Medieval Farming, Grapevines

grape vine yellowsGrapes were cultivated primarily for wine, although in less suitable climates (such as England) it could be hard to get a good crop. Not a problem  the grapes could be used instead to create a kind of vinegar called verjuice, which was in widespread use and could also include unripe apples. Pruning and staking of the vines occurred in February, and the harvest and other winemaking activities took place in October.

The so-called "European grape", Vitis vinifera, originated not in Europe but in the Black Sea region, and spread from there south to the Middle East so that by 6,000 BC grape vines were being cultivated in Mesopotamia. The vinifera grape then spread east to Phoenicia and Egypt, and by 2,000 BC Phoenician sailors were ferrying grapevines across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece and beyond.

The Doomsday Book of William the Conqueror records that at the end of the 11th century there were 28 producing vineyards in Norman England.

These vineyards prospered over the next 300 years, and England developed into an important centre of European winemaking. Yet English vineyards, like those in most of Europe, were mainly associated with the church.

About this time the farmers of Bordeaux, an English holding in France

Farming Slaves, Weeding, Ploughing, Seeds, Irrigation, Sickles, Threshing, Wheat, Barley, Millet, Oats, Rye, Olive Trees, Grapevines