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Petrus de Crescentiis

The Italian jurist 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 in northern Italy for several cities as a lawyer. In 1299 he retired to his estate to study literary agriculture and botany. Between 1304 and 1309 his work appeared on 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 contained many illustrations. The picture on the bottom right shows vineyard motifs, which were placed as stamps and the picture at the bottom of a calendar of seasons, which is included in the 12th part of the work and describes the monthly activities in the course of a year.

Petrus de Crescentiis - Portrait Drawing and Winemaking (stamp)

Although Peter Crescentiis quotes the four ancient authors Varro (5th century BC), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Columella (1st century) and Palladius (4th century), but develops new ideas and describes the important with a lot of expertise Vinification techniques, He points to the importance of filling the barrels (without empty space ), to prevent the wine 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 ranked after the age in the classes "new" under one year, "middle" up to four years and "old" over four years. He prefers two-year-old wine and thinks that young wine has no digestive or water-stimulating effect and bloat the belly. Old wines are often bitter and should therefore be mixed with water.

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

Petrus de Crescentiis - Seasonal calendar

Picture above: By F. Spagnoli, Antonio Muzzi, Public Domain, Link
Picture below: From Master of the Geneva Boccaccio , Public domain, Link

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