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The cultivation of grapes in northern Lazio began with the Etruscans and was first documented in a fourth-century BC tomb in the necropolis of Molesino. You see a Faliscan ‘stamnos’ with black and red figures representing Dionysus and Oinopion, i.e. a rounded vase with two handles, with which the wine was brought to the table to serve with a long bronze ladle.

Some writings of Pliny describe in more detail the grape growing and wine production that the Romans stimulated and developed.

In Statonia (in the territory of Vulci) in 540-530 BC wine production was more than sufficient for local production and was sent to Gravisca (ancient port of Tarquinia) and was sold overseas as evidenced by the discovery of the wreck of a sixth Etruscan ship century BC discovered in the sea in front of Marseille.

The Roman writer Martial describes the Cerveteri wine, ‘Caeretanus’ as of good quality and with a flavour that resembled old Setino. Columella instead celebrates the ancient Cere for its exquisite wine.

After the Middle Ages, before the abbeys and then the Papal States production and promotion of wine resumed. The Statutes of the city of Civitavecchia 1451 contained 20 chapters that regulated the production and trade of wine. They described the harvest period, the penalties for people who damaged vineyards and the measures that tavern owners had to use for sale.

In 1761, the Marquis Frangiapani in the book ‘Story of the ancient city of Civitavecchia’ describes some local vineyards.


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