4th May to 31st Oktober 2006
Wine and grape in religion
Wine plays an important role in the Christian tradition. There are a number of stories and parables associated with wine in the Bible. Wine is mentioned in more than 500 times. It is praised in the Psalms as a means of joy in life. The Bible mentions also that consumed moderately it has a good effect on health. Wine is a beverage, stimulant and unfortunately also intoxicant.
Wine and grape in art
Wine, vine and grape are common themes in Christian art. The South Tyrolean Wine Museum keeps an interesting collection of objects of religious folk art. Among them are the motif of Christ in the wine press as well as representations of saints, in particular the saint Urban, patron of the winegrowers and the coopers. His picture can be found on flags, church windows and chapels.
The altar wine, a special wine
Until the second half of the 15th century, red wine was used as altar wine. The red wine was considered a symbol of the blood of Christ. Since the wine is of great importance in the celebration of the Eucharist, it must have certain properties. The most recent wine regulations date from 1976. The wine must be clear, natural and without added sugar. Whoever delivers the altar wine has to swear under oath that the wine complies with the regulations.