Which verb did the Romans use for making wine? I can imagine saying vinum facio/conficio/primo and maybe some other options as well. Different verbs might emphasize different aspects or steps of making wine. What verbs are possible in such use?

This question was inspired by an earlier one about the age of wine.

1 Answer 1


Cato Maior devotes a large subsection of De Agri Cultura to wine. You can read the entire text here, and as can be expected, he sticks to very simple verbs:


  • making: vinum Graecum sic facito

actual wine making:

  • plucking grapes: Hoc vinum [= has uvas] seorsum legito
  • trampling grapes: In orculam calcato
  • pressing grapes: Manu conprimito acina
  • soaking grapes: conbibant noctem et diem
  • mixing: ne conmisceas cum cetero vino

in recipes:

  • blending: Vinum concinnare
  • boiling: Ubi bullabit vinum
  • cooling off: Ubi id vinum refrixerit

drinking !

  • pouring: pridie quam vinum infundere voles
  • drinking: bibito ante cenam

Varro also wrote a De Agri Cultura treatise. I've looked whether he is a bit more creative in his choice of words, but he isn't. In fact, he hardly mentions how to press wine, he focuses rather on which types of vines to plant etc.

  • Is there a particular verb used for "fermenting" wine?
    – R.M.
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 14:39
  • Thanks! I'm actually quite surprised that Cato uses simply facere for making wine. This might be his simplification, but I guess we have to look at other authors to figure it out.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 14:43
  • 1
    @R.M. yes, there seems to be: you can check the English version on the same website as the Latin text, and it translates the verbs effervere (115) and fervere (125) to ferment. Both instances are closely tied to the word mustum, which exists as an English loanword: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Must
    – blagae
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 14:49
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Cato uses the word facere hundreds of times in the course of De Agri Cultura, for all kinds of things
    – blagae
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 15:11

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