Plays in many religions Wine an important and liturgical role in worship. It has been used as a godly offering since time immemorial and understood as a medium for establishing a mystical connection with God or the gods. Many peoples had their own wine gods, for example the Bacchus with the Romans and the Dionysos with the Greeks. Also in the Bible there are numerous quotes on the subject of wine in numerous places. A central belief of the Roman Catholic Church is the conversion of bread and wine into Christ's flesh and blood in the context of the Eucharist, The preparation of altar wine was therefore indispensable for the organization of the trade fair and a decisive motivation from the start.
Many monasteries have therefore devoted themselves to viticulture and the winemaking professionally dedicated. Many of the vineyards that still exist today have their origins in the founding of monasteries in the early Middle Ages. Above all, the orders of the Benedictine. Carthusians and Cistercian operated on a large scale and thus significantly influenced European viticulture. Missionaryization in the countries of the New world this was the case, because mostly after the arrival in new areas the vines brought along were planted first and wine was produced. Here it was the Franciscan order in California and Mexico and the Jesuits in Peru, Likewise, monastic orders are crucial for the cultivation of the beer production contributed; including the Paulaner (Paulanerbräu).
Even in the early Middle Ages, well-known representatives of the churches, mainly for moral reasons, spoke and wrote against excessive alcohol consumption and degenerate customs drinking culture used. The widespread custom of the so-called Zutrinkens denounced. Among others, this was the reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546), the priest and wine author Johann quickly (1540-1612) and the preacher Abraham a Sancta Clara (1644-1709). The existing in many countries alcohol bans respectively. prohibitive Laws were often religiously motivated. This is particularly true for Islam.
Under the significant influence of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) there was extensive expropriation and secularization (secularization) of wineries and vineyards owned by the church in Central Europe from 1803. Spiritual principalities, imperial abbeys, counties, knights and sometimes religious orders were dissolved, churches and monasteries looted, nuns and monks were expelled, and the noble and spiritual possessions were expropriated and auctioned off to new owners. Although this caused a serious setback in viticulture in the medium term, it was the birth of many wineries.