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2011 10 November


The history that Italians don’t know and French wouldn’t like to know

On December 2nd at Castello Banfi a great event to present the latest story of Giovanni Negri and Elisabetta Petrini, edited by Mondadori


“Roma Caput Vini”, the novel published by Mondadori and  written by Giovanni Negri and his wife Elisabetta Petrini, will be presentedat Castello Banfi, Montalcino, on December 2nd. The story, pointing out the strong relation that the Roman Empire had with the wine, makes an accurate historical reconstruction, and it finds out that the wine is to Rome as the Coca Cola is to the USA and states beyond the shadow of doubt that many of today's most famous wines, Italian and French, were born by the hand of the Romans.


Giovanni Negri writes about the amazing story of the wine in Rome, that  lives its most important period in the 2ndcentury b.C., when the wine from a luxury drink only for Patricians, becomesvinum, nourishment and pleasure for the masses. “Any other tree before the holy vine you shall plant, oh Varus”. Following the Horace’s monition, Rome imposed its army to plant the vine, stating that the centurion, key figure of the army, on his right hand would have held the staff of command calledvitis, the stem of the vine. An amazing tour about the wine in the ancient Rome, from the taverns of Rome up to Pompei, from the Pliny the Younger's oenological guide up to the combination wine-food-sex,  passing through the diffusion of wine throughout the Empire regions up to the Prohibition.


At the heart of the book the incredible discovery made recently by Professor Attilio Scienza, Professor of Viticulture at the University of Milan and expert of the genetic of the vines who, since the early '80s, cooperates with Castello Banfi for zonation studies and clonal research on Sangiovese. Thanks to the studies of his group and to the most advanced techniques of DNA analysis, Prof. Scienza has identified 78 European varieties genetically descendents of the heunisch (Hun), the grape widespread by Roman legions and planted in all territories of the Empire.


As of today the European wines have therefore a putative mother in Rome, a great military and agricultural power, which put the vine on the continent, and in the magnificent Roman legions, turned in time of peace in the most formidable tool for diffusion and cultivation of the vine.


On December 2ndat 5.00 p.m. Castello Banfi will host the presentation of this remarkable story, Roma Caput Vini,  published by Mondadori.




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