The grape culture of Merano:

 
In the year 1702 a court decree specified that the Viennese imperial kitchen was only to be supplied with fruit and grapes from Merano. In the first half of the 19th century, as the city gradually became a place of residence for those in need of a cure from all over Europe, the Merano grape experienced a kind of renaissance with the grape cure becoming the fashion. At the beginning white grapes were recommended, but in the 1850s the tastier, juicy “Grossvernatsch” grape became more popular, as it had a thinner skin and fewer seeds. The ration of grapes was 2-3 kilos a day. The grape cure promised improved gall and digestive activity and favourable influences on the spleen and liver, and it was even recommended in cases of eye and ear problems, certain lung diseases and hot flushes. Gradually the Merano grape cure attained such fame that it was sent far and wide for cure purposes by train. (For more details see Das Kurhaus Meran. Ein Blick in die Geschichte der Kurstadt [The Merano Kurhaus. A view into the history of the spa town of Merano] by Renate Abram, published for the Merano Theatre and Kurhaus Association by Tappeiner Verlag, Lana 1999)
 
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