Let’s start from a legend:

The Legend of Defuk

Montefiascone is certainly one of the nicest towns in the center of Italy. A calm small town with 13.000 inhabitants, situated on a mountain above the Bolsena Lake, where world-shaking events don´t stir peoples emotions. However, at one time people lived here who made history and decicively influenced the fortune of their age: popes, emperors, saints, preachers, army commanders, and adventurer. Montefiascone was also a scene of relentless fights between “Guelfi e Ghibellini” (“Guelph- and Stauferparty“. The Guelph supported the Pope and the Staufer were loyally devoted to the emperor) and the small town with the strange name Montefiascone (literally translated “wine bottle mountain“) was on everyone´s lips.


The legend of Defuk

The todays fame of Montefiascone is however closely related to the legend of a certain mysterious “Defuk” whose story made the wine, growing around the town for centuries, well known all over Europe. The EST!EST!!EST!!!

 When Heinrich V.  von Hohenstaufen went to Rome in 1111 in order to let the Pope confirm his appointment as emperor, there was also a certain Johannes Defuk, member of the Fugger bankers family from Augsburg, in his entourage. Defuk was a passionate wine lover and therefore ordered his servant Martin to go on ahead and mark every inn that serves a remarkably good wine with an  EST at the entrance. In Montefiascone the wine had such a high quality that Martin put 3 times Est…..EST!EST!!EST!!! on the doors . Mr. Defuk decided to stay in Montefiascone, where he died in 1113 due to exorbitant wine consumption. He was burried in the church San Flaviano opposite the high altar. He left the town all his belongings in recognition of the good service he had received with the proviso that once every year wine was poured over his grave. The servant  Martin let engrave the following inscription on Defuks grave slab: «Est est est propter nimium est hic Johannes De Fuk dominus meus mortuus est» (Here my master is buried, who died because he had too much EST! EST!! EST!!!)




  1. When did Heinrich V go to Rome?
  2. Why did he go to Rome?
  3. Who was after him?
  4. Who was Martin?
  5. What did Defuk order to his servant?
  6. What does EST mean?
  7. What did Martin do on his arrival in Montefiascone?
  8. Why?
  9. What did Defuk decide?
  10. When did Defuk die?
  11. Why?
  12. Where is he buried?
  13. What did Defuk leave for the town of Montefiascone?
  14. What did the servant Martin let engraved on Defuk’s grave?


the legend of Defuk

The Legend of Defuk 1

The Legend of DEFUK2