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An ancient grape variety mentioned by the Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79) in his scientific paper "Naturalis Historia", and also by his Roman contemporary Columella (1st half of the 1st century). The name probably derives from the Celtic tribe of the Allobroger, whose territory stretched from the Rhône and Isère in Savoy to Lake Geneva and who were subjugated by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC). During the Roman colonisation, vines were planted on the right bank of the Rhône (in the present Saint-Joseph, Côte Rôtie areas) and on the left bank(Hermitage). Pliny described the red wine, then also called Vinum picatum, with a resinous taste and attributed this to the pine forests surrounding the vineyards. Columella argued the more probable theory that this was caused by the resin used in the wines at the time, or rather the amphorae sealed with resin.

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