1487 Royal Decree of Germany

Definition - What does 1487 Royal Decree of Germany mean?

The 1487 Royal Decree of Germany was a law enacted that permitted winemakers to burn sulphured wood chips for the disinfection of their barrels. The decree also permitted winemakers to use sulphur for the storage and preservation of wine. It could then be added to a fermentation to control the temperature and later used as an additive to preserve the wine against oxidation.

WineFrog explains 1487 Royal Decree of Germany

The use of sulphur as a preservative is often a controversial subject. However, sulphur is a natural product produced in nature. It can be found as a compound in many freshly picked fruits.

The use of sulphur in winemaking can be recorded back to the era of the Roman Empire. The most noted record of it being utilized in winemaking dates as far back as the royal German decree of 1487. It was under this decree that allowed winemakers to burn chips soaked in sulphur for storing wine. It also allowed for the burning of oak chips to disinfect each barrel before they were filled with wine for storing and aging. This is still a common practice today.

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