Fercal
Name of vine variety in France (and common name)
Fercal
Breeder and year of obtention
Inra, 1959
Genetic origin
Based on genetic analyses carried out in Montpellier, this variety was derived from the crossbreeding of Berlandieri Colombard number 1 B (derived from the crossbreeding of Vitis berlandieri and Vitis vinifera cv. Ugni blanc B) and 31 Richter (derived from the crossbreeding of Vitis berlandieri cv.
Rességuier number 2 and Vitis longii cv. Novo-mexicana).
Evolution of areas under rootstock nurseries
1975 1985 1995 2005 2015
Rank 21 13 9 6 4
ha 18 40 67 192 218
Estimated surface area of French vineyards grafted with this rootstock and the main areas of use
30 000 ha. Champagne, Aquitaine, Charentes, Alsace, Midi-Pyrénées, Val de Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône-Alpes
Ampelographic description
Identification signs include:
- the tip of the young shoot which is half-opened with a very dense coat of flat-lying hairs and  edges, 
- the young leaves have a very dense coat of flat-lying hairs, 
- the shoot has a ribbed contour, a circular section or slightly elliptical with a heavy coat of upright and flat-lying hairs, 
- adult leaves are wedge-shaped to kidney-shaped, whole with an involute leaf blade, an open U-shaped petiolar sinus with short teeth compared to width,
- female flowers,
- berries are small, round-shaped and the skin is bluish black,
- the vine shoots have a moderate coat of upright hairs.
Genetic profile
Microsatellite VVS2 VVMD5 VVMD7 VVMD27 VRZAG62 VRZAG79 VVMD25 VVMD28 VVMD32
Allel 1 141 234 231 236 184 246 236 218 243
Allel 2 141 261 251 254 220 258 254 243 243
Resistance to soil parasites
Fercal has a very high tolerance to radicicolae phylloxera. It likewise displays a good degree of tolerance to the nematodes Meloidogyne arenaria and Meloidogyne incognita but has just moderate resistance to the nematodes Meloidogyne hapla.
Adapt to environment
The principle characeristic of Fercal is its very good resistance to chlorosis and its adaptation to limestone soils. It resists up to 60% of total limestone, 40% of active limestone and to a CPI of 120.
This root stock tolerates fairly well humid spring conditions and its resistance to drought is moderate to good provided that the rooting is sufficiently deep. Fercal has difficulties with absorbing magnesium in the soil, particularly wth excessive potassium fertilization. The graft varieties can display some magnesium deficiency symptoms with this root stock.
Interaction with grafts and production objectives
Fercal shows a good affinity with graft varieties.  Its speed of growth and fruit set is good. The vigor of this root stock is moderate to strong. Moderate influence on the vegetative cycle. In terms of fertility and yiled, Fercal is well balanced and produces good quality products. Good results can be achieved with Syrah N.
Aptitudes for plant propagation
The length and diameter of the internodes is moderate and the growth of quick buds is substantial. Wood production is moderate (30 000 to 60 000 m/ha) and vine shoots must be conserved under good conditions to avoid any dehydration. The propagation by cuttings capacity of Fercal is very good and its displays moderate capacity for grafting with substantial wood pith, which needs to be well rehydrated before usage. Hormoning is not necessary and must be moderate when used. The stratification time necessary for this root stock is relatively short.
Resistance to aerial parasites
Fercal is resistant to downy mildew and to anthracnosis with moderate sensitivity to gallicolae phylloxera.
Clonal selection in France
The only approved Fercal clone carries the number 242.