The Catholic Order with the well-known religious rule "ora et labora" (pray and work) and black robes was founded by the later canonized Benedict of Nursia (480-542) around the year 529, the first monastery was (severely destroyed in the Second World War ) Montecassino in the southern Italian region Lazio, In the Order Rule he wrote about the Weingenuss analogously: "Taking into account weaker brothers, we believe that one hemina (about 0.27 l) a day is sufficient. But those to whom God has given the gift of abstinence may know that their special reward awaits. But if circumstances make it impossible for that measure to be said, but much less or nothing, we exhort the brothers to abstain from grumbling " (see many more sayings about wine under Quotes ).
The Order also introduced the first monk as Pope, this was Gregory the Great (540-604). The Benedictines became the most important order of the Middle Ages and, with their numerous settlements, played a significant role in missionary and cultural development in Europe, especially in agriculture and viticulture. In it also Benedictine convents led by nuns emerged, for example that of the famous mystic and abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) founded monastery Rupertsberg Bingen-Bingerbrück in today's German wine-growing region Near, The Benedictines counted alongside the emerged from them in the 11th century as a reform movement Cistercians and the Carthusians to the largest vineyard owners of the Middle Ages. Their vineyards were in today's world-famous wine regions.
In the reign Charlemagne (742-814) some large monasteries were founded, including those of the later canonized Boniface (672-754) Fritzlar, Fulda and Lorsch. In the 10th century was monks the Abbaye Saint-Michel de Gaillac in today's appellation Gaillac founded in southwestern France and revived the viticulture there. Around 1100 they founded a monastery at the later named Johannisberg in the Rheingau. As a result, they planted vineyards on the Rhine, in Franconia, in Alsace and in Switzerland on a large scale. In Austria, the monks were the Melk pins in the Wachau (976) and Göttweig in the Kremstal (1072) founded and also influenced the viticulture significantly. In 1098, as a reform movement, the Order of Cistercian which continued the winemaking tradition on a large scale.
The 910 Benedictine Abbey Cluny at Mâcon in the Burgundy belonged the largest part of Gevrey-Chambertin with about 500 acres. The Abbey of Saint-Vivant owned vineyards in the village Vosne-Romanée (today with famous winery Domaine de la Romanée-Conti ). On the Loire, there were possessions in today's areas Anjou. Bourgueil and Saint-Pourçain and on the Rhone in the areas Cornas and Saint-Péray,
In the Champagne A total of six monasteries were founded, the most famous of which is probably the abbey of Saint Pierre d'Hautvillers, in which the famous cathedral Pierre Pérignon worked. In the Bordeaux counted today's Château Carbonnieux (Graves) to the possessions. The monastery of St. Maximin in the city of Trier owned 74 counted vineyards along the three rivers Mosel, Saar and Ruwer. In 1695 Abbot Wittmann had 100,000 Riesling sticks planted. There is the winery there today Maximin Grünhaus - winery of the von Schubert family,
In 1716, the dilapidated Benedictine monastery Johannisberg (growing area Rheingau ) bought with all the vineyards and today Castle Johannisberg built. Here also in 1775 the famous story of the Spätlesereiter and on this basis the "invention" of Spätlese. By the way, the Fürstsabt of Fulda was ordered a little later, all red grape varieties and the white one Elbling to break out and to replace it with the "Rüßling", which until then had been regarded as less respectable. Thus, the Benedictines were also instrumental in the distribution of the grape variety Riesling involved. The Benedictines are still with about 12,000 members one of the most influential orders of the Roman Catholic Church.
Göttweig: By Arcomonte26 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 at , Link
Saint-Michel de Gaillac: By Xabi Rome-Hérault, CC BY 3.0 , link
St. Pierre d'Hautvillers: From October Ends - Own Work, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
Melk: By User: MatthiasKabel - Own work , CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link