Surrentine

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Surrentine, wine from vineyards on the slopes of the Sorrento peninsula in southern Italy achieved prominence from the latter half of the reign of Augustus in the first decade of the 1st century ad. It ranked high in Classical rome, but behind caecuban and falernian, in pliny’s assessment. It was produced from the vine known as the Aminnea Gemina Minor, which, unusually for one of the classic wines, was trellised rather than grown up trees. The wine itself was a rather thin white wine, which nevertheless could be described as ‘strong’. It may well have had a high acidity. There are recommendations to age it for 20 to 25 years. It never won universal approval—‘a high class vinegar’ was the opinion of both the emperors Tiberius and Caligula, and there are some signs that its medicinal properties were among its most important selling points.