Lixivum to Lora: The Production of Wine

Introduction

"Then how could you know the whole from just the first taste? There were not the same, but always new things being said on new subjects, unlike wine, which is always the same. So, my friend, unless you drink the whole butt, your tipsiness has been to no purpose; god seems to me to have hidden the good of philosophy right down at the bottom, beneath the lees." (Lucian, Concerning the Sects LX: Lycinus to Hermotimus)

It is an intriguing aspect of Roman wine-making that the sharp social divisions in Roman society were reflected well not only by the wine drunk in each level of it. Cost alone will have assured that, as it does today, as would the very process of its production. A reconstruction of the operation of an early Byzantine wine-press unearthed at Rehovot, in the Red Hills region of Israel, illustrates this point, if we consider the kind of wine being produced in each part of its structure.