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Firewine

Wine named after its production, originating in ancient Rome (see defrutum ). Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) placed great emphasis on stocking "vinum coctum" (cooked wine), a heat-enhanced wine. Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519) issued in his wine law of 1498 precise provisions for the production and protected him from forgery. A fire wine was in demand as the one over the famous Greek port Monemvasia imported south wines. It cost its price and was therefore also a lucrative trade and export good. The main buyers were mainly Holland, as well as the former Duchy of Brabant (now Belgium and Netherlands), England and the northern European Hanseatic cities.

A "fired nuwer wyn" was natural in which additives were banned. He was qualitatively better than the durchgegorenen, mostly acidic and seasoned with herbs for flavor enhancement medieval wines. In the 15th century a veritable fire wine boom began, which lasted until the 19th century. Around 1800, this specialty established the international reputation of the wines of the middle Rhine, Literary appreciation of the fire wine was still 1840 in the poem "The German Rhine" by Nicolaus Becker (1809-1845), which was written at the height of the conflicts between the German states and France: "They should not have him, the free German Rhine, as long as hearts are refreshing, by his fire-wine ".

The fire wine art was the high school of medieval cellar technology and the fire master as a member of the coopers guild a highly respected specialist. Only best quality grapes were harvested on hot days. There were white and red versions. Despite all the sweetness of the white wine, the production process resulted mainly in Riesling with fine acidity or in the production procedure of deep red wines. The wood-clad walls of the man-sized firebox were covered with insulating clay. Such "camers" had to be approved as "shower-stop" by the city council. In the center of the room was a depression filled with charcoal. The barrels were stored about half a meter above the coals, and an iron sheet stored in between protected them from the embers and radiated the heat evenly.

In the firebox there was great heat, so that the must fermented within a short time and began to "roar" like boiling water. The process was continued until the evolution of carbon dioxide ceased and the fermentation was completed quickly and earlier due to heat, and therefore the wines consumed a relatively high amount residual sugar exhibited. After about three days, this resulted in a completely yeast-free, sweet-tasting young wine. The freshly fired wine was then "in the barrel usually still very warm", by the wine Schröter on "specially hired Nachen" shipped and shipped downstream. The first ship was decorated with flowers loaded and transported down to Holland.

Fire wine was in many places on both sides of the Rhine generated, but the center was the middle Rhine and here especially Bacharach and the four-valley area (Manubach, Oberdiebach, Rheindiebach, Steeg). The Bacharacher Feuerwein had a special reputation, because the carefully picked grapes were stored on straw for some time, whereby the grape concentrated and the wine was sweeter and more alcoholic. It was the Bacharacher Feuerwein who "could induce Pope Aeneus Sylivius and the wine-savvy drunkard Emperor Wenzel to cite a decent quantity annually to Rome and Prague" (WO von Horn, 1866).

Also the fire wine from other places was shipped in Bacharach, because here was the large Palatinate wine-stacking place. Due to the dangerous Rhine route through the Binger Loch larger ships could only drive downstream from Bacharach. Feuerwein was once tasted of sterling silver bowls, gilded inside and decorated with grape motifs. The fire wine tradition was revived by the well-known restaurant Posthof Bacharach . Seen in terms of EU wine law, the "Original Feuerwein vom Mittelrhein" produced there is considered to be wine-based drink to call. Depending on the progress of fermentation, it has an alcohol content of 18 to 21% vol. In Italy (Region Marche) there is a so-called Vino cotto, which is also produced using heat (source: Posthof Bacharach, 55422 Bacharach - Middle Rhine, Oberstraße 45).

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