PArCo Green

An ancient vine: the ‘pantastica’ grape at Vigna Barberini

Historic and archaeological research into high-quality wines in Ancient Rome has led to the re-discovery of an ancient, autochthonous variety of grape that Pliny called the ‘pantasticagrape. Bellone wine, made from grapes cultivated in the provinces of Rome and Latina, is made from this ancient cultivar.

Grape cultivation has always been of prime importance to the various civilizations that have followed one another over the course of history and Roman civilization was certainly no exception. The Romans were excellent winegrowers: much archaeological evidence has been found of trenches dug for grape cultivation, generally in rows, and often using the alberate system for so-called “married vines”, i.e. vines that cling to trees for support.

The toponomastics of the Parco archeologico del Colosseo still include several areas called “vineyard” in the broadest sense of the word, i.e. gardens, and both archaeological studies and historic maps give ample documentation for the historic presence of proper vineyards.

Hence the idea of planting a small vineyard, in an area of the Palatine Hill called ‘Vigna Barberini’, after the Roman family of the same name that owned the property in the 17th century.
At present, a small area of the terrace already contains fruit trees, the sacred fig tree of the origins and other older species.

The initiative, which is part of the broader ‘PArCo Green’ programme that envisages various initiatives for the enhancement of the PArCo’s exceptional monumental and landscape environment, includes the planting of rooted cuttings of the Bellone variety thanks to the technical sponsorship of the Cincinnato Winery.