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Reif biter

Reif biter The year 1443 was a catastrophic year for Viennese viticulture. The wine was so extreme angry that allegedly even the iron tires of the barrels were attacked. In the Viennese vernacular, therefore, the term "Reifbeißer" was created (this name for sour wine is still valid today). The wine could not be drunk and was therefore poured on the streets. Emperor Friedrich III. (1415-1493) then forbade the "throwing away of God's gifts" in the event of a serious threat of punishment and ordered the inedible wine to be used for extinguishing the lime and producing the mortar during the expansion of Vienna's St. Stephen's Church. But this was more than just a fix, because the addition of wine causes the formation of the almost insoluble calcium tartrate (which of course was not known then).

The mortar thus gains strong resistance to damaging chemical influences. Many sources report that the use of wine in making mortar in Wien and environment at that time was quite a common practice. In the wine-growing community Falkenstein in the Weinviertel (Lower Austria) there is a wine trail. One of the exhibits is a wine barrel on which the tires have risen. A blackboard mentions the term "tire biter" and the year 1456. The Falkensteiner of this vintage was also so extremely angry that he mglw. was also used for a mortar. See also below Customs in viticulture and drinking culture,

Reifbeißer - Reifbeißer - St. Stephen's Cathedral and Emperor Friedrich III
Picture left: By Bwag - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 , Link

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