What wines did the Venetians drink the 1600s? 26/01/2024 -
The nobility and the people – but also the middle class, the ‘original citizens’ – what was their relationship with the ‘nectar of the gods’?
Vines have been cultivated in the Lagoon for 2500 years, in large vegetable gardens, vineyards and orchards. If the doges drank ‘dorona’, a grape of the Trebbiano and Garganega family, the Venetian living in the Republic of the Serenissima had at his disposal the pure wines of Romania, Candia, Malvasia, Ribolla and Trebbiano itself.
The place to meet and sell the wines were the bŕcari (still called it is so today). These are historical structures that still exist in the city, similar to an ancient osteria. In the history of Venice, other places were used for the sale of wine, both wholesale and retail: such as the stazi of San Marco’s and Rialto (places where the gondolas parked). Even in Piazza San Marco, wine merchants arrived in Venice to sell their barrels of wine. To keep it cool, they would move the barrels to keep them in the shade (“ombra”) of the Campanile, hence the wine glass was called “ombra”.
Wine and osterie become products and places that, in their own way, enter into the history of the Serenissima in the 1600s.