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Falernian

Falernian (GB)

This most famous of all ancient wines was considered from the 1st to the 4th century as "the wine of the Caesars". He was on the border between Lazio and Campania on the southern slopes of Mount Massico, at the fork of the two roads Via Appia and Via Domizina. It was divided into three layers or qualities: the Cauciner was grown on top of the hills, the Faustitian on the slopes and the actual Falerner at the foot of the hills. At that time the vines grew on trees or were pulled on trellises. The Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) reports that "the best quality comes from the winery of Faustus, there are the three species dry, sweet and light (oyster, dulce, tenue) and that it (due to the high alcohol content) fire begins when you hold a flame to it ". Also Horace (65-8 BC), Martial (40-102) and Virgil (70-19 BC) praised the Falerner in their works. Also the Greek doctor Galen (129-199) counts him among the best wines of his time. And the imperial philosopher Marc Aurel (121-180) mentions him as follows:

Marc Aurel saying about the Falerner

Falerner was available in white and red variants of dry to sweet (out rosinierten Grapes). But other wines were marketed under the prestigious name, because at that time were also wine falsification on a large scale usual. The white variant was from the Aminea, one of the most important ancient grape varieties, gekeltert, possibly derived from it Falanghina is today in DOC white wine Falerno del Massico used. This one was from amber yellow to brown color, very sweet and strong and probably similar in production and taste sherry, Due to the high alcohol content, it was mixed with water (also sea water). He was also used to make the popular honey wine Mulsum used. The red variant was based on a hypothesis from an ancestor of the variety Aglianico vinified.

The long-lived wine was in amphorae stored. The vintage of 121 BC BC became famous under the name "Opimianer" because at that time Lucius Opimius held the office of consul and it was customary to designate the years after the consulate. About the wine still reported Cicero (106-43 BC) 46 BC Chr. And Pliny the Elder (23-79) wrote later that the well over 100 years old Opimianer thickened to a kind of bitter honey, but still recognizable as wine and very expensive. In the famous Satyricon of Petronius (14-66), the host, Trimalchio, serves his guests with an Opimian who was labeled as "one hundred years old" on the amphora label. But since this banquet took place only around 60 AD (and thus the wine around 180 years old), one is no rarer then misnomer not be ruled out.

In the ruins of Pompeii On the wall of a wine house, a price list was found: "For one ace you get wine, for two ace the best and for four as Falerner" . An ace was a copper coin, the amount of wine is not apparent from the inscription. But it is doubtful that they were true Falerners, since such a one certainly cost more than four times as much as a simple wine. According to an ancient source, in the first century AD, half a liter of Falerner cost a sesterce, which was a quarter of a worker's daily wage. In ancient Rome, also the most precious amber variety became because of their color similarity referred to as "Falerner".

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