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Rotspon

Old term for red wines imported from France to Germany in barrels. This was a speciality of the three Hanseatic cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck. This wine was shipped to the Hanseatic cities mainly from Bordeaux and partly blended from different deliveries. Here it then matured further and was finally bottled. Trade in Rotspon began as early as the Hanseatic period in the 13th century, but only gained importance in the 16th and 17th centuries, especially through the wine trading house of Carl Tesdorpf in Lübeck. "Spon" or also "Span" is derived from "Holzspan" and is a Low German word for barrel. The name "Lübecker Rotspon" stood for Bordeaux wines that were stored until they were ready for drinking and then bottled. The German writer Thomas Mann (1875-1955) immortalised this wine in his novel "Buddenbrooks". Due to the mild, even climate, the mostly tannin-rich wine lost its hardness and in earlier times was mostly tapped directly from the barrel. The attribute "red" is derived from the oak wood coloured red by red wines.

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Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

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