Lacryma Christi

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Lacryma Christi wines

Lacryma Christi, (also Lachryma Christi of Vesuvius, literally "tears of Christ"), is the name of a celebrated Neapolitan type of wine produced on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in Campania, Italy. White Lacryma Christi is made mainly from Verdeca and Coda di Volpe grapes, with smaller proportions of Falanghina and Greco di Tufo included. Red Lacryma Christi is made from Piedirosso and Sciascinoso grapes. It is also, as archaeologist have discovered, the nearest equivalent to wine drunk by the Ancient Romans, having analysed microscopic residue left on the taps of the casks.[1]

Origins of name[edit]

The name Lacryma Christi comes from an old myth that Christ, crying over Lucifer's fall from heaven, cried his tears on the land and gave divine inspiration to the vines that grew there. The sides of Vesuvius are deeply scarred by past lava flows, and its lower slopes are extremely fertile, dotted with villages and covered with vineyards.

Lacryma Christi in literature and media[edit]

Lacryma Christi wine sold at a gift shop outside of Mount Vesuvius.

Lacryma Christi is an old wine, frequently mentioned by poets and writers. Lacryma Christi was mentioned in the book by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, in W. J. Turner's poem Talking with Soldiers, in Candide by Voltaire, and by Christopher Marlowe in his play Tamburlaine the Great, Part II. The Irish periodical writer and journalist William Maginn mentions the wine amongst other spirits in his poem "Inishowen" c. 1822. In the late work of the German novelist Theodor Fontane "Der Stechlin" (1898) the wine is mentioned [2] to be served after lunch in a convent and is characterized to be of higher grade than a Montefiascone. The Dutch novelist Harry Mulisch mentions the wine together with the island of Capri in his 1987 novel "The Pupil". In the short story "Rappaccini's Daughter" collected in Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a glass of lachryma is drunk by the protagonist "which caused his brain to swim with strange fantasies".

In the 1954 movie, Three Coins in the Fountain, Lacryma Christi is mentioned as being the favorite wine of Prince Dino di Cessi, played by actor Louis Jourdan.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Dalí, Salvador; Gérard, Max; Orizet, Louis (1977). Les vins de gala. Draeger. p. 293. ISBN 2-85119-013-X.