Vine-growing and Winemaking in the Roman World

An international conference in honour of Jean-Pierre Brun

Organized by Dimitri Van Limbergen, Emlyn Dodd, and Maria Stella Busana

Held at: Academia Belgica, British School at Rome, and Koninlijk Nederlands Instituut Rome

27-29 Octobre 2021

This three-day hybrid event brings together archaeologists and classicists worldwide to debate current developments in the field of Roman vine and wine studies. Almost 30 years after the seminal La production du vin et de l’huile en Méditerranée volume by Amouretti & Brun (1993), and some 15 years after its monumental four-part follow-up Archéologie du vin et de l’huile by Brun (2003-2005), the corpus of viticultural material has steadily grown in various parts of the Roman world, while the archaeological study of Roman wine has evolved into a highly dynamic and multidisciplinary field. The time is ripe then to draw up a new state of the field, to upgrade our knowledge on data and methods, and to discuss how to steer forward the study of Roman viniculture into new, pertinent and promising directions.

Alongside the main section of the conference – with over 50 specialists updating our views on these matters in East and West over six territorial sessions – the symposium also includes keynote lectures by Jean-Pierre Brun, Andrew Wilson and Patrick McGovern, a poster session for showcasing new and ongoing research, and an ancient wine tasting experience.

Poster presenters will be given the opportunity to rework their poster into a short paper of ca. 3.000 words, to be published in a second volume of the conference proceedings. More information on the publication process and author guidelines will be provided as soon as possible.
Those interested in submitting a poster proposal, are requested to send a short abstract (ca. 150 words) to or by September 1st, 2021. Applicants will be notified shortly afterwards.


Wednesday October 27 (AB)

09.30 Registration & Introduction to the conference

Opening talks

  • 10.00 Wine and oil production in the VAR region, 50 years on (Jean-Pierre Brun & Despina Chatzivasilou)
  • 10.15 Roman wine production: the state of the field (Andrew Wilson)
    • 11.00 Q&A

11.15 Coffee break

Session 1: Italy

  • 11.30 Approaching Roman terroir: the geography of wine in central Adriatic Italy (Dimitri Van Limbergen)
  • 11.50 Archaeological traces of vineyards and winemaking around Rome and in central Italy (Rita Volpe)
  • 12.10 Archaeobotanical studies on Vitis vinifera remains in Northern Italy during the Roman period (Silvia Marvelli et al.)
  • 12.30 Archaeology and grape DNA, a case study in the Albegna valley (Tuscany, Italy) (Andrea Zifferero)
    • 12.50 Q&A

13.20 Lunch (AB)

  • 14.00 Etruriae Luna habet palmam. An ongoing project on Luni and its wine production (Simonetta Menchelli et al.)
  • 14.20 Ancient wine and viticulture in the Valpolicella territory (Patrizia Basso & Diana Dobreva)
  • 14.40 Palmenti, wine and amphorae: a multidisciplinary project in the Gulf of Naples (Gloria Olcese)
  • 15.00 Viticulture, opus doliare and the pratromonium Caesaris: new research at Vagnari in Apulia (Maureen Carroll)
    • 15.20 Q&A

15.50 Coffee break

  • 16.10 Grapevine cultivars and new wines: from growers’ strategies to conquering the market (Annalisa Marzano)
  • 16.30 Wine production in the Roman West: the role of artificial heating (Maria Stella Busana)
  • 16.50 Vina transmarina in ancient Rome: production, trade and consumption (Paulina Komar)
  • 17.10 From vinea to vinum: experimental archaeology to study Roman viticulture and enology (Mario Indelicato)
    • 17.30 Q&A

18.00 Welcome drinks (AB)

Thursday October 28 (BSR)

09.30 Registration
Session 2: Eastern Mediterranean

  • 10.00 Innovation and change in wine-making technologies: local artisans in the late antique eastern Mediterranean (Tamara Lewit)
  • 10.20 Wine in Roman Egypt (Dotora Dzierzbicka)
  • 10.40 Wine production and packaging in Roman and late antique Phoenicia (Tomasz Waliszewski & Urszula Wicenciak)
    • 11.00 Q&A

11.20 Coffee break

  • 11.40 Rural settlements and wine production in antiquity in Rough Cilicia (Ümit Aydinoglu)
  • 12.00 Land use and surplus production in Roman Rough Cilicia (Nicholas Rauh)
  • 12.20 Wine production, trade and consumption in the Roman world: organic residue analysis (Alessandra Pecci)
  • 12.40 Understanding ancient winemaking processes and wine styles (Mkrtich Harutyunyan & Manuel Malfeito-Ferreira)
    • 13.00 Q&A

13.30 Lunch (BSR)
Session 3: Greece, Crete, Cyprus & Malta

  • 15.00 Wine production on the Hellenistic to Late Antique Cyclades: knowledge networks and press technology (Emlyn Dodd)
  • 15.20 Farmhouses, wine production and the agricultural landscape in Roman Attica (Stavros Dimakopoulos)
  • 15.40 Viticulture and economic development on Early Roman Crete, 1st-3rd century AD (Scott Gallimore)
  • 16.00 Viticulture and winemaking on the Maltese islands (Maxine Anastasi & Nicholas Vella)
  • 16.20 Wine production during the Roman period on Cyprus (Sophocles Hadjisavvas)
    • 16.40 Q&A

17.10 Refreshments (BSR)
Evening keynote lecture (BSR)

  • 18.00 From East to West and Back Again: The rise, consolidation and expansion of the Roman wine industry (Patrick E. McGovern)

19.00 Reception (BSR)

Friday October 29 (KNIR)

09.30 Registration
Session 4: Croatia

  • 10.00 Archaeological indicators of viticulture from the Roman colonies of Pola and Parenthium (Robert Matijasic & Davor Bulic)
  • 10.20 Wine production evidence on Novo Selo Bunje site (island of Brac, Croatia) (Audrey Bertrand et al.)
  • 10.40 Roman wine production in Histria and Dalmatia (1st c. BC till 6th c. AD) (Jana Kopackova)
    • 11.00 Q&A

11.20 Coffee break
Session 5: Spain and Portugal

  • 11.40 The wines of Hispania. Winemaking techniques in the Western part of the Empire (Yolanda Pena Cervantes)
  • 12.00 Research perspectives on viticulture in Roman Baetica based on innovative techniques (Pedro Trapero Fernandez & Lazaro Lagostena Barrios)
  • 12.20 Quantifying the Roman viticulture supply chain (Antoni Martin I Oliveras)
  • 12.40 “Boa é a vida, mas melhor é o vinho” – On the wine production in Roman Lusitania (Felix Teichner)
    • 13.00 Q&A

13.30 Lunch
Session 6: France, Germany and the UK

  • 14.30 La viticulture antique en Gaule: vestiges archéologiques directs et indirects (Philippe Boissinot)
  • 14.50 Colonialism and the early spread of viticulture in the Tres Galliae (Matthieu Poux)
  • 15.10 Ancient Roman wine beyond the limes (Iwona Feier et al.
  • 15.30 Roman viticulture in Britain: the current picture and new developments (Tony Brown)
  • 5.50 “Consumers, traders, storers and producers”. A review about the presence of Roman viticulture in Britannia” (Antoni M. I Oliveras & Robert Witcher)
    • 16.10 Q&A

16.40 Coffee break

Closing roundtable

  • 17.00 The future of Roman wine archaeology (moderated by Dimitri Van Limbergen, Emlyn Dodd & Maria Stella Busana)


20.00 Conference dinner