Bacchus Uncorked is an occasional series focusing on the grape in the ancient world. Hear insightful talks about wine cultivation and drinking practices from experts in archaeology, classical history, literature, and science, then enjoy a sommelier-led wine tasting at a special outdoor reception. Plan a visit to the galleries where numerous Greek and Roman vessels for mixing and serving wine are on display.

Generous support for this program has been provided by the Villa Council.

Recently in the Series


Vines and Volcanoes: Greeks, Romans and Wine in Ancient Italy

Date: Saturday, July 16 or
Sunday July 17, 2016
Time: Saturday 5:00–7:30 p.m.
Sunday 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium and Café Terrace
Admission: $65; advance ticket required. Includes lecture, wine tasting reception, and parking.

Learn how the ancient Greeks and Romans made and consumed their wine, from the field to the table. Archaeologist Paul Roberts of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford explores the religious and social mythologies around wine, gift of the god Dionysos—or Bacchus to the Romans—and the amazing and sometimes bizarre rituals around its consumption. Roberts explains how wine, as well as fine tableware and gorgeous floor mosaics, factored into the everyday lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans on Sicily and the shores of the Bay of Naples. Sommelier Diego Meraviglia then introduces the volcanic wines of Mt. Etna and Mt. Vesuvius, where grapes grown at high altitudes and in nutrient-rich soils give birth to some of the most peculiar and attractive wines available today, and leads a tasting in the picturesque outdoor setting of the Getty Villa.

About Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts is the Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, United Kingdom, where he oversees the collection of objects dating from European prehistory to Byzantium, including early Britain, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. Paul studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford, lived in Italy for several years, and between 1994 and 2015 was senior Roman curator in the department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum. He has worked in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy and researches the daily life of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds. He curated the exhibition "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum" at the British Museum in 2013. At the Ashmolean he is working on the exhibition "Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Treasures from the Sicilian Seas" opening in June.

About Diego Meraviglia
Diego Meraviglia is vice president and director of education for the North American Sommelier Association, a non-profit organization that teaches sommelier, wine specialist, and wine tasting courses for both professionals and amateurs. In 2008, Meraviglia obtained the Gold-Pin certification with the Italian Sommelier Association and the Worldwide Sommelier Association (WSA). He is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) with the Society of Wine Educators in the United States. In 2009, he was awarded the international prize, "AIS – Villa Sandi" presented to only 15 sommeliers worldwide for "innovation in the profession of Sommelier." In 2013, he placed 5th at the WSA's "Best Sommelier in the World" competition. A native Italian, Meraviglia is passionate about archeology and ancient European history, with a focus on his Celtic (Gaulish) heritage.

Planning Your Visit
The Getty Villa and its galleries are open to the general public from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. With your program ticket, you may arrive up to one hour prior to the start time of the program. For earlier arrival, a separate general admission ticket is recommended.

Check-in opens 1 hour prior to the start time of program in the Auditorium lobby, and the Auditorium opens 30 minutes prior to program start time for seating, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Café is open for lunch service from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the Getty Store is open until 5:00 p.m.