The Roman politician Marcius Porcius Cato the Elder (234-149 BC) is considered an important ancient author of viticulture. Also known as "Cato the Elder" (to distinguish him from the great-grandson) or "Cato the Censor" grew up on the estate of his father at Reate near Rome. He reached in no time highest state offices (Quaestor, Aedile, Praetor, censor and consul in Spain). Cato turned vehemently against corruption, exuberance and waste and propagated the old Roman customs as opposed to what he regarded as dangerous and ruinous Greek culture.
Because of his dreaded severity, he received the epithet Censorius in his tenure as a censor. He is best known for his rather legendary saying at the end of each of his senatorial speeches "Ceterum censeo carthaginem esse delendam", with which he spent years completely destroying the city Carthage preached (Incidentally, I think Carthage must be destroyed). In Cato's last year, the Third Punic War erupted and Carthage was completely destroyed. But he experienced the complete annihilation three years later in 146 BC. Not anymore.
Cato wrote numerous writings on many topics. He is the only one who has preserved the work "De agricultura" (also "De re rustica" - On Rural Affairs) written at the age of 80 years. It contains detailed instructions for the purchase and operation of a country estate. He was one of the first Romans who wrote extensively and professionally about viticulture. Cato emphasized that viticulture requires high investments and professional, intensive care. He took into account recommendations for planting certain grape varieties geological and topographical Texture of the vineyard, the grafting of the vines, the pruning and soil care through weed removal. As important he considered a high grape maturity at the harvest as well as large hygiene in wine making, to prevent wine too vinegar will. He recommended cleaning the wine jugs twice a day after harvesting. Regarding winemaking, he mentions the lees,
Cato's instructions are extremely practice-oriented and contain numerous facts and figures regarding economic planning. Among other things, the required number of workers is given and explains how many slaves could work without falling over dead. First and foremost, the owners of larger goods are addressed. The information for the necessary equipment takes into account a vineyard of 100 Jugerum that is around 25 hectares. Derived from this, the furnishings of the press house and the nature of the tree limbs ( Torggel ). In the case of the Roman landowners, viticulture was a high source of income and the recommendations of Cato were strictly followed. In judging the then popular wines, he ranked the Raeticum from Veneto just after the Falernum from Campania. The later authors Columella (1st cent.) And Pliny the Elder (23-79) praised his scholarship. His writing is partly in the agricultural collection Geoponika from the 10th century included.