333 EM

333 Ecole de Montpellier

This variety results from the crossbreeding of Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet-Sauvignon and Vitis berlandieri.

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Genetic origin

The genetic origin of the variety is also indicated when known thanks to hybridiser data or genetic analysis either published or obtained by the teams at INRAE in Montpellier (UMR AGAP) and at the Vassal-Montpellier Grapevine Biological Resources Centre (CRB-Vigne).

This variety results from the crossbreeding of Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet-Sauvignon and Vitis berlandieri.

Name of the variety in France (and usual name)

The rootstock variety is presented by the abbreviation or name under which it appears in the national catalogue and which is also the most commonly used in French grapevine nurseries and French viticulture. There is no official list of synonyms for rootstock varieties.

333 EM

Breeder\/breeder and year obtained

The name of the breeder and/or selector is indicated, as is the year in which the variety was bred.

Gustave Foëx, 1883.

Estimated surface area of the French vineyard grafted with this rootstock and main regions of use

The figures are estimated based on the computerised vineyard register and bibliographical data.

4 000 ha . Champagne, Charentes.

Evolution of cultivated areas in France

The figures provided are taken from vineyard land registers (IVCC, ONIVIT, ONIVINS), general agricultural censuses (SCEES-INSEE) and the current computerised vineyard register (DGDDI, FAM). Regional vine planting data is available on the following site: https://visionet.franceagrimer.fr/Pages/DonneesInteractivesDocs.aspx?sousmenu=observatoire%20de%20la%20viticulture.


















Eléments de description ampélographique

Only the main ampelographic elements enabling the rootstocks to be characterised and identified are provided. They are described according to the ampelographic descriptor code recognised by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), the Community Plant Variety Office (OCVV) and Bioversity International (for more information, see the "Ampelographic glossary" menu). The photographs of buds, flowers and adult leaves were taken indoors by the INRAE team at Domaine de Vassal from material sampled from the ampelographic collections of the Vassal-Montpellier Grapevine Biological Resources Centre. Note: the scale of the photos is not the same for the three organs shown. The photos of buds have been reduced (x 0.5 approx.), as have those of the adult leaves (x 0.25 approx.), while those of the flowers have been enlarged (x 4 approx.).

The identification is based on:
- the tip of the young shoot that is open, with a piping anthocyanin coloration and a high density of prostrate hairs,  
- the reddish young leaves,
- the shoots with a very ribbed surface, a circular or slightly elliptic section and no erect and prostrate hairs, 
- the circular adult leaves, entire or with five lobes, with shiny blistered leaf blade, involute and twisted on the edges, a brace-shaped slightly open petiole sinus or with slightly overlapping lobes and with often limited naked petiole veins,
- the male flowers,
- the woody shoots with a very ribbed surface.

Genetic profile

The genetic profile of the variety is provided for the 9 microsatellite markers (or SSR markers) selected under the European programme GrapeGen06 (http://www.eu-vitis.de/index.php) and by the OIV. The absolute size values of the alleles may vary slightly from one laboratory to another, but the relative differences between the two alleles of one single microsatellite are constant. The genetic analyses were conducted by the INRAE Montpellier team (UMR AGAP) and the IFV’s Plant Material Centre.


Allele 1










Allele 2










Resistance to soil pests

The degree of tolerance to the root form of phylloxera and resistance to nematodes (Meloidogyne hapla, Meloidogyne incognita and Meloidogyne arenaria), to Agrobacterium vitis (the bacterium responsible for burls) and to certain soil fungi is stated on the basis of observations or bibliographical data.

333 EM is moderately to highly tolerant to the root form of phylloxera. It is sensitive to Meloidogyne incognita and Meloidogyne arenaria nematodes.

Aptitudes for vegetative multiplication

The level of wood production by the rootstock strains is stated (source: ENTAV-ONIVINS survey of grapevine nurseries, April 2001). The suitability for cleaning, disbudding, cutting and grafting is also specified. Further details are provided if the rootstock variety requires special precautions during grafting and layering.

333 EM wood production is very low (10 000 to 30 000 m/ha) and autumn climatic conditions must be favorable in order to get a proper lignification of canes. 333 EM has a moderate cutting capacity and a good grafting aptitude, but the large cane diameter may be bothersome.

Clonal selection in France

All certified clones are listed, as are the surface areas of the mother vine of clones that are propagated. For the moment, clonal selection of rootstock is conducted solely for sanitary purposes.

In France, the 4 certified 333 EM clones carry the numbers 260, 263, 1049 and 1105. Among those, the clone 263 is multiplied on 20 ha 53 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.

Adaptation to the environment

This paragraph provides information on the behaviour of the rootstock variety in relation to the structure, texture and composition of the soil, its mineral content and the soil’s pH. It also states the behaviour of the rootstock when faced with an excess or lack of water during the vegetative period. Chlorosis Iron chlorosis is related to problems of iron assimilation due to low iron content and/or high carbonate content in soil. Total calcium carbonate content alone gives only a partial idea of the chlorosis-inducing power of the soil. The active calcium carbonate content corresponds to the percentage of carbonate present in the fine fraction of the soil (clays, fine silts). Depending on the characteristics of the parent rock and its geological origin, this represents a variable percentage of the total calcium carbonate. The chlorotic power index (IPC) is a calculation which takes into account the active calcium carbonate content and the easily extractible iron content of the soil. These three values provide an insight into the risk of chlorosis and allow growers to choose the most suitable rootstock variety accordingly. Tylosis and apoplexy These apoplexy phenomena are linked to problems of water circulation through the plant when evapotranspiration is high (dry wind following heavy rainfall in the summer season) and the absorption of water through the roots is limited. In this case, the high pressure in the vessels causes air bubbles (cavitation) and tyloses (invagination of the membrane of neighbouring cells in the vessels) to form, which causes a slowing of sap circulation and water stress in the leaves.

333 EM is characterized by its very good adaptation to limestone soils and its resistance to chlorosis. In deed, it resists up to 60% of "total" limestone, 40% of "active" limestone and an ICP of 70. This rootstock is also well adapted to drought and to temporary water excess during the spring. On the other hand, it is sensitive to chlorides. 333 EM is well adapted to shallow, dry and limestone soils.

Interaction with the graft and production objectives

The rootstock may interact with the characteristics of the graft in terms of precocity of the vegetative cycle and the growth and development of the branches, as well as yield factors (fertility and berry size). In some cases, the risks of incompatibility or poor affinity of the rootstock variety with a graft variety are specified.

333 EM gives a high vigor to grafts and provides fairly high yields. It can however sometimes promote coulure phenomenon. The first development of plants is fairly slow with this rootstock. Under not very fertile or limiting conditions, the varieties grafted onto 333 EM produces good quality products.

Bibliographic references

The rootstock may interact with the characteristics of the graft in terms of precocity of the vegetative cycle and the growth and development of the branches, as well as yield factors (fertility and berry size). In some cases, the risks of incompatibility or poor affinity of the rootstock variety with a graft variety are specified.

- 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.