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Latin name for the clay vessel (plural dolia) similar to an amphora, with a capacity of up to several thousand litres, used by the Romans as a fermentation and storage container for wine. These were also dug into the ground. The picture below left shows a find in Villa Fanninus, named after the owner, in the village of Boscoreale at the foot of Vesuvius. In addition, a wine press and a large fermentation yard were also found, where these clay barrels were embedded in the ground. This villa was preserved during the volcanic eruption that completely destroyed Pompeii in 79. The picture on the right shows a find from the city of Ostia, the port city of ancient Rome at the mouth of the Tiber. When the Romans learned about the wooden barrel from the Celts and did not know a corresponding word for it, they translated dolium for barrel. Similar vessels are kvevri (Georgian), pithos (Greek), talha (Portuguese) and tinaja (Spanish). See also under wine vessels.

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Dr. Christa Hanten

For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.

Dr. Christa Hanten
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