This paper summarizes the occurrence of the European wild vine - Vitis vinifera L. ssp. silvestris (Gmelin) Hegi - from bibliography and observations made in the framework of research on its ecology in the alluvial and colluvial forests of Europe. The state of the wild vine is disquieting within most of the European countries; in some countries we noticed a lack of recent reliable data. The subspecies silvestris can principally be distinguished from cultivated grapevine by its dioicity. Morphological vegetative criteria are very variable; in particular, we demonstrate that sexual dimorphism occurs in Austrian populations, while it is not found in those of the Basque countries.