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Petrus de Crescentiis

The Italian legal scholar Petrus de Crescentiis or Pier (o) de Crescenzi (1230 / 1233-1320 / 1321) studied medicine and law at the University of Bologna and taught there as a professor. He also worked as a lawyer for several cities in northern Italy. In 1299 he retired to his estate to devote himself to literary studies in agriculture and botany. Between 1304 and 1309 his work appeared the "Ruralia commoda" on horticulture and agriculture, which is sometimes referred to as "Liber ruralium commodorum" (book on agriculture). It is divided into 12 parts (books), the fourth part is about the vines and the winemaking, In the 16th century, almost 60 editions appeared in Latin, Italian, French and German, some of which also included many illustrations. The picture at the bottom right shows vine motifs that were put on as stamps and the picture at the bottom shows a season calendar, which is included in the 12th part of the work and describes the monthly activities over the course of a year.

Petrus de Crescentiis - portrait drawing and winemaking (postage stamp)

Petrus de Crescentiis quotes the four ancient authors Varro (5th century BC), Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), Columella (1st century) and Palladius (4th century), but develops new ideas and describes the important ones with a lot of expertise Vinification techniques, He points out the importance of filling the barrels (without empty space ) to prevent the wine from growing too vinegar becomes. He also recommends covering the wine with a layer of olive oil to prevent it from spoiling ( oxidation ) to protect. The wines are classified according to their age into the “new” classes under one year, “medium” up to four years and “old” over four years. He prefers two-year-old wine and believes that young wine has no digestive or diuretic properties and bloats the stomach. Old wines are often bitter and should therefore be mixed with water.

He also mentions a type of wine Trebbiano as noble and durable and praises the Albana beyond measure. As the successor you can maybe today's DOCG white wine Albana di Romagna describe. In his work "Trattato della Agricoltura" Crescentiis described the grape varieties from Northern Italy. Among them was one called Porcina, of which, according to a hypothesis, supposedly the variety Lambrusca di Alessandria should descend.

Petrus de Crescentiis - season calendar

Above: By F. Spagnoli, Antonio Muzzi, Public Domain, Link
Bottom: From Master of the Geneva Boccaccio , public domain, link

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