Di Karen Phillips (testo e foto)

A wine event custom made for the history buff and wine lover…so it was perfect for me.

A wine event which began around 11 am with a series of speakers who had the task of explaining to us the territory known as Somma Vesuviana. They explained in great detail the history dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. They explained how the soil was dramatically affected by the various eruptions of ‘our’ volcano, Vesuvius. We learned about three wines; Catalanesca (bianco) and Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio (red and white). We heard from various speakers including acclaimed archaeologist Antonio De Simone who discussed a project that he has been working for the past 10 years on with the University of Tokyo….basically excavating a site nearby of an ancient Roman villa that had been covered in ashes from the volcanic eruption in 79 AD. He presented slides, showing how wine was a way of life…how Dionysus, known by many names (Bacchus, Hebon, etc), the god of wine, was an integral part of the ancient Romans’s life. He showed us evidence of how they aged wines in terracotta for at least 5 years, vases that held anywhere from 500-544 liters of wine.

We heard from AIS Campania President Antonio Del Franco, who took us back in time. He showed us, through his slide shows, that the ‘elegance of the sommelie’r has been around since the ancient Greeks.

Pasquale Brillante, president of AIS Comuni Vesuviani spoke in detail about the grapes and the wines that make up his territory. He added how important the sommelier is becoming…and how diverse their role is.

Then off to the ruins where we took a guided tour of the area, enjoyed appetizers and pasta dishes prepared on site, as well as wine taste. Our hosts for this incredible journey back into time, Cantine Olivella shared three wines with us;

Lacrimanero (Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (red) DOC 13%)

Lacrimabianco (Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (white) DOC 13%)

KATA’ (Pompeiano Bianco IGT 14%)