The Mediterranean Sea, the Mare Nostrum of the Latins, was for millennia, and has been until the revolutionary voyages of discovery that started the recent globalization, much more than just a region of the world. It was a world. For the people who lived on the lands washed by this sea, it was the heart of the only conceivable world, a vital fluid connecting peoples and cultures.
All the Mediterranean farming cultures, from the Bronze age to the present, were based on three plants: wheat, olive trees, and grapevine. The sweet fruit of the grapevine and its fermented juice were sacred to Dionysus/Bacchus, the god who represented the primordial element of the cosmos and the disruptive vital flow for both Greeks and Romans. Many of the facts narrated by Homer in the Iliad and in the Odyssey have as background “this wine-dark sea”. It is around the Mediterranean, and inside it, in islands like Sardinia, that the cultivation of grapes and the culture of wine developed until they overflew, and generously poured, as from a beautiful carafe, into the World Ocean..