Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, Central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are currently between 5,000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production.
It is a liana growing to 32 m (35 yd) in length, with flaky bark. The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long and broad. The fruit is a berry, known as a grape; in the wild species it is 6 mm (0.24 in) diameter and ripens dark purple to blackish with a pale wax bloom.
Use of grapes is known to date back to Neolithic times, following the discovery in 1996 of 7,000-year-old wine storage jars in present-day northern Iran.