The news is three years old, but still worth paying attention too, especially since I am working on a talk on famous persons and their favorite wines. Pity we still have to wait another two years for the first bottles!
The Planeta winery, producer of high quality Sicilian wines, is attempting to recover Mamertino, Julius Caesar’s favorite wine. According to historical sources, it was the flagship wine of Sicily during the Roman period, along with Taormina, which is perhaps the same wine.
The area that will host this adventure of ‘archeo-enology’ is Cape Milazzo (Messina), a promontory on the north side of Sicily. Mamertino – the name probably stems from Mars – was the wine of warriors and is so-called because of its particular characteristics. Strabo and Martial tell us of how Mamertino rivaled the four best Italian wines and Julius Caesar (considered a top authority on vines, because he believed they were the way to keep men working the land as well as an excellent military defense, as the wine farmers bitterly opposed invaders to safeguard their vineyards) chose it to celebrate the feast for his third consulate, along with Falerno.