Name (also Torggl or Torkel) for the tree press already known in antiquity among the Romans, which was still widely used until the late Middle Ages. The name is derived from the Latin "torquere" (to turn or stagger), as the tree was lowered by turning. In south-western Germany and Switzerland, the name Trotte is commonly used for it. The Roman politician and writer Cato the Elder (234-149 BC) described the construction of such a press in great detail. The grapes were first stomped with the bare feet or crushed with pistons and then subjected to the lever pressure of a 12 to 14 metre long, heavy oak trunk.
In South Tyrol, the term "torggeln" or "torggln" is still used today for pressing the grapes. A custom practised there, involving a cosy get-together and the enjoyment of hearty food and wine, is called Törggelen. The picture above shows a tree press in Salem Castle (former Cistercian monastery) in Baden-Württemberg from 1706 with an approximately 11-metre-long "Torkelbaum". The picture below shows a tree press in the castle of Rocca d'Angera on Lake Maggiore (Lombardy). See also lists of relevant keywords under winemaking and winemaking customs.
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Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien