The Growth of Gallic Viticulture

Map of the Gallic provinces showing some of the main administrative cities and wine-growing
regions during the 2nd century A.D.

ROMAN MODERN
Augusta Treverorum Trier
Augusta Rauricurum Augst
Augustodunum Autun
Burdigala Bordeaux
Divona Cahors
Lugdunum Lyon
Massilia Marseilles
Narbo Narbonne
Vienna Vienne

By the mid-2nd century A.D. the traders of Lugdunum also could draw on newly developed vineyards that had been established further north again, in the region around Augustodunum that we now call the Cote d'Or. And viticulture was gaining a firm foothold in the wooded hinterland of the Gallic port-city of Burdigala. Successful transplanting of the hardy Balisca vine of northern Spain enabled wine production in this region to become economically viable, despite the possibility of occasional cool, wet summers when the grapes might not fully ripen.

Probably very little of this Burdigalan wine reached Rome though. This city was far better positioned to send its produce overseas to the wealthy Romans who were exploiting the tin resources of southwestern Britain and to the Irish court whose love of feasting matched that of the Gauls themselves. At that time then, whether it was sending its products south or north, the Gallic wine production was in very good shape indeed.