EST! EST!! EST!!! (It is! It is!! It is!!!)

I may only be a new raconteur of wine.  I remember reading about this wine, and I had to discover it and decide for myself, as the story was intriguing.


On the back label of the bottle I quote;

“In the year 1111, the Bavarian Bishop Baron Johannes Fugger was traveling to Rome under the instructions of Emperor Henry V.  The nobleman, a connoisseur of wine, sent his faithful servant ahead to chalk the word EST! (“It is”) at the entrance of every inn where the wine was especially good.  The servant was so enthusiastic about the wine of Montefiascone that he wrote EST! EST!! EST!!! on a local inn.

The Baron never reached Rome.  Agreeing with his servants choice he remained in Montefiascone.

The story is commemorated in Montefiascone every year in August when a barrel of EST! EST!! EST!!! is poured over his tomb.”


Further to the legend is that the Baron actually drank himself to death on the spot.  Whether or not this is true, it is lore that the village revels in.


The wine is a very pleasant white wine, what I would refer to as unassuming.  It was a decent wine, though I know that I would not drink myself to death over it.  The story was good enough for me to want to try a bottle of it.  That my friend is the true wonder and the cause of my continuing love of wine, that there is always another bottle to try, a region, a grape variety.



Of course I remember the old priests in the neighborhood, even though they were of Italian or Hungarian descent, all had that Barry Fitzgerald persona and were known to have a glass of wine or two.  It is still a tradition, as my Bride always goes down to the cellar to get a wonderful bottle to give to her priest on Christmas.  Then my Father loved to tell the story about our priest who came to bless our house in Detroit.  He came from my Grandmother’s village so she was adamant that when he presented his flask, that it should be filled with the Crown Royal and not the Canadian Club.  My Father would laugh and say that the flask held a fifth.  This has nothing to do with wine, but I get off on tangents periodically.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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3 Responses to EST! EST!! EST!!! (It is! It is!! It is!!!)

  1. Louise Bureau says:

    I found a mini-pamphlet on this wine in my grand-mother’s papers, it must have come with the bottle. The above story is told with a bit more details in Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Polish, unknown, Arabic, Chinese, unknown (Asiatic), one language per page. It says that the Baron was going to Rome to be crowned Emperor. There is a hand-written date on the pamphlet: 10 Oct 1938. A part of the back cover of the pamphlet is ripped, otherwise it is in good condition. Is this of interest to anyone?

  2. Louise, thank you for finding my article. I think that the mini-pamphlet that you found is probably a delightful curio for a wine shop that carries the wine. The wine was a bit more popular in the Sixties and I have not seen another bottle since. It probably was cost prohibitive for the marketing department, because he can see the small back label that I soaked off of the bottle with an abbreviated story. I am sorry, but I could not even attempt to suggest a price for the item, as cute as it is. – John

  3. Louise Bureau says:

    John, thanks for you reply! It’s probably more a family memento than anything else. If I ever go to Montefiascone (!), I will bring it along 🙂

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