Grapevine Genome Yields Secrets

Discovery reveals what makes wine taste good and why it's good for you
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2007 4:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Grapevines have extra genes that are responsible for making wine taste and smell so good, a new study finds. A team of researchers from France and Italy (where else?) mapped a pinot noir-related grapevine's genome and found it has twice as many genes linked to resin and oil—which give wine its "nose"—as regular plants do, McClatchy reports.

Other grapevine genes are responsible for synthesizing resveratrol, which is known to stall the aging process in plant and animal cells. The grapevine is the first fruit plant to get the full treatment from geneticists, who chose the wine grape "because of its important place in the cultural heritage of humanity," says the study's lead author.