Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Oenotria, name given to southern Italy when Greek colonists first arrived in the 8th century bc or soon after. The Greeks may have found the indigenous inhabitants already producing wine and using stakes to support the vines, and it is possible that they adopted a word meaning ‘stake’ (oinotron) as a name for the inhabitants. But this word is very rare; a different word (kharax) is used in most dialects of classical Greek; so it may be that Oenotria was the name already used by the local population and the similarity between it and the word meaning ‘stake’ is purely coincidental.