POMPEII AND WINE OF THE ROMANS
The wine-making tradition of Campania has ancient origins that date back to the ancient Greeks. They were the ones to introduce the seeds of “vitis vinifera” and the influence of their culture is still visible in some techniques of cultivation and pruning.
However it were the ancient Romans who develop the full potential of the wine territories Vesuvian planting among other qualities of screws called “Vesuvius” that centuries later will give life to the famous Lacryma Christi.
Pompei assumed a wine very high and quickly became the benchmark for the wine trade in the ancient world.
In modern excavations we were found many vineyards within the walls, mostly located in houses near the amphitheater.
The Pompeians had extensive knowledge of the secrets of growing and winemaking.
The wine was an essential part of every banquet, usually diluted with water, hot or cold according to taste and season, and pure drinking was not considered in good taste, and because the dinners were abundant toasts, and because at the time they were more alcoholic.
The Roman wines were aged more valuable, even more than 100 years, but most of the wines suffered a real “sophistication” with the addition of sea water, spices, gypsum, perfumes, oysters chopped. For a final product that was very different from our modern wine.
In Pompeii it was produced among others the “VINUM Pompeianum” which was also aged 25 years.
Some families of Pompeii had specialized in viticulture and were aged in the cellars of the jars “mulsum”, a wine sweetened with the addition of honey.
However, although the wine was not for characteristics and taste very different from ours, it is fascinating to note how much knowledge and techniques used then have remained valid and very similar to those we use today.
The most obvious example are the “Dolia”, earthenware jars in which the wine was made, that during fermentation, to control the temperature, were buried. A use of cold, in the winemaking process, very similar to that of today.