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The Mythology of Wine

The Mythology of Wine

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The Mythology of Wine

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  1. Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved. - Medieval German saying The Mythology of Wine

  2. Each discipline has legends, folklore and mythology • Wine, interestingly enough, has been part of religion and mythology since ancient time • Part of the lure of the grape for tourists is certainly anchored in the myth Why Wine Mythology?

  3. The Ancient Greeks had twelve major gods on Olympus: • Zeus (Jupiter) – king, thunder, justice • Hera (Juno) – queen, marriage, motherhood, women • Poseidon (Neptune) – sea, earthquakes • Demeter (Ceres) – fertility, seasons, agriculture, nature • Hestia (Vesta) – goddess of the home • Aphrodite (Venus) – love, beauty, desire, fertility • Apollo (Apollo) – sun, health, truth, archery • Ares (Mars) – war, hatred • Artemis (Diana) – moon, the hunt, maidens • Athena (Minerva) – wisdom, crafts, battle • Hesphaestus (Vulcan) – fire, the blacksmith • Hermes (Mercury) – messenger of the gods, thieves, trade, speed, commerce Greeks and Wine

  4. The Ancient Greeks also had gods whose thrones were not on Olympus: • Hades (Pluto) – god of the Underworld, wealth, precious metals, the dead • Nike (Victoria) – goddess of victory • Persephone (Proserpina) – goddess of spring, death • Morpheus – god of dreams • Nemisis – goddess of retribution, revenge • Pan (Faunus) – god of the wild, animals, nature • Eros (Cupid) – god of lust, desire • Eris (Discordia) – goddess of discord Greeks and Wine

  5. The Greeks, creative as they were, also had a god for wine, parties and general merriment of all kinds • This god was Dionysus (Bacchus in Roman) • His history and artistic depictions can begin to unravel the mysteries of wine, its lure and its intoxicating effects Greeks and Wine

  6. For the Ancient Greeks, Dionysus was one of the twelve great gods of Mt. Olympus • His father was Zeus (Jupiter), ruler of all gods and Dionysus is the only one of the twelve great gods to have a mortal mother, Semele, a princess of Thebes Dionysus (Bacchus)

  7. Hera hated (the pregnant) Semele and tricked her into being killed • Dionysus (much later) pulls his mother out of Hades, giving him the power of the Underworld to bring people back to life • Dionysus also creates dolphins Dionysus (Bacchus)

  8. Throughout art, in the Greek, Roman, Renaissance and Modern periods, Dionysus has been depicted in a variety of forms Dionysus (Wine) and Art

  9. Most commonly, Dionysus is a young, effeminate male – long hair, usually nude, often being carried about • His beguiling appearance was known for “sending men into madness” – he was tempting to both sexes • No one was safe from his (wine’s) seduction Dionysus (Wine) and Art

  10. Dionysus was later depicted as a bearded man, lean and fit • Renaissance artists often depicted Dionysus as a rather large man, or as a chubby baby – both always with wine Later Representations

  11. Protestants, less comfortable with the genderless Dionysus gave him a more decidedly masculine appearance Later Representations

  12. Using the wine legend can be a powerful marketing tool • ClosPegase uses strong mythology in its marketing – providing a theme if you will, for the winery • Pegasus (son of Poseidon and Medusa) • Pegasus released the spring from Mt. Helicon, which watered the vines that were used to create wine • The Muses were inspired by drinking the wine and music, dance, poetry, drama, painting – the arts, were created Dionysus in Wine Tourism

  13. More ClosPegase • Bacchus, as discussed already, is also used at ClosPegase • In addition to creating wine, Bacchus is the god of fertility and he also created the myth of the immortal soul (which we see later in Christianity) Dionysus in Wine Tourism

  14. The Christian Bible makes its strongest reference toward wine in the miracle performed by Jesus at Cana • Jesus not only creates wine, as did Dionysus, but Jesus also represents re-birth and the immortal soul, as did Dionysus Christianity and Wine

  15. Wine is used in the Bible also as reference to Jesus’ blood as part of the Holy Communion • The Bible also makes reference to wine as a digestive agent, a medicine and as a topical cleanser Christianity and Wine

  16. Drunkenness, however is not a positive in the Bible • Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent. Christianity and Wine

  17. The first wine made in the US was in Florida in the mid-1500s • By the early 1600s, wine was being attempted in Virginia Colony and Carolina Colony Wine in the New World

  18. The Pilgrims landed with a great deal of wine with them and began the cultivation of indigenous wine grapes immediately – producing the first wine in a matter of months (although it most likely wasn’t very good wine) Christians in America

  19. It is important to note that the eastern United States had native grape species – vitislabrusca (fox grapes) and vitisrotundifolia (muscadine grapes) • These grapes are still used for wine in some regions, but the wine is at best, “foxy” Christians in America

  20. As with wine in Europe, the wine industry in the US owes much of its beginnings to the church • In 1769 Father Junípero Serra planted the first vines in California at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá To California

  21. Virginia wine was also being attempted with European grapes from France by Thomas Jefferson • Jefferson helped further our connection with French cuisine, including their wine Meanwhile…

  22. In the 1850s and 1860s, Agoston Haraszthy brought several European vines to California and established the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, the oldest winery in California To California

  23. While all parts of California were buzzing with wine, the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County saw an explosion of wine making in the early 1850s • The Gold Rush created a string of industries vying for prospector’s money • Grandpère vineyards have the US’s oldest zinfandel vines due to this period of activity Gold and Wine

  24. Napa Valley’s first winery was Charles Krug • In 1865, American vines were taken to Europe, and phylloxera managed to destroy nearly all European vines • 1879 Inglenook wines won Gold Medals at the 1889 World’s Fair, a first for American wine • By 1900, American wines had gained success in South African and Australia To California

  25. The standards of the wine should always be determined by the people to whom we hole to sell. - Ernest Gallo The Mythology of Wine

  26. Prohibition threatened to destroy the US wine industry just as it was becoming well known • By WWI thirty-three states were dry, and by 1920, the US had instituted prohibition Nation-wide • Wine growers switched to juice grapes – this lasted until the early 1970s Death of US Wine

  27. Several states remained dry even after prohibition ended (some counties are still dry) in 1933 • The drink of choice became fortified wine, due to the higher alcohol content • It was not until 1986 that the number of wineries in California matched pre-prohibition levels – and this was with primarily inexpensive table wines (Sutter Home, Gallo, etc.) Death of US Wine

  28. The only wineries allowed to operate during prohibition were those that were religiously run for sacramental wines • Christian Brothers and Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) were instrumental in saving the California (US) wine industry by continuing to refine the process when others couldn’t make wine Re-Birth of US Wine

  29. Wine was still commonly used as medicine during the 1930s and 1940s – and the Lodi region saw a huge increase in the demand for wine as Southern California all but stopped production Re-Birth of US Wine

  30. Wine in the US maintains production, focusing almost exclusively on California • While several players exist (including Paul Masson and Seagram’s), the Gallo brothers eventually become the leaders • Gallo focuses attention on cheap land in the Central Valley for wine production The “Lean” Years

  31. Americans from the 1940s to the 1970s consume wine, increasing amounts, although the wine industry struggles to make significant profits • Wine Tourism is relatively unheard of • Gallo doesn’t focus on quality – it focuses on pleasing the “American” palate The “Lean” Years

  32. Americans, even in the 1950s and 1960s knew that dry wine was considered “better” • But Gallo discovered through sales analysis that Americas said one thing, but bought another • (Gallo also noted that Americans loved soft drinks) • Gallo sought to remove the barriers to American wine purchasing The “Lean” Years

  33. In 1954, the US government allowed wine to have flavors added • Prior to this date, the only flavor that could be added was Vermouth (any other flavors had to be added at a rectifying plant, not a winery) • After 1954, wines were flavored with chocolate, cola, cloves, rhubarb, etc. The “Lean” Years

  34. A few of Gallo’s inventions… • Thunderbird (fortified white wine and lemon flavor) • Maverick (fortified wine) • Ripple (carbonated wine and fruit flavor) • Pink Pussy Cat (carbonated, sweetened white wine) • Boone’s Farm (carbonated wine and apple flavor) • And, of course, Pink Chablis… Gallo

  35. Ernest Gallo’s term was total merchandising • This meant that Gallo wanted to control the vineyards, the winery, the distributors, the wholesalers and even the retailers • Ernest Gallo meant to control retailers from the large chains to the mom and pop stores Gallo

  36. Total Merchandising: • Talk to retailers about the advantages of carrying the Gallo product • Obtain the most visible position for Gallo product • Trim shelves with colorful point-of-sale materials • Use bottle collars to attract customer attention • Rotate stock to ensure quality • Keep Gallo shelves stocked • Dust Gallo bottles to keep them clean • Place counter displays in key traffic locations Gallo

  37. Wine Advisory Board • Set standards for “good” wine and “table” wine • Regulated growing regions and productions amounts • Created “wine education” for the American public Americans and Wine

  38. Red Wine • Burgundy, Claret • White Wine • Chablis, Rhine • Appetizer Wine • Vermouth, Sherry • Dessert Wine • Port, Muscatel, Tokay Categories of Wine

  39. To their credit, the Gallo brothers did try to produce “good” table wine – and it was through their efforts that much research into wine making was done at UC Davis Gallo

  40. Robert Mondavi began a campaign to end the dominance of the Central Valley • Problem was, many bay area vineyards at the time were losing out to freeways, suburban sprawl, shopping malls, etc. • Monterey/Salinas Valley began to take the overflow Re-Birth of US Wine

  41. California Style • Scenery • Hollywood • Disneyland • Beaches • Music Re-Birth of US Wine

  42. In 1965, Robert Mondavi left Charles Krug and created his own winery – the first large-scale new winery since prohibition • Mondavi’s influence was that he changed the way American wines were named – by varietal (pinot noir, chardonnay), rather than region (Burgundy, Chablis) Re-Birth of US Wine

  43. Terroir is the term the French use to describe the wine region • The French have spent centuries determining the best grapes for each region French Wine

  44. In order to know what is in a French wine, you must read the label • Blends are very common in France • Bordeaux, for example, can grow cabernet sauvignon and its relatives: • Red (merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot) • White (sauvignon blanc, sauterne, sémillon, merlot blanc, colombard) French Wine

  45. Rhône, for example, focuses mainly on Syrah, but does have other grapes: • Red (syrah, durif, grenache, mourvedre) • White (roussanne, viognier, ugniblanc) French Wine

  46. Naming by varietal • Extreme experimentation • Extreme microclimates • Development of regional varietals • “Domination” of the French California Wine