Peconic Bay

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How the Romans Made Wine

Red Wine, Glasses, Log Fire, Red, Wine

The Romans understood terroir and were very cautious about where they planted vines. It appears that there was an abundance of these in the Mediterranean region.

Roman wine production was heavily influenced by both the Etruscans and the early Greeks.

After harvesting the grapes, individuals would trample on them This may not have been hygienic, but it was the best way the Romans understood to press wine. Following the trampling, the wine was transported to be pressed in a torculum or wine media. The grape juice was strained to eliminate the grape seeds and skins.

The next stage in the manufacturing process was to move the liquid into the enormous jars or amphorae in which it might ferment. Occasionally these vessels were buried in soil, sand, or water. Occasionally these juices were boiled before storing them in these vessels.

If the end result was to make a top quality vintage wine, the wine could stay in the vessels for between 10 and 25 years.

But, wine was usually left for between 9 days and a few months.

Pliny the Elder wrote about the Roman way of producing growing and wine vines in his job,’Historia Naturalis’ interpreted as Natural History. He wrote that Italian wine has been the very best in the world, or at least in the known world.

However, the Romans and their compatriots cornered the wine market, disallowing other competitors from other countries beyond what is now called Italy. So other nations like France, Spain and Portugal weren’t permitted, formally, to make wine.

However, because the Roman Empire grew, the export value of wine could diminish, as grapes were cultivated in different areas of the empire, especially in what is now France and the Iberian peninsula.

The Romans drank wine at any time of day and night, but it was diluted with water since it had been more powerful than wines of today.

Wine production continued, but it fell out of favour before the Renaissance, if there was a revival of interest in classical culture.

Thus wine from the Roman Empire had its ups and downs, but fortunately, the artwork of wine-making survived.

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