Objectives and Tasks

Gesellschaft für Geschichte des Weines e.V.

Society for the History of Wine

(established in 1959 – based in Wiesbaden)

Objectives and Tasks

As the name suggests, the “Gesellschaft für Geschichte des Weines” researches the history of wine and its many facets.
It deals with, for example,

  • grape varieties;
  • the techniques of wine growing;
  • vineyard sites;
  • oenology and winemaking;
  • sparkling wine production;
  • growing areas;
  • viniculture;
  • the history of brandy;
  • the history of the wine trade.

Its most important task is publishing

  • "Schriften zur Weingeschichte (engl.: Writings to the Wine History)" (191 issues through 2016)
  • the biographical encyclopedia "Persönlichkeiten der Weinkultur (engl.: Personalities in the World of Wine)" (2nd edition 2002 with online updates).

Supported by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (Bonn) and the German Wine Institute (Mainz) as well as with technical assistance by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food, it publishes the online database

  • Bibliographie zur Geschichte und Kultur des Weines (engl.: Bibliography for the History and Culture of Wine) [=Schoene3] (more than 33,900 titles listed, as 2016).

Furthermore it has a

  • library for the history of wine (as a department of the Main Library of the Geisenheim University: approx. 2,200 volumes, as 2016).

There are also collections

  • of historical coins with wine motifs (in the “Museum für Weinkultur”, Deidesheim);
  • of stamps with wine motifs;
  • of historical wine-bottle labels.

Members include (number of members about 800)

  • historically-interested wine lovers;
  • historians interested in wine;
  • vinicultural experts;
  • vintners;
  • wine merchants.

These members meet regularly for conferences in spring and autumn including

  • academic lectures;
  • wine tastings;
  • a wide-ranging cultural programme.

The membership fee of € 50 (€ 10 for partners and young people until the age of 25 years) comprises

  • postal delivery of “Schriften der Weingeschichte” (generally three issues a year);
  • postal delivery of Society information (three issues a year with news and reports for members and book reviews from the world of wine);
  • a discount on congress fees.

The Society logo is made up of

  • a wine cup and
  • an ivy leaf.

These two traditional attributes of the ancient god of wine Dionysos or Bacchus reflect the aims of the Society. The wine cup symbolizes the enjoyment of wine and hospitality, whereas the ivy leaf, representing shade and coolness, was thought capable of extinguishing the embers of wine. Thus, the wine cup and ivy leaf represent the cultural awareness of the Society in its approach to wine by seeking to promote academic research into the history of wine. The Society is convinced that wine culture is part of Western history, not only confined to the past but which can also make a positive contribution to the present.

For further information see the Society’s homepage:


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