Wine healing place

FRANCE More than 600 years ago, a bottle of wine could be prescribed to treat flatulence or obesity.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, tested many wines to treat different diseases. This Greek physician believes that wine is good for the healthy as well as the sick.

Today, people are often advised to drink alcohol in moderation. But in France, where viticulture dates back to the 5th century BC, the phrase "à votre santé" (to wish you health) a toast is a congratulation to its literal meaning.

Melissa Banigan, a BBC journalist, visited the cellar deep in the heart of a medieval hospital in Strasbourg, Alsace, eastern France, to learn about the relationship between alcohol and medicine.

Strasbourg's wine cellar is also home to the oldest white wine in the world - Alsace white wine - has only been tried 3 times from 1472 to now.

People from all over France have come to the hospital to receive treatment with wine. They use about 2 bottles of wine every day to treat different diseases. Photo: CNN / Garden.

Strasbourg is a modern city with a history of 2,000 years, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1988. Since 1395, Strasbourg Civil Hospital has had a symbiotic relationship with the historic cellar of the Hospice Strasbourg is located just below the hospital.

For about 600 years, many patients in the hospital paid their medical bills with plots of grape growing land, and the grapes were harvested as wine in a cellar after harvest.

This is common practice in France, vineyards generate income for hospitals, and wine cellar - which functions as a large fridge - is the perfect place to keep wine cool.

A bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine will be prescribed for flatulence, while Côtes de Provence rosé will be used to treat obesity, with people with high cholesterol in the blood, it needs 2 glasses of Bergerac. For herpes, patients are required to bathe with Muscat de Frontignan alcohol.

Although the hospital's wine treatment ended in 1990, the cellar continues to play an important role in the history of French wine production, through the introduction of some of the best wines. of France and financially support the hospital.

Today, the cellar produces 140,000 bottles of Gewürztraminer, Klevener de Heiligenstein, Sylvaner and Riesling each year, using grapes grown by 26 partners. The wines are aged for 6 to 10 months in large oak barrels before being bottled and sold outside.

"Every wine-producing partner supplies a small portion of its products to this cellar instead of cellar rental," said Mr. Thibaut Baldinger, the owner of the cellar.

The proceeds from the cellar's winemaking are invested in the purchase of medical equipment for hospitals, while partners benefit from the sale of alcohol. There are several types of wines in the cellar that are never sold. Especially the bottle of wine since 1472, it is believed that it belongs to the first owner.

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