The evolution

of winemaking

According to the ancient theory of bodily fluids, wine was considered hot and dry, while water and beer were considered humid and cold. Wine as a drink was therefore highly appreciated. It also had the reputation of stimulating the digestion, purifying the blood, brightening the mood and being beneficial for the human health.
It has been documented that Frisian merchants traded wine in exchange for textiles in Mainz throughout the 9th century. Followed by Hanseatic merchants in the 12th century the merchants, who delivered wine from the Rhine Valley to other country such as England and Norway. The trend to consume and trade wine first hit right after the turn of the millennium, when the production and consumption of wine reached an absolute climax throughout Europe. Finally, wine was not only affordable for the wealthy but also for the common people! However, the quality of the wine varied considerably depending on the growing region, the grape variety and, above all, the amount the grapes were press. The most expensive wine was obtained from the first pressing - those who couldn't afford it, took the cheap pomace wine. This wine was produced from the second or even third pressing and was often stretched with water and vinegar.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) had her own point of view and enough knowledge to comment and analyse particular wine growing regions: "Wine heals and delights people with its healthy warmth and great strength. Wine is the blood of the earth. (...) Noble and strong wine excites, when drank, the vessels and the blood of man in an incorrect way and draws the juices and all moisture that are in man to itself, as the laxative potions do, and thus sometimes carries out the urine with danger/deseases at the right time. The Hunsrück wine does not do this because it is not so strong enough in order to excite man's juices excessively. Therefore, the powers of a heavy wine should be softened mixing it with water. Otherwise it would be no use for either healthy or sick people.
Hildegard von Bingen
However, it is not necessary to dilute the soft Hunsrück wine in this way. People, however, can still add water to it or dip bread into it in order to make it more tasty." A few centuries later, Goethe also wrote his opionon about wine.
Wolfgang Goethe
But back to the Middle Ages - numerous sources show that wine got spoiled quite quickly. A cookbook from the 14th century, for example,advices to refill barrels a second time after removing the wine in order to ceal it. Wine can also be made more durable by adding dried and cooked grape seeds and the ashes of dried and burnt marc.
This text was researched and written by Charlotte Münch © Copyright & and all other right of all texts on weinstore24 belongs to In addition, visit our Infopage for more information about the origin wine.