Our commune Hatria has an exceptionally rich history, both as a wine producing region and as an important part of the Roman Empire. It was once part of an ancient Roman region called Picenum and was known as Hatria or Hadria. The historical record has immortalised Picenum for taking the side of Rome against Hannibal during the Second Punic War. For its efforts, Rome awarded the people of Picenum citizenship. Hadria itself was later given the title Colonia Aelia Hadria.
All through this period of history, wine was being produced. The wines of Picenum were one of the seven ‘grand crus’ of the Roman Empire. In every corner of Rome’s territories from the farthest reaches of modern-day Spain to Turkey to Egypt and beyond, citizens of Rome sought to get a hold of Picene wine such as Vinum Hadrianum. So renowned were these wines that Emperor Diocletian singled them out in his Price Edict issued in 301 AD. He decreed that these crus would fetch the highest prices of all wine made in the Roman Empire, rather like many of the so-called ‘cult wines’ of today. Tasting our modern wines produced around Hatria, this comes as no surprise!
If the name Hadria sounds familiar, it should. Emperor Hadrian, one of Rome’s Five Good Emperors, had family ties to the town of Hadria through his father. While he was born in Italica, a Roman settlement in Spain, Hadrian considered Hadria his second home and it is where his name originates. But the legacy of this commune does not end here. Scholars argue the Hadria settlement gave its name to the Adriatic Sea, which was known during Antiquity as Mare Hadriaticum. Today, that sea helps moderate the climate in our vineyards and contributes to our ability to make intensely flavoured, concentrated wines in Atri.