RIPARIA GLOIRE DE MONTPELLIER is ‘one of the oldest rootstocks used against phylloxera in France, bred in 1880,’ says Dr Richard Smart (2015, p627). It was developed as a clonal selection of the V riparia species by the University of Montpellier. ‘Of the several riparia crosses brought in at the time of the [late 19th century] phylloxera crisis, this proved the best. It confers excellent phylloxera resistance and is of low vigour, providing for lower yields of improved-quality fruit and early ripening,’ Smart concludes (2015, p627).
In Bordeaux Riparia Gloire’s limits the crop, even on productive soils. Riparia Gloire is precocious (hâtif), meaning it is usually the first rootstock to lead its scion out of dormancy there. This early push can induce coulure, notably in Merlot, but does encourage late starters the Cabernets to get a head start in spring and thus ripen before Bordeaux’s equinox rains. Scions on Riparia Gloire tend to grow at about 85º, rather than at a right angles, to the ground. Performs poorly on limestone. Produces a lot of ‘pousses’, so very hard to empamprer. Its lack of vigour means it is not suited to meagre soils like sand. Shallow rooter.
In the Loire Valley Riparia is the main rootstock in Vouvray, for example. See also Eric Nicolas of Domaine de Bellivière (Loire) for one way of getting this generally shallow rooter to root more deeply.
Dr Richard Smart in the Oxford Companion to Wine 4th edition ed. Jancis Robinson MW and Julia Harding MW (Oxford University Press, 2015, p627.