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The growing region in Germany is named after the two rivers in whose narrow valleys the terraced vineyards lie on the south-eastern and south-western slopes. The vineyards cover 786 hectares of vines, spread over three federal states. Over 90% of it is in Saxony-Anhalt, the rest in Thuringia and only a few hectares in Werder an der Havel in the state of Brandenburg. Viticulture has been practised here for over a thousand years. In a deed of gift from Emperor Otto III. (980-1002), a grandson of Charlemagne, to the Memleben monastery in 998. Another document attests to vineyards in the Mansfeld Lakes area as early as 973. In 1137, the Cistercians founded the monastery of St. Mariae ad Portam (today the Pforta Monastery State Winery) and in 1154 laid out the Köppelberg vineyard in Pfortens, which still exists today. The old wine-growing tradition is attested to by a grape in the coat of arms of the town of Jena, where the Friedrich Schiller University was founded in 1554. At that time, Thuringia's vineyard area was around 10,000 hectares.

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Sigi Hiss
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