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oldest wine account

The oldest preserved wine invoice in Germany, in the form of a notarised contract in Latin, dates from 18 November 1211 and involved members of the Greiffenclau family, who in later generations owned Schloss Vollrads (Rheingau). Emmircho and Heinrich Grifenclawa ceded their right to the tithe(Zehent) of the estates of St. Viktorstift in exchange for a lump sum compensation of three pieces of wine (about 3,600 litres) per year. This wine was in turn bought by her brother Ruthard, who held the office of the Domcellar of Mainz, with an unlimited contract and donated to the donation fund of the canons of St. Victor for the salvation of the family.

The invoice contains the names of the seller and the buyer, the goods in type and quantity, the date of the purchase contract, as well as the names of witnesses. The seal of the certifying Archbishop Siegfried II. of Eppstein (1165-1230) on yellow-red silk strings concludes the contract. The contract already contains indispensable parameters at that time. From the missing indication of the prices one can conclude that there were annually different determinations, which could not be agreed upon in advance with a long-term valid business conclusion. Also at that time the dependence of the price on quantity and quality was valid. The original document is in the Mainz city archive. See also under Records.

Source: R. Hepp, Society for the History of Wine - Schriften z. Weingeschichte 166

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