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A "Nobile vinum pucinum" is mentioned by the Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79) in his work "Naturalis Historia" as "rich in therapeutic properties". The underlying grape variety of this ancient wine is of course not known. Livia or Augusta Giulia (58 BC - 29 AD), the third wife of Emperor Augustus (64 BC - 14 AD), regularly purchased this wine. At the end of her long life (she was 86), she attributed her old age to the regular consumption of this wine and recommended it to everyone as a true "elixir for a long life". According to Pliny, it was produced "in the gulf of the Adriatic Sea, not far from the stony hill of the source of the Timavo river, where the sea breeze makes a few amphorae mature".

This would be the karst area in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, which extends across the border also in Slovenia. Top wines grow there on a special type of soil. These are the Italian DOC red wine Carso from the Terrano variety and the Kras Teran (here the variety is called Refošk) in the Slovenian area of Kras. These wines are so to speak the successors of the Pucinum. However, the Piccola Nera is also mentioned as a possible descendant of the Pucinum variety, although there could have been several. Strictly speaking it is not known whether the Pucinum was a red or white wine. Because the white varieties Glera (Prosecco) and Ribolla Gialla are also possible candidates.

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Dominik Trick

The wein.plus encyclopaedia is a comprehensive, well-researched reference work. Available anytime and anywhere, it has become an indispensable part of teaching, used by students and myself alike. Highly recommended!

Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

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