Woody deciduous vines; tendrils simple or 2-branched. Leaves alternate, simple, palmately lobed to varying extents; stipules caducous. Inflorescences of usually slender, leaf-opposed panicles comprising few to many compact cymes. Flowers bisexual or unisexual (male), 5-merous; sepals united into a short skirt-like calyx; petals cohering apically and falling as a unit at anthesis; disc 5-lobed; stamens usually longer than sepals and petals; ovary 2-locular, adnate to disc, ovules 2 per cell; stigma simple, sessile. Berry usually 2–4-seeded (many cultivars seedless).
About 65 species from Asia, Europe and North America; 1 species weakly naturalised in Australia. In nature, most species of Vitis are dioecious, but commercially grown plants have hermaphrodite flowers.