Sunday, September 8, 2013


ARCHAEOLOGISTS in Italy have begun a project with the goal of making red wine ... the way the ancient Romans did.

Researchers at Sicily's University of Catania have planted a vineyard using techniques garnered from ancient texts and say they expect to harvest its first vintage within four years, according to Britain's The Guardian newspaper.

It is unclear whether the harvest will also entail a Bacchanalia such as the one pictured above in the famous painting "The Vintage Festival" by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

"We are more used to archaeological digs but wanted to make society more aware of our work, otherwise we risk being seen as extraterrestrials," archaeologist Daniele Malfitana said.

No modern chemical will be used in the vineyard and the vines are being planted using wooden Roman tools and fastened with canes as the Romans did, the researchers said.

The wine will not be fermented in barrels, they said, but rather in large terracotta pots buried to the neck in the ground, lined with beeswax to make them impermeable and left open during fermentation before being sealed shut with clay or resin.

"We will not use fermenting agents, but rely on the fermentation of the grapes themselves, which will make it as hit and miss as it was then ... you can call this experimental archaeology," project manager Mario Indelicato said.

"To sweeten up their wine, which could be vinegary, the Romans added honey and water to it," he said. "They made better stuff for nobles and cheaper, more vinegary stuff for slaves. We will try and make both types."

No comments:

Post a Comment