Rabbeinu Baruch Of Mainz and Grape Picking
In the city of Mainz, Germany, there was a fascinating tradition and that is the prestigious one of the city. (“let us presume the non-Jewish Counts and the like”) would, as in all of Germany would, be the one to permit one to pick the grapes. No one was allowed to pick grapes without their permission. If you were to miss the date the Count chose for you, you then lost your right to pick. Therefore one may start to pick their grapes and squash them on Chol Hamoed.
How Did The Jews Get To Mainz?
The great Charlemagne himself had recruited Jewish trading communities from Italy to the Rhine region in an enlightened move to add the dynamic of trade to his largely agricultural kingdom. These Jews called the area where they relocated Ashkenaz and became known as Ashkenazy Jews. Their plight turned perilous three centuries later with the rise of the First Crusade:
What Wine Did Rabbeinu Baruch Drink?
Around the year 800 Charlamange, the German ruler of the Frankish Empire imbued momentum into viticulture, which was primarily overseen by monasteries. The imperial and royal monastery Lorsch in Hessische Bergstrasse alone is said to have possessed about 900 vineyards around 850.
Bringing Reisling to the area
From his winter quarters, the palace in Ingelheim, Emperor Charlemagne recognized the suitability of the opposite side of the Rhine River for viticulture, noticing that on the southern slopes of the Rheingau region the snow melted earlier than elsewhere.
First Reiseling On Record
The earliest recorded reference to Riesling is dated March 13, 1435, in the storage inventory of Count John IV. Of Katzenelnbogen in the Hessische Bergstrasse region. The spelling “Riesslingen” is seen in many other documents of that time. The modern spelling of Riesling was first documented in 1552 in Hieronymus Bock’s Latin herbal – a German botanist and physician who helped modernize the study of plants. It is widely agreed that Riesling vines originated in the Rhine region.
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