon, 1965).(2) Of necessity, Spanish and Indian crop systems became
integrated in a new, "mestizo," agricultural complex (Matter, 1973).
Excavation (South, 1980) has confirmed historical reports that the
first Spanish vineyard in Contact Florida was planted at Santa Elena, on
what is now Parris Island, South Carolina, in 1566 (Watl ington-Linares,
1983). The colony initially surpassed St. Augustine, until its
destruction in 1576 (Lyon, 1976). Although quickly rebuilt and


130
grounded in empirical trials, direct observational experience, and the
transfer of available technology. Early efforts were directed to the
evaluation of American species hybrids that seemed promising both as
potential interim cultivars and prospective parents. At the same time a
search began for the native wild grape V. caribaea and additional tropical
and subtropical material to provide adaptational germplasm.
The first accession, in early 1962, was clearly a tropical hybrid,
widely distributed in urban gardens around the island. There were a few
fine specimens at the Isabella UPR-RUM AES substation in the northwestern
coastal tableland, where leftover material from the original Fortuna
project had been sent. Suspected at first of being a survivor from the
Fennell collection, and tentatively dubbed "El Bejuco," it was eventually
recognized as identical with the Criolla Negra of Venezuela. There are
clues that the variety may have arrived with Venezuelan immigrants before
the turn of the century. Apparently, it has never been planted in
Fortuna.
Procurement of selections from the Fortuna substation encountered
stubborn bureaucratic resistance and was abandoned in 1963. However,
between 1962 and 1964 four trial collections were established, three in
suburban yards in the Rio Piedras (San Juan metro) area, the fourth on a
highland farm in Barrio Helechal of Barranquitas (650 m ASL), almost
equidistant from the north and south coasts (30 km and 25 km
respectively). Standard varieties and new experimental selections were
obtained readily from various state experiment stations, commercial
nurseries and private breeders outside the island. Within two years, a
continuously changing trial collection had evaluated, or was in the