Wine Law

482 WINE LAW The Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic area was a place where vines grew naturally in various areas 2 . Since ancient times, the Thracians have cultivated vines and consistently produced and consumed wine, and, until relatively recently, wine has been produced from the local wild vines and used for the Romanian farmers’ own consumption. There are many writings by Greek and Roman historians about the Thracians wine tradition. In Iliad , Homer 3 relates that the wine was known to the Geto-Dacians from their ancestors (the people of the Agatars) in present-day Transylvania: “The Greek warriors went to Thrace to find wine”. Xenophon 4 said that Getae men and women drank wine “in the Scythian fashion, not mixed with water, serving instead of glasses, deer’s and oxen’s horns, which passed from hand to hand”. Plato 5 wrote that the Scythians and Thracians drank wine and then “sprinkled their clothes with wine, considering that it was a beautiful and happiness-bringing habit”. From the Roman world, it was reported that the Thracians used to ripen their grapes artificially by covering them with dried leaves (Pomponius Mella). Publius Ovidius Naso (poet, 43 BCE - 17 BCE), the one exiled in the fortress of Tomis on the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus), also described the method of vinification practised by the locals of Dionysopolis (currently Bulgaria), as well as the process by which they obtained a more concentrated wine by freezing it during winter. The ancient geographer Strabo, contemporary of Burebista 6 (82 BCE - 44 BCE), reported that he persuaded his subjects “to cut down the vine and live without wine” 7 . 2 The Vitis vinifera silvestris is a wild vine from around 7.000 BCE that grew in the Danube Plain, the Danube Delta and the Prut meadow. From the Vitis vinifera silvestris , important varieties have been extracted that are still cultivated today. 3 Homer, the legendary Greek poet and rhapsodist credited with writing the Iliad and the Odyssey , lived at the end of the 9 th century BCE and the beginning of the 8 th century BCE. 4 Xenophon (430 BCE - 354 BCE) was a Greek historian, soldier and mercenary, as well as a disciple of Socrates. 5 Plato (427 BCE - 347 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the Academy of Athens. He is considered the pivotal figure for the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition. Along with his professor, Socrates and his best-known student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. 6 Burebista was the first great Geto-Dacian king in recorded history and who unified, for the first time, the Geto-Dacian tribes in a single state under his rule. 7 Similar measures include, for example, the Roman emperor Domitian (51-96 CE) banning new vineyards in Italy and ordering the destruction of half of the vineyards of the Empire’s other provinces. Likewise, the French kings Charles IX (1569-1574) and Henry II (1574-1589) gave orders to limit the cultivation of the vine.

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