Influence of the Carolingian era

800-888 AD - Influence of the Carolingian era

With the rise of vineyards in medieval France, a new system of land development arose throughout the Carolingian era. A farmer could approach a landowner with uncultivated land under this kind of contract and offer to plant and care for the area for a predetermined period of time. The remaining half of the fully cultivated land would pass to the farmer with the understanding that a portion, or “tithing,” of each year’s crop would be paid to the original landowner. After the specified period of time, half of the fully cultivated land would revert to full control of the original landowner.

As an example, the Poitou region near La Rochelle was successfully and enthusiastically planted under this approach at no cost to the landowner. The Abbey of Ronceray d’Angers had a sizable tract of uncultivated land (chaume), which it farmed out to farmers in exchange for a fourth (quart) of the wine produced on the property, giving rise to the name of the Loire Valley wine known today as Quarts de Chaume.


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