August 24, 79 AD: On this day, Pliny the Elder was born. Pliny was a military commander, philosopher, writer, naturalist, and close friend to the Roman Emperor Vespasian. He wrote Naturalis Historia (Natural History), an encyclopedic work that formed a model for encyclopedia editing. He spent most of his free time in outdoors studying, writing, and analyzing natural and geographic phenomena. Pliny was a great proponent of wine as medicine, and in his famous book on plants and medicine, ‘Historia Naturalis,’ he mentions over 100 distinct varieties of wines and their specific medical uses. The phrase “in vino veritas” (in wine there is truth) originated with him.
August 24, 2012: On this day, a discovery showed that Italian wine culture began as early as 1300 to 1100 B.C. In a cave in Sicily, archaeologists have discovered evidence of wine that is over 6,000 years old. The most recent discovery has pushed back the commonly accepted historical time frame of wine production on the Italian Peninsula. Archaologists extracted organic residue samples from five copper storage jars discovered in a cave on Monte Kronio, which is located on the southwestern coast of Sicily. The researchers found tartaric acid and its salt during analyzing grape fermentation, which is a natural process that produces tartaric acid. These chemicals are a clear indicator that the jars were employed in the production of wine.
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