Right answer from comprehension

From the passage I have to answer the following question:

According to the passage, which of the following was an important source of revenue in medieval France?

  1. Cheese
  2. Wool
  3. Olive oil
  4. Veal
  5. Wine

The given answer is 5 (wine), but there is no clue for that answer. I guessed olive oil because it has relation with land. Is it right?

Agricultural progress provided the stimulus necessary to set off
economic expansion in medieval France. As long as those who worked the
land were barely able to ensure their own subsistence and that of
their landlords, all other activities had to be minimal, but when food
surpluses increased, it became possible to release more people for
governmental, commercial, religious and cultural pursuits.

However, not all the funds from the agricultural surplus were actually available
for commercial investment. Much of the surplus, in
the form of food increases, probably went to raise the subsistence
level; an additional amount, in the form of currency gained from the
sale of food, went into the royal treasury to be used in waging war.
Although Louis VII of France levied a less crushing tax burden on his
subjects than did England’s Henry II, Louis VII did spend great sums
on an unsuccessful crusade, and his vassals-both lay and
ecclesiastic-took over spending where their sovereign stopped. Surplus
funds were claimed both by the Church and by feudal landholders,
whereupon cathedrals and castles mushroomed throughout France.

The simultaneous progress of cathedral building and, for instance, vineyard
expansion in Bordeaux illustrates the very real
competition for available capital between the Church and commercial
interests; the former produced inestimable moral and artistic riches,
but the latter had a stronger immediate impact upon gross national
product. Moreover, though all wars by definition are defensive, the
frequent crossings of armies that lived off the land and impartially
burned all the huts and barns on their path consumed considerable

Since demands on the agricultural surplus would have varied from year
to year, we cannot precisely calculate their impact on the
commercial growth of medieval France. But we must bear that impact in
mind when estimating the assets that were likely to have been
available for investment. No doubt castle and cathedral building was
not totally barren of profit (for the builders, that is), and it
produced intangible dividends of material and moral satisfaction for
the community. Even wars handed back a fragment of what they took, at
least to a few. Still, we cannot place on the same plane a primarily
destructive activity and a constructive one, nor expect the same
results from a new bell tower as from a new water mill. Above all,
medieval France had little room for investment over and above the
preservation of life. Granted that war cost much less than it does
today, that the Church rendered all sorts of educational and
recreational services that were unobtainable elsewhere, and that
government was far less demanding than is the modern
state-nevertheless, for medieval men and women, supporting commercial
development required considerable economic sacrifice.


The key word relating to wine is vineyard. There is no mention made of olives.

Still, the question is quite difficult, since the passage mentions wine in exactly one sentence, and in an indirect way. Vineyard expansion is never mentioned as important, per se, but rather as a example of where excess resources were spent productively.

Source : Link , Question Author : user2378 , Answer Author : Aaron Brown

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