There are a number of decency rules, how to settle in one wine cellar but also has to behave in tasting rooms. Often this is often made in a humorous way on signs in the entrance area in rhyme form. In ancient times, there were also penalties for non-compliance with the rules mostly articulated in prohibition form. The sinner was placed by the cellar master or Kellerknecht over an empty barrel and worked the extended back with the "cellar knife" or "Bandmesser" (an old craft device of the Cooper) with blows. The bans are locally somewhat different, but without exception are the knocking on the barrels (to determine the amount), cursing, screaming, singing, smoking and drinking.
Most bans are self-explanatory, however, there are several interpretations for "banging on barrels". One of the oldest reasons for the prohibition are the sound waves produced by the knocking, which adversely affect the wine ripening at rest. The second most frequently mentioned reason is the unseemly curiosity, because as a guest one does not open boxes, for example (empty barrels sound differently than full barrels). A beautiful example is on a blackboard in the basement of Bürgerspital to the Holy Spirit in Würzburg to find:
Listen, viellieber Kellergast, what you have to judge,
When you enter the realm of wine, "Pfülben", "Neuberg" or "Stein".
First: do not smoke like a vent! There is a strict smoking ban here,
because noble wine and cellar air, tolerate no tobacco fragrance.
Point two: stop knocking, full as at the empty barrel.
You do not pull in the strange house out of curiosity the drawers.
Thirdly: Gröl and do not blaspheme! You put weight on good tone,
and besides - as you know, you are a guest of the "holy spirit" here.
If you do not go to the basement right, you will be instructed by the Kellerknecht,
not exactly polite and humane, just look at his fists!
See also a complete list of viticulture practices Customs in viticulture,
Source: Rights and Customs in the vineyard and cellar, as well as some curiosity - Writings to the wine history No. 156 v. Chr. Gisela Graff-Höfgen, Society f. History of the wine.