‘Iberoenology’ - resurrecting wine practices from 3,000 years ago
The faculty of oenology has adopted Iberian production techniques from ancient times
The faculty of oenology at Rovira and Virgili University in Tarragona, has adopted wine production techniques from 3,000 years ago to study their characteristics and conservation.
In an experimental cellar owned by the university in Constantí, professors and students have been carrying out the entire production process to study how wine was conserved in ancient times.
Techniques involve squashing grapes with their feet and filling two 50 litre barrels where it will ferment.
Next, they store it in a dozen or so containers, known as amphorae, like the Iberian civilization used to do. In three months they will open three of the containers, to analyze how the wine has developed. This also allows them to see how Iberians would conserve the wine to avoid it becoming sour.
Fernando Zamora, technical director of the experimental cellar owned by Rovira and Virgili University, described the operation as a “very fruitful adventure because we are combining such ancient techniques with such modern analysis”, and says that this is allowing them “to understand what these [Iberian] people had and how their wines evolved.”