Wine between History and Myth: A Gift by Dionysius

Wine has always been part of human history. Mentioned in the Bible, protagonist of miracles, present in mythological tales, and the object of trade between East and West, wine represents a bridge between culture and civilization. It is an expression of human passion, both for those who produce it as well as for those who wish to know it. It reflects the characteristics of the territory in which vines grow and has the extraordinary ability to clear the mind, offering that lightness of being that we often forget we possess. As a Latin saying goes, “in vino veritas”, the truth of the heart lies in wine.

Before the Latins, it was Greek mythology that told us the origins of the vine and wine.

Ampelography, the science that studies, identifies, and classifies the varieties of vines, owes its name to Ampel, a handsome and muscly young man, the first great love of Dionysius, God of vines, wine, and mystical delirium. Dionysius was extremely jealous of Ampel and lived in the obsession that something unpleasant could happen to him. A premonitory dream reinforced these fears: a horned dragon hurled a roe deer onto a stone altar, leaving it bloodless.

Dionysius interpreted this dream as a sign of destiny, fearing that his beloved was in danger. He did everything to protect Ampel, especially warning him against the horns of a bull. However, Ampel, like all young people, was curious and adventurous, and was particularly familiar with animals. One day, during a walk in the lush countryside, Ampel met a mighty bull. Fascinated, he approached the animal and decided to ride it. The bull, annoyed by Ampel’s exuberance, threw him  off and gored him, causing his death.

Meanwhile, Dionysius was looking for him and, when he found him, he understood that there was nothing more he could do for him. His pain was immense, as he knew that being immortal, he could not reach Ampel in Hades. He thus broke into desperate tears, his tears, pouring onto Ampel's body, slowly transformed into a vine, while Ampel's blood changed into a dark and fragrant liquid: wine.

Thru, Dionysius’s wine is a precious gift, a symbol of life capable to overcoming death. It’s a celebration of rebirth and the beauty of nature.

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