Monday, 13 October 2014

Brandy is dandy, wine is....awesome! Distilling the Peruvian wine and brandy industry

This month’s Digging Deeper article investigates a topic close to ours and many an archaeologist’s heart .... booze. 

Why? Well wine not! *hiccup*

The article, from the Journal of Field Archaeology, explores the archaeological and historical investigation of the flourishing wine and brandy industry in the Osmore (Moquegua) valley of far southern Peru, or also known as the Moquegua Bodegas Project.

The Moquegua Bodegas Project took place across six summer field seasons between 1985 and 1990, and began with surveys that led to the identification of 130 wine hacienda sites. Subsequent mapping and shovel testing focused on 28 of these sites and more extensive excavations were undertaken at four of them.

The article provides a descriptive overview of all the hacienda sites including discussion on their physical structures, layouts, and sightings in the valley.
You can read the article abstract below:

Spanish colonial settlement of the Moquegua valley of far southern Peru was oriented economically toward production of wine and brandy. A total of 130 wine hacienda sites (bodegas) can be identified there, primarily on the basis of adobe structures on hills bordering the valley. These sites had both residential and “industrial” functions, and their arrangements can be described by four site plans or layouts.

This article describes the “industrial” sectors of the sites, particularly the facilities for wine and brandy making (crushing tanks) rooms holding earthenware fermentation jars, distillery apparatus, and the functionally “specialized” site plan. Facilities were arranged spatially to incorporate gravity flow in moving liquids. The technology and organization of wine-making at the Moquegua sites evince similarities not only with Spanish models, but also with much earlier Roman wine-making.

The article is now available to read online for free, so pour yourself a large glass, sit back and enjoy. Cheers!

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