Capital of the southern French region Languedoc-Roussillon in the department Hérault near the Mediterranean coast. In 1289, Pope Nicholas IV (1227-1292) founded Quia Sapientia, a university with the disciplines of medicine, theology, law and philosophy. This developed into a high-level intellectual center. Among other things, the famous doctor taught here Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311). In 1872, the École Nationale Supérieur Agronomique was founded as a branch of the university. The reason for the foundation was due to the two mildews and the phylloxera caused catastrophe in French viticulture. Also Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888), who was finally able to identify the phylloxera in 1868 as the cause of the mysterious planting of the vine, worked here as a professor of botany. Today, the Department of Viticulture is one of the world's most important Wine-producing institutions,
The first leader was Professor Gustave LE Foex (1844-1906). He dealt intensively with American vines and experimented extensively with rain-resistant documents, Thus he justified the special position of the branch ampelography at the University. Foëx also laid the foundation for a collection of French and American varieties, which today has over 3,100 grape varieties, 230 documents and numerous Wild vines includes. There are also numerous extinct varieties that are nowhere grown anymore. The herbarium is next Magarach (Crimea-Ukraine) world leader. It was moved in 1949 under the direction of Jean Branas in the Domaine de Vassal, because there the sandy soil free of phylloxera and nematodes is. The property is located between the Mediterranean and the Etang de Thau (lagoon or lake) in the municipality of Marseillan.
The vine diseases specialist Pierre Viala (1859-1936) studied in Montpellier, then became professor of viticulture, laid the basis for the famous document "41 B" through a trip to the USA and published together with Victor Vermorel (1848-1927) the seven-volume classic "Ampélographie" with 24,000 described grape varieties and many color plates. Other important personalities at the university were or are among others Denis Boubals (Phylloxera, mildew, founding Domaine du Chapître), Jean-Michel Boursiquot (Grape Variety Determination), Jean Branas (Viral Diseases, Cloning Selection), Alain Carbonneau (Canopy microclimate, education forms ), Pierre Galet (Grape variety determination), Louis Ravaz (establishment of the viticulture institute in Cognac, extension of the vine collection), Thierry Lacombe and Paul Truel (both grape variety determination).
By successful DNA analysis is in Montpellier a worldwide recognized center for Varieties determination emerged, being closely with the University of California is working together. In the 1990s, this was especially Dr. Carole Meredith at the varieties Chardonnay. Durif. Gouais blanc. Durif (Petite Sirah) and Syrah, Since the year 1946, the further development of wine research by the INRA funded and provides professionals. In part, in collaboration with other institutes, Montpellier experts included the new varieties Arriloba. Chasan. Chenanson. Clarin. Ederena. Ganson. Gramon. Monerac. Odola and perdea created.