Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

North African country which was once an important wine producer. Viticulture was probably introduced when the Phoenicians established the city of carthage on the coast and was certainly developed during the Roman occupation. The Phoenician agronomist mago recorded contemporary vine-growing and winemaking practices in his Treatise of Agronomy.

French occupation until 1956 led to vineyard development on a vast scale, but independence was followed by a decline in local expertise. The total vineyard area devoted to wine production fell from 17,500 ha/43,240 acres in 2000 to 9,000 ha in 2013 when 238,000 hl/6.3 million gal of wine were made in the country’s 16 wineries, about 60% of it rosé and only 30% red. About 40% of all wine is classed as aoc. Italians, Swiss, Germans, and Austrians have all invested in the Tunisian wine industry since the late 20th century, bringing with them winemaking and viticultural expertise, and an overall improvement in wine quality.