Phylloxera, an insect from North America, was detected in France in 1868. Grape plants died rapidly and in huge numbers after the roots of vinifera grapevines were attacked by this insect..
The spreading of Phylloxera to most of the French and European vineyards was extremely rapid.

At the end of the second half of the 19th century, the majority of French and European vineyards had been hit by this plague. Vineyards disappeared leaving grape growers helpless and ruined. This became an economic and social crisis of catastrophic proportions, nationally and internationally and the future of the vineyard in Europe was at stake.

A great scientific effort was launched to find solutions, to which the founder of Richter grape nursery, Franz Richter, took part.
The scientists and grape growers discovered that the most economical way to control this plague was to graft French grape varieties (viniferas) over American vine species The American species continued to prosper in spite of the presence of Phylloxera.
Hybridizations of various American vine species with different aptitudes provided a number of rootstocks able to adapt to different sorts of climate and soils.

Most rootstocks used today are hybrids of the three vine species hereunder listed all of them tolerant of Phylloxera:

Vitis Rupestris

  • very vigorous
  • long vegetative cycle
  • some resistance to lime

Vitis Riparia


  • low vigor
  • short vegetatice cycle
  • no resistance to lime

Vitis Berlandieri

  • very vigorous
  • long vegetative cycle
  • excellent resistance to lime
  • very good resistance to drought




Characteristics of rootstocks

  IPC Résistance Vigor Observations
Acitve limestone Wettness Drought


6% low excellent high Tolerance is salty soils
Riparia Gloire 5 6% low low  low Qualitative, early maturation,good resistance to nematods
101-14 MG 10 9%  medium medium  medium Qualitative, early, good resistance to nematods
3309 C 10  11% medium  medium  medium  Qualitative, good resistance to soil acidity
Gravesac 20  12% medium medium  medium Steady production, excellent resistance to soil acidity
Rupestris du Lot 20 14%  medium good  very high  Vigorous 
R 99 20 14% medium  good  high   
R 110 30 17%  medium  excellent medium  Susceptible to Chlorosis,
especially with Syrah
1103 P 30 17%  medium  good very high  Tolerance in salty soils
SO4 30 20%  good  medium  good  Good adaptation with wet soils
5BB 40 20%  good  low  good  Can give good results in
wet soils
420 A 40 20%  good 


low  Low vigour rootstoch with
161-49 C 50 25%  low medium medium Susceptible to Thyllosis in very dry soils
Ru 140 90 20%  medium good  high  Very vigorous. Should not be planted in very rich soils.
41 B 60 40%  low  medium medium Slow down maturity.
Fercal 120 40%  moyenne  good  medium Good resistance to nematods, rootstock showing the best resistance to soils with lime.



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