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Rasch Johann

The clergyman Johann Rasch (1540-1612) studied at the University of Wittenberg, but remained faithful to the Catholic faith. In 1570 he became organist at the Schottenstift in Wien and wrote one of the oldest wine books in German, which appeared for the first time in 1580 under the title "Wine Book: Von Baw, Pfleg und Brauch des Weins" and can be considered a classic in wine literature. It contains numerous rules, regulations and advice for viticulture in general, cellaring, wine storage and wine tasting. This also includes the production of beer. spirits. vinegar. mead and wormwood described. The popular one at the time flavored Herbal wines have their own chapter dedicated to exotic beverages such as deer tongue wine, rose wine and rosemary wine. Rasch also drew from the works of Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311) and also quotes the ancient Roman author Palladius,


In the first part, as a clergyman, he goes into the theological meaning of wine in the context of the Eucharist and takes to alcohol ban of Islam's position. In his opinion, only a right Christian person can be a good tusk and he often quotes them Bible, The second part is devoted to practice and describes, for example, how to test, how to make red wine white, how to make white wine red at the table, or how to make a cloudy wine better by adding freshly milked, warm milk; an early form of Schönens, In the "Cutting the vines" section, he points out that the wine-growing activities are in the right month or the optimal ones moon phases To be carried out (decreasing or increasing): "The best cutting is in the Christmas month" . He recommends pulling off the wine "in the growing moon".

Rasch Johann - Working in the vineyard 1180 and pergola system 1375

Quickly explains how to wine adulteration for example by “stretching” with water. He also vehemently railed against the former drinking culture in the chapter "Wine addiction - from the severe addiction of drunkenness". At that time, the ancient custom of Zutrinkens forbidden. Rasch divides the wine-growing regions of "Underösterreich" into five wine-growing regions, which almost coincide with today's Lower Austria, parts of Burgenland and the southern part of Upper Austria. He classifies the “Vienna mountain range” as the best location, which stretches across the Vienna Woods to the Piersting river. The so-called “Stainfeld” extends from Salzburg via Steyr and along the Styrian border to Burgenland. There is also the Tullnerfeld with the main town Krems, the Marchfeld and the Wachau, Surprisingly, the latter comes off badly in the assessment, Rasch writes, "that the wine is not the same in size and quality as that from Wiennergebürg" .

Red wine making in the Middle Ages

In his book he also mentions the Styrian specialty Schilcher (from the Baluer Wildbacher variety). He also praised the wine, which was very often mentioned in the Middle Ages Reinval (Rainfal). As a trained calendar maker, Rasch also has a daily calendar with many Bauernregeln incorporated as an aid for winegrowers. For example, on September 6th: "Warm night makes sweet wine (but unhealthy), cool night acidic wine (and healthy)" . It also describes the influences of soil, weather and climatic conditions on wine quality. The work is concluded with a poem (the one under the keyword Quotes is included).

During his lifetime, the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, eliminating ten days. This caused major changes and a need for information. Quickly wrote several writings on the subject, including the subjects Bauernregeln, Lostage, Easter cycle, divination and astrology. In 1584 the book "A new annual calendar" was published. In 1994, in Viennese District Hietzing named an alley after him. In Austria, the Lower Austrian Association of Winegrowers awards the Johann Rasch Plaque for special services in viticulture. Among other things, she received Franz Kober (1864-1943), the famous underlay Kober 5 BB created.

Wine book: Norbert FJ Tischelmayer

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