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Cider in the " ribbed "

Apple wine , also called “ Viez ”, apple cider , sour cider , regionally only cider , in the Hessian Ebbelwoi , is a fruit wine that is mostly pressed from a mixture of different, relatively acidic apples and fermented alcoholically . Also crab apples can be recycled that way. The natural alcohol content is 5 to 7 % by volume . Apple cider usually has a tart, sour taste, as tart and sour apples are traditionally used for its production. Depending on the apple varieties used , the taste does not necessarily have to be tart or sour . In the course of the fermentation process , the yeast and fruit components that have died due to the increasing alcohol content sink to the bottom of the fermentation container.


In the Central Hessian and South Hessian dialect, such as Lower Main and Frankfurt , apple wine like "Ebbelwoi", "Äbbelwoi" or "Ebbelwei" is spoken and also jokingly referred to as "Schtöffsche", "Hoheasthoimer" or "Reweblut vom Ebbelbaam". The designation "Hessischer Apfelwein", on the other hand, is a " protected geographical indication ", which means that its fermentation, clarification and bottling must take place in Hessen. Around half of the apples for Hessian apple wine come from outside Hesse. The term “Äppler”, which is often used in the media, is not a traditional name, but an artificial name that was introduced by large presses for advertising purposes in the 1980s. In traditional cider bars, the cider is usually referred to simply as " Schoppen " (in Frankfurt "Schobbe") and the cider and wine drinkers as "Schobbepetzer".

On the Moselle , in the Eifel , in the Hunsrück , on the Saar and in Luxembourg , apple wine bears the name " Viez ", which comes from Roman times (Latin vice = the second or substitute wine, vice vinum = wine substitute ) and indicates that Cider was drunk as a substitute for real wine .

In Upper German , the common name is must , which in many regions - u. a. in the Austrian Mostviertel - pear cider is also added.

In Switzerland, the fermented apple juice is called "sure Moscht" or "sure juice" (from sur / suur = sour).


Apple wine bar in Sachsenhausen (1865)
Sign of the apple wine presses with their own bar in Frankfurt am Main

The Greeks and Romans were already familiar with the production of cider (Latin: vinum ex malis factum ), as was the case in Augusta Treverorum , today's Trier . Pliny the Elder (23 to 79 AD) reports: "Vinum fit e piris malorumque omnibus generibus" (one makes wine from pears and all kinds of apples) and also mentions cider apples ( mustea ). The agricultural writer Palladius describes the preparation of wine from pears in the 4th century AD. It is also proven that the Germanic peoples knew about the production of fruit wine even before the Romans came (traditional Germanic name: Ephiltranc ). The arrival of the Romans brought other types of fruit into the country, which displaced the native wild fruit. There was a revival in fruit wine production.

In Frankfurt, the apple wine is proven around the year 1600. As early as 1638, a council ordinance stipulated a cleanliness regulation that cider producers still have to adhere to today.

The first liquor license was granted in Frankfurt in 1754, and the drink has also been taxed since then.

At that time, however, apple wine was not seen as the traditional Frankfurt drink that it is today, but as a simple everyday drink that the little people let ferment in the house cellar. In those days, wealthy Frankfurt tended to drink the good wine that still grows today in the Rhine-Main area and especially in the Frankfurt city area. As an inexpensive substitute for it, cider became popular, especially due to the phylloxera plague that began in Europe in the 1860s . Many of the deserted vineyards were used as orchards from then on.


Apple cider is traditionally a purely natural product . How cloudy the apple cider is depends on how long it rests and whether or not it has been treated with fining agents.

Apple press memorial from 1894 in San Francisco (USA)

In the earliest production of apple wine, the apples were first crushed by hand in a large trough. In later times a millstone rolled by horse or human strength crushed the fruit and at the same time pressed it into a groove hollowed out of a tree trunk. The production of the pressed material is done today by chopping the whole fruit including the skin, stem, core and seeds into a coarse pulp. The presses used to fill this pulp into a square wooden frame, into square cloths placed over the corners, folded the four pieces of cloth over the pressed material, removed the frame and placed a grate made of wooden leaves over it. By repeating this process up to thirty times, an approx. 1 m high stack is created under the ram. By turning a wooden winch, today with a hydraulic piston, the ram was and is pressed onto the pile and the pile together and pressed out. The aromatic juice now ran from the press into the transport containers or directly into the oak barrels stored in the cellar. There it began to ferment, often after adding yeast. This is particularly used by hobby gardeners who, after shredding the apples and pressing the schnitzel , fill the apple juice directly into fermentation barrels (previously carboys , i.e. large glass bottles). The natural sugar content and the surrounding yeast trigger the fermentation process, which takes around three to four months to fully ferment. The yeast and residues fall down and the resulting gases escape through the fermentation tube . After decanting, d. H. Separation of the residues, the cider can be kept for years. Since the cider is neither heated nor added or sweetened with fermentation additives or stoppers, cider fans are of the opinion that cider is healthier than apple juice, since the latter, if it is to be kept unrefrigerated for a long time, is pasteurized (e.g. over 15 heated to 82 to 90 ° C for 150 seconds  ).

The pressed pomace is still used as animal feed.

In today's production, the apples are usually pressed with large membrane presses. One method is to wash the apples into the press room in channels in the floor and wash them at the same time. Then the apples get from there into a basin, from which they are roughly ground by the elevator (long and wide tube with a chain and lifting conveyor elements) at its end or transported into a vat .

The mass of coarsely ground apples is called mash . This must not be too fine when making cider, otherwise it cannot be optimally pressed. The mash is transported into the press through a pipe. The freshly squeezed apple juice is filled directly into stainless steel or fiberglass tanks. In this way, several tons of apples can be processed at the same time.

During the fermentation process, the sugar contained in the apple is broken down by the fruit's own yeast and the added pure yeast. This process creates alcohol and carbon dioxide , which acts as fermentation foam and protects the fermenting juice and displaces the air buffer remaining in the tank. This lasts eight to ten days and is called "stormy fermentation". Since the carbon dioxide that escapes in large quantities can lead to impaired consciousness and death from certain volume concentrations in the breathing air, work may only be carried out in the production rooms when the ventilation is running. In the case of private production for personal use, windows and doors in the basement are left open for this time.

If the cider only rests on its yeast for a short time, it does not taste particularly aromatic. Depending on the desired aroma, the presser pulls the wine away from the yeast either sooner or later by transferring it to another barrel without the yeast. Therefore, the wine of each barrel tastes a little different.

In industrial production, the naturally cloudy character is artificially emphasized in order to give the cider an eco-note.

The leftover apple scraps are called pomace . This is well suited as feed for sheep and cattle. Pigs do not tolerate this marc because their stomachs are too sensitive for the fruit residues. The majority of the marc is used as compost for agriculture, as the amount far exceeds the sheep feed requirement. Another, but rarely practiced, option is to burn the pressed fruit pomace after it has undergone a fermentation process. The result is a fruit pomace brandy .

The harvest season starts in autumn. The apples are then cold-pressed, and you get the so-called sweet or sweet viez (Mosel-Saar area), which is often called must or sweet must in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland . After several days, it is then a Rauscher , so a fermenting wine, which on the tongue bitzelt (see carbonic acid ) and the Sauser or Federweissen corresponds in the grape wine. The name Rauscher is obviously derived from the noise that can be heard with the ear on the glass. Especially after drinking several glasses, the Rauscher can suddenly produce a laxative effect. At Rauscher , the cider song refers from the Fraa Rauscher from the Sachsenhausen Klappergasse. In the further course the bright new and the old emerge . The above-mentioned ambiguous song also refers to the latter.

A few commercial cider manufacturers heat the apples before pressing, which results in a slightly higher juice yield, which, in the opinion of many cider fans, is at the expense of the good taste.

A variant of the apple wine is mixed with the juice of the fruits of the service tree . This "acidification" clarifies the wine through the high tannin content and makes it longer lasting. Other less well-known additives are quince , medlar , mountain ash or sloe , in southern Germany and Austria also the cider pear and all other types of firm pears.

Some manufacturers use in the southwestern area usually known as the wood or Viezapfel (small and very acidic, a cider apple type settings that do not match the wild apple is identical) and mix them (for lack of ground) with partly introduced slightly sweeter varieties. The mixing ratio is kept as low as possible in favor of the crab apples , so that the original taste is retained.

Apple cider is usually not made from the modern table apple varieties as they are bred for high fructose content. When it comes to pressing, you have to rely on the acidic older varieties from orchards . The consumption of cider not only contributes to the survival of the old apple varieties, but also to the preservation of the orchard meadows that used to shape the landscape . Attention is also paid to apple varieties with a low pectin content, as this naturally occurring thickener in apples is fermented by the yeast to form toxic methanol.

Old apple varieties that are important for cider production are z. B. White Matapfel , Viezapfel , Bohnapfel , Erbachhofer Mostapfel , Red Trier Weinapfel .

Cider - especially the weaker qualities or excess production - is used to make apple brandy . Frequently, however, the fermented apple mash to fire production used, it saves the process of vinification.


Since it is often cloudy, cider is usually served in a ribbed glass (diamond-cut glass, the cuts of which reflect the light). The size of this glass is often 0.25 liters. Cider supplied by large wineries in 1-liter bottles is usually served in 0.25-liter glasses (the larger version holds 0.5 liters). However, the traditional glass size is 0.3 liters. The traditional apple wine restaurants and their guests hold on to it. The 0.25 liter glass is consequently referred to as the “bugger glass”, as it brings less cider at mostly the same price. Serving apple cider in other types of glass (e.g. long drink glasses) is absolutely unusual. A filled with cider Rib is also called pint referred. The ribbed pattern of the apple wine glasses comes from the time when people mostly ate without cutlery and the glasses without pattern slipped more easily from the then greasy hands than the ribbed ones.

In company or when you are very thirsty, you can order cider in a Bembel , a clay jug that keeps the cider cool. The pot-bellied vessel made of salt-glazed earthenware usually has a gray base color with a blue pattern. The different sizes are usually named according to their content in glasses, for example 4 or 8 cones, depending on the place of use, the small 0.25 liter or 0.3 liter glasses are used as a basis. (Correspondingly, a 4-pack can contain one liter, but also 1.2 liters of cider). The Bembel are traditionally made in Kannenbäckerland , an area rich in clay in the Westerwald between Montabaur and the Rhine .

Cider taverns that still press the cider themselves are entitled to hang a green spruce wreath with the bembel in front of the door (this tradition is said to date from 1641), but this unprotected symbol is often misused.

In the Eifel , Hunsrück , Moselle valley , on the lower course of the Saar and Trier , the “Viezporz” drinking vessel (mostly 0.4 l, now also available as 0.2 l or miniature for schnapps (4 cl)), made of white porcelain or Stoneware is where the name “Porz” is derived (spoken: “Poarz” or “Peerzi” = Moselle Franconian ). The freshly squeezed so-called “sweet Viez” is also popular here. In earlier times the Viez was kept in larger earthenware vessels (Viezkrug), similar to the "Bembel" in the Frankfurt area.

Apple cider as a hot drink

As an old home remedy for colds or as a warming drink in the cold season, hot apple wine (in Austria: mulled cider) is popular, whereby the apple wine is heated (not boiled!) And served with a cinnamon stick , possibly cloves and lemon wedge. With this variant, adding sugar is not taboo as an exception.

For “hot apple cider” you need the following ingredients: 1 liter of cider, 125 milliliters of water, 60 grams of sugar, a quarter of a stick of cinnamon, three cloves and two slices of an untreated lemon.
Sugar, cinnamon and cloves are boiled with the water, and then this mixture is left to stand for 30 minutes. Then the spices are taken out of the pot. The brew is then mixed with the cider and carefully heated to just before the boiling point.

Apple cider as a mixed drink

  • The most common is the Sauerspritzte or simply "Sauer", "Saurer" or " G'spritzte ": blended with mineral water, so an apple wine spritzer or Viez spritzer . If you want more than the usual amount of water in your cider, you can order a deep spray or a Batschnassen . This custom comes from the Frankfurt wine era, when the tart varieties usually had to be diluted with water. In Austria this variant is also jokingly called the “fire brigade mix”. Another name is the "Spruvi" (from Sprudel-Viez) from the Trier area.
  • Also widespread is the sweet spritzed (seldom also called sweet , but not to be confused with the freshly squeezed “sweet”, a preliminary stage of apple wine, which is only available at harvest time; see under production ): blended with orange or lemonade or with fresh apple cider . In Moselle Franconia , the mixture is called Viez-Limo or, more rarely, Lim-Viez .
  • In Swabian there is still “Mostbowle”: cider, lemonade and sliced ​​untreated lemon, are drunk as refreshment in summer.
  • In winter, the drink forms the basis for hot apples , which also contain sugar , cinnamon , cloves and sometimes lemon wedges and honey .
  • Mixing cider and apple juice (half-half) is also popular. In eastern Switzerland this mixture is also known as “ghürotne” (married person).
  • Young people in particular mix apple cider with cola . This mix is ​​called "Appelwein-Cola" or "Zitsch". The term "Korea" is also common in the Frankfurt area. In the Hessian Ried, however, the designation "KE" (Kola-Ebbelwoi) has prevailed. The term “Covi” is common in the Trier region.

Some purists among the self-pressing innkeepers refuse to serve sprinkled sweets. For example, there are some Frankfurt apple wine bars that generally do not serve any spritzed sweets. If a guest orders it anyway, cider and lemonade are served separately from each other, and the "cultural crime" of mixing is left to them.

To change the taste of cider in the desired manner, enter the Kelterer to the apples and quince , medlar and Speierling added. In the case of the service tree, the name sometimes does not refer to the fruit, but to a particularly bitter apple wine - real service tree is quite rare and therefore expensive. In addition, there are different customs and methods of production, which vary from one press to another, which often lead to very large differences in taste.


In terms of food law, apple wine and the other fermentation products of apple must (apple-sparkling wine, apple sparkling wine, cider etc.) belong to the category of "wine-like drinks". Beverages similar to wine do not fall under wine law, but rather under the general provisions of food law ( Food and Feed Code ). In particular, the Ordinance on Alcoholic Beverages (AGeV) regulates in its second section wine-like, sparkling wine-like and sparkling wine-like beverages and alcoholic beverages processed from these the production, composition and designation of these products.

“In order to clearly distinguish wine-like drinks from viticulture products, precise labeling is required. In order to avoid confusion with products under wine law, drinks similar to wine may only be marketed as “... wine” with phrases that identify the raw materials from which they are made, such as: B. ' cherry wine ' or 'pear sparkling wine'. In contrast, designations such as 'wine made from cherries' or 'sparkling wine made from pears' are not permitted.
It is customary to add sulfur dioxide or its compounds to stabilize the products. As this substance is incompatible with some people, a residual content of more than 10 mg / l must be indicated. On prepackaged items, this is usually done in the form of the so-called allergen label 'contains sulfites'. In the case of openly dispensed products, however, the note 'sulphurized' must be attached. "

- The investigation offices for food control and animal health Baden-Württemberg

Agricultural policy

In November 2007, information was leaked to the Bild newspaper that EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel wanted to ban the term cider. According to this, only alcoholic beverages made from grapes should be allowed to be called "wine". In the beginning of the state election campaign, Roland Koch's CDU state government tried to use the outrage and launched an initiative "Save our apple wine". Shortly thereafter, it became known that the EU's renaming plans had met with massive protests from numerous EU member states months ago and were thus effectively off the table.


Pressing day in the open-air museum Roscheider Hof in Konz
Apple wine district in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen

Cider is mainly produced and consumed:


The ARD broadcast Zum Blauen Bock with TV hosts Heinz Schenk and Lia Wöhr as show masters made “Ebbelwoi” and the associated “ Bembel ” known nationwide.

In January 2005, the fresh apple wine of the current vintage was tapped for the first time as part of a television program on hr television in the presence of political figures. This event was repeated in 2006 and will continue as a tradition.

The "Original Frankfurter Apfelweinquartett" has been in existence in Frankfurt am Main since 2005. The card game, consisting of 32 playing cards, a city map and a rule card, presents 32 Frankfurt apple wine bars and is an entertaining guide from pint to pint. Categories include “Biggest Bembel”, “Price of the pint” and “Weight of the rib”. A year later, a new, revised edition of the card game appeared with new local and updated categories.

Musts in Austria

Since the must in Austria has been produced and offered in various regions for a long time, some varieties and their regions were also included in the register of traditional foods and were given names under the umbrella brand Genussregion Österreich according to the respective regions of origin, such as the Bucklige Welt apple cider region , the Lavanttaler cider region for the Lavanttal , where the must is also known as cider, or the various cider varieties in the Lavanttal .

Similar to apple cider, which is also offered in various regions in Austria, it is also available as pear cider. The Mostviertler perry was approved by the European Commission in 2011 in the category of foods with protected geographical indication added. Also in 2011, the results of tastings of the must from the Mostviertel were also included in the Austrian wine magazine Falstaff . This must has also been included in the Register of Traditional Foods . In addition, Most is the namesake for the region as part of the Austria-wide project Genussregion Österreich .

Cider in other countries

Old juicer in Balgach in Switzerland

Sparkling varieties of cider are cider named or sparkling cider. In France , this drink cider in the UK , Ireland , Sweden , South Africa , USA Cider in Spain Sidra , in the Basque Country Sagardoa in Slovenia Jabolčnik and in Finland Siideri .

An alcoholic drink similar to apple wine, which is made from apples and / or pears , bears the name Most in southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria .

In Switzerland, a distinction is made between apple wine (clear, tangy) and sour must (clear or cloudy), i.e. fermented apple juice. Sour must is mainly produced in Eastern Switzerland , where it is called "juice" for the sake of simplicity. The canton of Thurgau , which produces the most apples in Switzerland, is also (jokingly) referred to as "Most India".

Cider is also produced using these two methods of production in Spain and France. Sour must (cloudy) is produced in both the French and Spanish parts of the Basque Country and also in the Asturias region of Spain further west . The sour apple wine, which is very similar to the Hessian apple wine, is called sidra natural (natural apple wine) in Spain and cidre basque (Basque apple wine) in France . The rather sweet, carbonated cider is mainly made in France in Normandy and Brittany . Both varieties are produced in Asturias. It is called sidra dulce (sweet cider) in Spain and cidre breton (Breton cider) in France .


There are various museums that deal exclusively with cider and cider sparkling wine:

In Frankfurt am Main there was the Frankfurt Apple Wine Museum from 1991 to 2011 . The museum project, largely driven by Günter Possmann and Helmut Lenz , to which the Historix restaurant belonged, was located in the city's historical museum . With the demolition of the museum building erected in 1972, the cider museum was closed and the plans for the new building do not envisage a reopening. In February 2012 the sponsoring association Deutsches Apfelweinmuseum e. V. , who is planning a new cider museum in Frankfurt.

See also


  • Stefan Barme: Naked ass, Viez and leather thong: excursions into the cultural history of the Moselle region. Verlag S. MO, Kordel 2012, ISBN 978-3-940760-37-1 .
  • Helga Faber: The world of apple wine: From Stöffche to cider and cider to sidra and viez . Naumann, Hanau 2011, ISBN 978-3-940168-94-8 .
  • Manfred L. Franz: From orchards to cider. Wittbach, Kreuzwertheim 2005, ISBN 978-3-937100-01-2 .
  • Konstantin Kalveram: Hesse's apple wines - The Stöffche and its makers. B3, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-938783-28-3 .
  • Gudrun Mangold: Most. The book about apple and perry wine. 2nd edition, Silberburg, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 978-3-87407-557-2 .
  • Jörg Stier: From the tree to the Bembel. The artisanal production of the Hessian apple wines. CoCon, Hanau 2000, ISBN 978-3-928100-79-3 .
  • Jörg Stier: Cider - in stories and anecdotes. CoCon, Hanau 2006, ISBN 978-3-937774-29-9 .
  • Jörg Stier: From apple to wine. Nature, production, enjoyment. CoCon, Hanau 2013, ISBN 978-3-86314-222-3 .
  • Kathrin Zimmermann: The Stöffche guide. The most rustic apple wine bars in Frankfurt and the surrounding area - Odenwald, Rhön, Taunus, Wetterau and Wiesbaden. 2nd edition, Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-8218-1761-5 .


  • Cider taste experience - an enjoyable journey through Hessen. TV report, Germany, 2012, 44:22 min., Script and direction: Astrid Dermutz and Isabelle Stier, production: Hessischer Rundfunk , series: Stories from Hessen, first broadcast: April 15, 2012 in hr, film information from hr and online video .

Web links

Commons : Cider from Germany  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Apfelwein  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Register information from the DPMA , Ref. 305 99 009.8 (since 2007); DOOR database of the European Commission , dossier no. DE / PGI / 0005/0620 (since 2010); Press release (from December 15, 2010) by the Association of Hessian Apple Wine and Fruit Juice Presses ( Memento from November 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  2. § 10 and labeling in § 11
  3. The supposed hero of the Stöffchestreits. In: , November 8, 2007
  4. Moschti-Fäscht. OK Moschti-Fäascht, accessed June 20, 2016 .
  5. 49 . Entry in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
    49 at the Genuss Region Österreich association .
  6. 149 . Entry in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
    149 at the Genuss Region Österreich association .
  7. Mustabilities . Entry no. 19 in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
  8. Mostviertler Most with EU protection. In: Wiener Zeitung . March 19, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  9. Falstaff - Mostviertel pear cider tasting. ( Memento of December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: Mostropolis , April 12, 2011, accessed on April 21, 2011.
  10. Mostviertler pear juice PGI . Entry no. 20 in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
    Mostviertler pear cider PGI at the Genuss Region Österreich association .
  11. Welcome to MoMö. Retrieved June 14, 2019 .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 11, 2005 .