Ancient Rome Wine, Would You Drink It?

by Luis Bobadilla

Can you imagine what would it be to taste the wine that the inhabitants of the ancient Roman Empire used to drink? Well, this dream can become true by studying the ruins of the wine cellars where this wine was produced originally, and one of the keys are the amphorae, clay vessels used by ancient cultures to store and transport all kinds of goods, including wine.

A producer of a town near Portland, in Oregon (USA), has started producing the first shipments of a wine made following the same techniques employed by the Romans more than 2000 years ago. A ceramics teacher named Andrew Beckham, along with his wife Annedria, have managed to cultivate a few strains of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and, following the guidance of the Italian winegrower Elisabetta Foradori, they have been put to work to achieve this curious challenge.

Beckham has reproduced the original amphorae, based on the designs of Roman containers, Spanish jars and Georgians “qvevri”, and found that their shape is very important and relevant for the characteristics of the resulting wine. The porosity of clay increases the oxygen exposure of wine during aging, creating softer tannins and enhances the aromas of nuts, chocolate, and cooked fruit. The producer claims that it allows you to get the same results in half the time that it takes to oak barrels when used for aging.

Currently, they are producing fermented in amphorae and aged in wood, fermented and aged in amphorae and fermented in amphorae and mixed-aged wines, each with its particular characteristics and great potential, especially for those who like fruity and subtle flavors, full of different shades. The highlight is, of course, made exclusively in clay, which presents an attractive ruby color, with aromas of plum, blackberry, chocolate, cinnamon, among others, a truly new wine in recent centuries that, surprisingly, is very pleasant to drink.

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