Capital of the southern French region Languedoc-Roussillon in the department Hérault not far from the Mediterranean coast. In 1289 Pope Nicholas IV (1227-1292) founded the university with the disciplines of medicine, theology, law and philosophy through the script Quia Sapientia. This developed into an intellectual center with a high level. 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 that by the two mildews and the phylloxera caused disaster in French viticulture. Jules Émile too Planchon (1823-1888), who finally identified phylloxera in 1868 as the cause of the enigmatic death of the vine, was a professor of botany here. Today the department of viticulture is one of the most important worldwide Wine-producing institutions,
The first leader was Professor Gustave LE Foex (1844-1906). He dealt intensively with American vines and experimented extensively with phylloxera-resistant documents, With this 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 here that are no longer grown anywhere. The herbarium is next to it Magarach (Crimea-Ukraine) world leader. It was moved to Domaine de Vassal in 1949 under the direction of Jean Branas because the sandy soil there was free of phylloxera and nematodes is. The property is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Etang de Thau (lagoon or lake) in the municipality of Marseillan.
The vine disease specialist Pierre Viala (1859-1936) studied in Montpellier, then became a professor of viticulture here, laid the basis for the famous document "41 B" on 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 Denis, among others Boubals (Phylloxera, powdery mildew, foundation of Domaine du Chapître), Jean-Michel Boursiquot (Vine variety determination), Jean Branas (virus diseases, clone selection), Alain Carbonneau (Canopy microclimate, education forms ), Pierre Galet (Vine variety determination), Louis Ravaz (founding of the Weinbau-Institut in Cognac, extension of the vine collection), Thierry Lacombe and Paul Truel (both vine variety determination).
Through successful DNA analysis is a globally recognized center for Varieties determination emerged, closely with the University of California is worked together. In the 1990s, this was primarily Dr. Carole Meredith with the varieties Chardonnay. Durif. Gouais Blanc. Durif (Petite Sirah) and Syrah, Since 1946, the further development of viticulture research by the INRA funded and provided to professionals. Montpellier specialists developed the new varieties, partly in collaboration with other institutes Arriloba. Chasan. Chenanson. Clarin. Ederena. Ganson. Gramon. Monerac. Odola and perdea created.