Fercal
Name of variety in France (and usual designation)
Fercal
Breeder/selector and year of obtention
INRA, 1959.
Genetic origin
Based on genetic analyses carried out in Montpellier, this variety results from the crossbreeding of Berlandieri Colombard number 1 B (from a crossbreeding between Vitis berlandieri and Vitis vinifera cv. Ugni blanc) and 31 Richter (from the crossbreeding between Vitis berlandieri cv. Rességuier number 2 and Vitis longii cv. Novo-mexicana).
Evolution of mother vine surfaces
1975 1985 1995 2005 2015
Rank 21 13 9 6 4
ha 18 40 67 192 240
Estimated surface area of French vines grafted with the rootstock, and main regions of use
30 000 ha. Champagne, Aquitaine, Charentes, Alsace, Midi-Pyrénées, Val de Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône-Alpes.
Descriptive elements
The identification is based on:
- the tip of the young shoot that is half open, with a piping anthocyanin coloration and a very high density of prostate hairs, 
- the young leaves with a very high density of prostate hairs, 
- the shoots with a ribbed surface, a circular section or slightly elliptic and a high density of erect and prostate hairs, 
- the wedge- or kidney-shaped, entire adult leaves, with an involute leaf blade, an open U-shaped petiole sinus, short teeth compared to their width,
- the female flowers,
- the small, round-shaped berries, with a blue black skin,
- the woody shoots with a medium density of erect 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 is very highly tolerant to the root form of phylloxera. It is also fairly tolerant to Meloidogyne arenaria and Meloidogyne incognita nematodes, but is only moderately resistant to Meloidogyne hapla nematodes.
Adaptation to the environment
The main feature of Fercal is its very high resistance to chlorosis and its adaptation to limestone soils. It resists up to 60% of "total" limestone, 40% of "active" limestone and to an ICP of 120. This rootstock tolerates fairly well humid spring conditions and its resistance to drought is moderate to good if the roots are sufficiently deep. Fercal has some difficulties to absorb magnesium in the soil, particularly with an excessive potassium fertilization. The varieties grafted can show some magnesium deficiency symptoms with this rootstock.
Interaction with grafts and production objectives
Fercal shows a good affinity with graft varieties. The growth and fruit set speed given by Fercal is good. The vigor confered by rootstock is moderate to high. Its influence on the vegetative cycle is moderate. In terms of fertility and yields, Fercal is balanced and the grafts produce good quality products. It is particularly well suited to Syrah.
Vegetative propagation aptitudes
The length and diameter of the internodes are medium and the growth of lateral shoot buds is significant. Fercal wood production is moderate (30 000 to 60 000 m/ha) and the canes must be conserved under very good conditions to avoid any dehydration. Fercal has a very good cutting capacity and a moderate grafting aptitude, with a substantial wood pith in the canes. Fercal canes need to be well rehydrated before use. Hormoning is not necessary and must be moderate if performed. The stratification time necessary for this rootstock is relatively short.
Resistance to aerial parasites
Fercal is resistant to downy mildew and to anthracnose, and is moderately sensitive to the gall form of phylloxera.
Clonal selection in France
In France, the only certified Fercal clone carries the number 242 and it is multiplied on 244 ha 16 ares of mother vines producing certified material, in 2017.

Datas are extracted from: Les chiffres de la pépinière viticole, 2017, Datas and assesment of FranceAgriMer, may 2018.
Bibliographic references
- Catalogue des variétés et clones de vigne cultivés en France. Collectif, 2007, Ed. IFV, Le Grau-du-Roi, France.
- Documentary collections of the Centre de Ressources Biologiques de la Vigne de Vassal-Montpellier, INRAE - Montpellier SupAgro, Marseillan, France.
- Cépages et vignobles de France, tome 1. P. Galet, 1988, Ed. Dehan, Montpellier, France.