Legal Approaches for Sustainable Wine Tourism Development by Dimitrios Mylonopoulos and Polyxeni Moira

Dimitrios Mylonopoulos | Polyxeni Moira Figure 1. Bacchus7 by Caravaggio-Gallery Uffizi, Florence Source: P. Moira, personal archive, 2016 In Ancient Greece, the "symposium," which means the gathering of people eating and drinking together, played an important social role and was more than just a meal. It was a ritual during which friendships, collaborations, and necessary alliances were forged through philosophical discussions, games, music, theater, and dance. It was a process beyond the act of eating, with an exceptionally significant social dimension. Plutarch, in his essay "Symposium of the Seven Sages", expressed the opinion that “eating alone does not mean that he eats, but that he has simply filled his stomach, like animals do.” (Πλούταρχος, Ηθικά, 158d), pointing out the social significance of food. Moreover, he also mentioned wine, which necessarily accompanies food, stating that “nor is that of Dionysus strong drink and wine, but rather the friendly feeling, the longing, the association, and the intimacy, one with one another, which they create in us through these agencies.” (Πλούταρχος, 156b). Plutarch emphasizes that the act of dining and drinking together in the symposium fosters social connections and bonds beyond the mere consumption of food and wine. In Greek symposia, wine flowed abundantly, facilitating communication among the participants and creating an ambiance conducive to the development of philosophical discussions. After having drunk wine, as “wine that maketh glad the heart of man” (Psalms 104:15 KJV), the participants would engage in circular dances. The wine was often diluted with water to delay drunkenness, ensuring a state of sobriety and mental alertness throughout the symposium, which could last for many hours, and sometimes even days. The enormous economic and social significance of wine resulted in its legal protection. We can say with certainty that the concept of "Designation of Origin" was established in ancient Greece. In various texts, we encounter designations of origin such as Chian wine, Lesbian wine, Thasian wine, and Pramnian wine (from Ikaria island8). Moreover, in many 7 The painting depicts Bacchus, reclining in front of a stone table, with grapes and vine leaves in his hair. He holds a glass of red wine, while on the table there is a bowl of grapes and other fruits, as well as a large carafe of red wine. 8 Chios, Lesbos, Thasos and Ikaria are Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.