Italian wine is one of the excellences for which this country is known and appreciated all over the world and we are also the largest producers together with our French cousins.
In fact, wine is produced almost everywhere in Italy; from the extreme south of the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa that are located near the African coast, to the alpine areas where grapes are grown in places over a thousand metres high.
Let’s start by separating the grapes, eaten as such, from wine as fermented grapes.
Grapes are a spontaneous climber that grew on the edges of the forests and along the rivers of Europe 2.5 million years ago. It has managed to survive the great glaciations and became food for our ancestral gatherers of prehistoric times.
The use of grapes as wine is found right in the Bible, which tells about Noah’s drunkenness in front of his sons (Genesis (8:4) and also in the epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient poetic work of the Sumerians that dates back to 4000 years ago. And in fact, that is the geographical area where wine began to be produced: the Middle East, eastern Turkey, northern Iran and Iraq. The use of wine then extended to the Egyptians and consequently to the Greeks who consumed it both for convivial purposes and also during rituals. But grapes were already present throughout the Mediterranean thanks to the navigators from the Middle East who in their travels across this sea, carrying goods and culture and therefore also wine to all the areas bordering the Mediterranean.
The word “oinos” in ancient Greek and “wVn” in Etruscan became “vinum” in Latin and “vino” in Italian.
The quality of the soil, sufficient presence of water and the appropriate climate helped the expansion of the cultivation of grapes throughout the peninsula and the great populations of antiquity such as the Samnites, the Etruscans and later the Romans contributed to the spread and therefore to the selection of the various vines.
Today in Italy there are more than 450 certified native vines which represents a unique record in the world and from these hundreds of different wines are produced. In Lazio for example one can find more than 90 different wines.
Dilit holds a seminar about wines at least once a month where the origins of a particular wine, the history of the area, the natural and artistic beauties of the region, the cuisine and the dishes that combine well with that wine are explored. Some tips about wine-tasting are also given and finally the wine in discussion is tasted.
Photos and videos of these seminars can be found on Dilit’s Facebook page.
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