The wine in the Byzantine era


    During the Byzantine period and when Christianity was established as an official religion, old wine used for libations to the gods, was the wine of Holy Communion was the Blood of Christ. The Redeemer, the Savior of the people called the True Vine , and his disciples and believers, vines and grapes.The ancient god Dionysus in conflict with the new season and discharged from the worship of believers. From the early 12th century around AD St. Trifon bears the role of protector of the vineyard and fertility and the memory is celebrated with great pomp on 1 February. During the early Christian period (4th-6th century AD) on the vine (vine-trusses and amphorae) found in royal floor royal, sacred vessels, with obvious symbolism, while the Byzantine and post-Byzantine era, murals, screens , vestments, etc. The largest cultivated land revert to the monastery and church property.
Thus, large and modern winery built by the monks, who for many areas preserved the art of wine making, while improved quality of wine.

  Testimonials and references in historical texts tell us that the identity of the Byzantine tradition of wine was the continuation of ancient Greek. In the tradition presents the activity of wine and the vintner, the history of exploitation (the ancient verb "abusing" I mean marketing), legal and trade provisions, the conditions that paved the way for the control of wine from the West. The growers, the oinigoi, the publican were the chain, which was based on the mechanism of "production-distribution-consumption" of Byzantine wine. Unlike their ancestors, the consumption of wine was in a different way. Aneroto prefer wine and hot pots in the appropriate container and called Caucos.

     Famous were even old Athos Vineyards. Indeed, the systematic cultivation of grapes led, in the 10th century, there are plenty of wine on Mount Athos, and begin marketing the first in Greece and later transported by ship to other parts of Macedonia in Constantinople and other countries. The wine was stored in special warehouses in the monasteries, the vagenaria, and stores the corresponding dependencies of the monasteries in Halkidiki.

    With the spread of the ancient Greeks the vine reaches the Italian peninsula and in Campania, Sicily and the center is producing grapes. Around 600 BC The Phoenicians spread the culture of France and later the Romans ...More

    The difficulties and problems encountered during this period was enough, the principal and the high taxation imposed by the Turks, but the hostile attitude to wine, because of Muslim religion. This led to considerably reduce the Greek viticulture.

    Despite the adversity, the viticulture and winemaking is extinguished and managed the release can be shown, by thriving. Interests evidenced by the travelers' texts of foreigners traveled to Greece during this period. The Turkish tourist Evlia Celebi who toured the 17th century. Macedonia noted that around Thessaloniki were 46,000 acres of vines in each vineyard that existed lounge amusement. O physician and botanist Pierre Belon, Touring great figure of 16th century in the tour itinerary reads: "The Greeks feel shame nerosoun hatched their wine is good wine drinking ritual. In order not to harm their side have been drinking a pitcher of water and drink once in a few sips of wine because it brings thirst. Women do not ever sit on meals of men. " The Mary Walker, who visited western Macedonia in 1860 praised the wines of Kozani, Kastoria, Naoussa and the quality. .

    In the late 19th century and early of 20th century, viticulture in Greece receives a serious blow. In 1898, phylloxera challenged initially vineyards in Macedonia and later spread throughout Greece. Below is a significant drop, the only hope seems to settlement of refugees from Eastern Rumelia, Eastern Thrace and the Black Sea, which brought new varieties of vines, and they had other knowledge and experiences. With vaccination efforts in American subjects, the vineyards were saved and the Greek wine producers have managed to stem the decline of viticulture and wine production.