Grapevines have been part of people’s lives for millennia. Wine-growing and viniculture actually originate in the Middle East. The common grape vine mainly spread into central Europe via the Rhine and Danube rivers.
Wine-growing underwent a particular surge in the Middle Ages. The Carolingians and the monks who were involved in converting the Franks to Christianity at that time helped viticulture spread throughout Germany.
In Saxony, Bishop Benno, who remained in office until 1107, is said to have been a patron of viticulture. It was in that century (in 1161) that viticulture in Meissen was first mentioned in a document.