The astonishment of the mountain

Vintage is probably the most popular wine festival. But what precedes it? A lot of work, but also the protection of ripening grapes. And that's what the old winemaking custom of "burying the mountain" is all about, preventing anyone from entering the vineyards who has no business being there. And because everyone looks forward to good wine, they strictly observe this tradition and it has become a popular and well-loved folk festival.

Although the winery is now equipped with modern technology, it still adheres to tradition. Once upon a time, the striking of a vineyard mountain, sometimes also known in the dialect as the striking of a vineyard mountain, was one of the winemaker's biggest events of the year. It was the act of formally locking up the vineyards and forbidding entry to all but the winemaker himself and the so-called gatekeepers, who were tasked with guarding the vineyards from thieves and squatters. Violation of the ban was severely and harshly punished, often with the highest penalty. Pregnant women were also allowed to enter and could pick three grapes on a hot day. The festival of the striking of the mountain itself is a mixture of different customs, and Christian beliefs played a role in them.religion, old pagan customs and secular law, and therefore also has a slightly different course in each village.

Today it is more of an entertainment attraction linked to folklore festivals and attracts countless tourists every year. It is always held from about mid-August to early September. The erected braided maypole, which is decorated with a bouquet of flowers and a vine wreath, is not to be missed. Around it, the winemakers hammer 12 wooden stakes as a symbol of the winemaker's year-round work. Humorous sketches or the taking of the oath by the gamekeepers follow. Demonstrations of punishments for trespassing or punishing dishonest winemakers. The whole event is accompanied by colourful costumes, dulcimer music and singing of folk songs. There is also good food and, of course, wine from past harvests.

And why startle the mountain when it has nothing to do with the mountain at all? A mountain is the name given to a vineyard in general. During the ripening of the grapes, a weak, barkless pole, about 10 cm in diameter and several metres high, is driven into the vine. This sign made it clear that the vineyards were already locked and no outsiders were allowed in them.