Experimental Recreation of 16th Century Wine

Palynological and Enological Characteristics





ancient wine, viticulture, palynology, food history, experimental archaeology


This project recreated 16th century wine following Charles Estienne’s recipe in L’agriculture et Maison Rustique (1570). The primary goal was to better understand enology from this period, through scientific analysis of wine made in a historical manner. The resulting wine had an ABV of 9.74%, 216.7 kcal per 12 fl. oz., and a pH of 3.8, with volatile aromas common in modern young white wine. A secondary goal was to compare pollen profiles from the wine and the vineyard from which the wine was produced. The wine contained Vitis as a major pollen type, unlike sedimentary samples from the vineyard. Together, we conclude that a wine produced in a traditional manner may be enologically compared to modern wines, and that the palynological characteristics will include Vitis but may not reflect vineyard conditions. The implications for the archaeological record as well as our understanding of 16th century European wine traditions are discussed.

Author Biographies

Crystal A. Dozier, Wichita State University

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Director, Archaeology of Food Laboratory

Wichita State University

Grace E. Tsai, Texas A&M University

Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, College Station TX, USA


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How to Cite

Dozier, C. A., & Tsai, G. E. (2022). Experimental Recreation of 16th Century Wine: Palynological and Enological Characteristics. Archaeology of Food and Foodways, 1(1), 16–33. https://doi.org/10.1558/aff.17752