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Were the Greeks the first to bring viticulture to Italy? Basilicata “debunks” the myth

The revolution of “viticultural certainties” in studies of the Alta Val d’Agri, where wine production was already widespread when they arrived

The Greeks brought viticulture to Italy, but the question of how they would do it has never been asked. At least until now: research proves exactly the opposite and follows the traces of the Greeks and then the Romans in their penetration of the Apennine territories, starting with the Alta Val d’Agri, one of the terminals of Greek exploration and then Roman colonization of the Lucanian hinterland, in Basilicata-which boasts 3,000 years of oenological history - where upon their arrival viticulture was already a widespread practice, reconstructed in its terroir (environment, man and variety), in search of precisely those grapes and wines that they then brought with them to the mother country and how the spread of the vine along the Peninsula, and then in France, took different paths from those that, until now, we have taken for certain. Continuing in this direction are the studies on “Enotria, Grumentum and the wines of the Alta Val d’Agri”, anticipated in the volume published by the Istituto Geografico Militare “Among the mountains of Enotria. Ancient landform and viticultural landscape in the Alta Val d’Agri” by editor Stefano Del Lungo, an archaeologist, CNR Ispc researcher and head of the mixed research group (CNR, Crea and professionals from the archaeological and archival sectors), and which will be illustrated on June 9 and 10 at the conference “Discovering the Alta Val D’Agri. Land of origin of some grape varieties we believe came to Italy from Greece (and we’ll tell you why not)”, sponsored by the Consorzio dei vini della Doc Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri, at the Arpa Hotel in Viggiano.
An invitation to get to know an almost unknown territory of our Peninsula, but also and above all to discover the origins of the vine, of the main Italian grape varieties and even of some French ones, in a real “scientific revolution” on Enotria. And it took a respectable team to achieve such important results, dispelling viticultural myths and certainties, and giving them solidity in a research that combines historical genetics with archaeology through biological sciences (the DNA of varieties), agronomy (environmental qualities and ampelographic characters) and Antiquity (the ancient topography of river valleys, plant biodiversity rendered in terracotta and metal, cave cellars, and accompanying archival documentation): from Antonio Affuso, an archaeologist specializing in Prehistory, to Vittorio Alba, Angelo Raffaele Caputo and Pasquale Cirigliano, agronomy researchers at Crea (Ve), from Teodora Cicchelli and Annarita Sannazzaro, archaeologists specializing on the Classical Age, to Marica Gasparro, a research biologist at Crea (Ve), from Dorangela Graziano, graduate in Management and Conservation of Archival and Library Heritage, to Agata Maggio, demoethnoanthropologist and librarian of the Cnr Ispc, from Francesco Mazzone, oenologist of the Crea (Ve), to Addolorata Preite, archaeologist, specializing in Prehistory and Protohistory, to Sabino Roccotelli, agricultural expert (viticulture and oenology) of the Crea (Ve).

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