History and religion

The wine and the religion, since highest antiquity, have extremely close relationships, testifies to them the many ritual and sacrificial practices in bond with the vine. In ancient Greece, it was at the same time the object of a worship and a symbol of the culture. The Mysteries celebrated in honor of Dionysos gave rise to the theater. Rome had conflict relationships with Bacchus, god of the wine, and the orgies. This religious ceremony, which turned to the orgy, was a time prohibited. But the sacralization of the wine, blood of God, intervened only through Christianity. What had not been the case in the Jewish religion where it is object of sacrifice and blessing, nor at the Muslims, where it is at the same time object of repulsion and the supreme reward with the paradise. The climatic plagues were often associated with divine

punishments. Thus, J. BERLIOZ, stresses that the devil and the demons are regarded in a popular context as sources of calamities. To entreat these plagues, it was not rare to call on magic practices, relayed by the superstitions. For the church, this fear of the climatic risks was the occasion to sacrilize the prayers, psalms, litanies, speech in order to move away the calamities. The recourse to the saints (Saint-Vincent for example) also fits in a cultural approach in bond with the divinities. Beyond the pertaining to worship and cultural aspects, the religion strongly influenced history of the vine and the wine in the world.

Monasteries and abbeys, centers of scholarship and the artistic poles contributed to develop the vine in most European areas grace in particular to wine knowledge of the monks on art cultivating the vine (choice of the seedlings, cuts, soil) and working out the wine. Later the missionaries contributed to the development of the vine and the wine in the countries of the New World.

Like all other fermented drinks, the wine underwent an interdict of the Islamic religion, which considerably reduced the production of wines in the countries of the East, historically very wine. Within the Catholic religion persecutions of the Protestants obliged them to migrate, in particular towards South Africa, with creation by the Huguenot ones of a vineyard in the area of Franschhoek (“the area of French” in dutch language).