Production and commercialization of Etruscan wine in the Albegna Valley

Perkins, Philip (2012). Production and commercialization of Etruscan wine in the Albegna Valley. In: Zifferero, Andrea; Ciacci, Andrea and Rendini, Paola eds. Archeologia della vite e del vino in Toscana e nel Lazio. dalle tecniche dell’indagine archeologica alle prospettive della biologia molecolare. Florence: All’Insegna dell’ Giglio, pp. 413–416.



From the late eighth century onwards evidence for wine consumption and transportation gradually becomes more visible in the archaeological record in Etruria. By the end of the seventh century BC evidence for the large scale production and transport of wine becomes common. This generalized increase in the quantity and quality of the evidence for wine use in the later decades of the seventh century has previously been taken as evidence for the introduction of viticulture and wine production into Etruria replacing earlier Aegean and Phoenician imports. It is now becoming more and more apparent that the introduction of the vine, and the first production of wine took place long before the Etruscan period and that this leap in our evidence represents a phase of intensification in wine production rather than a genesis. This chapter suggests that it is not just a case of a wider use of wine, but a complete transformation in the modes of production, economic role and the social function of wine through the gradual transition from the Orientalizing to the Archaic period. There is a change in the scale and organization of viticulture, and Etruscan wine becomes a commodity exchanged and consumed across the western Mediterranean. This contribution aims to trace some of the causes and implications of this economic transformation in the production and use of wine.

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