Bacchus Uncorked is a new 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. Cap off the evening with a visit to the galleries where numerous Greek and Roman vessels for mixing and serving wine are on display.

Both programs complement the exhibition Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville on view through August 17, 2015.

Generous support for these programs has been provided by the Villa Council.

Next Program in the Series


Vinum, Vidi, Vici: Wine, Culture, and Colonialism in Ancient Gaul

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015
Time: 5:30–8:00 p.m.
Location: Auditorium and Cafe Terrace
Admission: $60; advance ticket required. Includes lecture, wine tasting reception, and parking. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Get Tickets" button below.

While France is known for its fine wine, it was the Etruscans in the 7th century B.C. who first introduced the fermented beverage to ancient Gaul, forever changing the region. Anthropologist Michael Dietler takes a look at the role wine and viniculture played in transforming the cultural, social, and commercial landscape that would become modern France. Centuries of encounters between native peoples and Etruscan, Greek, and Roman traders and colonists were articulated by a robust wine trade that entangled them in complex webs of economic dependence and political alliances. Dietler explores how these relationships and thirst for wine had an important impact on the cultures of all involved. The luxurious Roman silver wine vessels unearthed at Berthouville in northern France, which are currently on view at the Getty Villa, are one example that deepens our understanding of the people who acquired and used them. After the talk, enjoy the summer evening with a reception and wine tasting led by certified sommelier Mark Botieff.

About Michael Dietler
Michael Dietler is professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago in Illinois and has conducted archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research in Europe and Africa. His archaeological research has focused for over 30 years on colonial encounters between the ancient Celtic-speaking peoples—or Gauls—of France and alien Etruscan, Greek, and Roman traders and colonists. His work has been especially centered on the ancient wine trade, and on the cross-cultural analysis of alcohol, foodways, and feasting. For the past 18 years he has been excavating the ancient port settlement of Lattes, in southern France, studying the impact of the wine trade and colonial entanglements on daily life.

About Mark Botieff
Mark Botieff teaches wine studies as a professor at The College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. He received a master's of science in hospitality management from Collins College, Cal Poly Pomona, as well as a bachelor's degree from Whittier College. Mark is a Certified Sommelier, Certified Cicerone ® (beer expert), holds 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, has a decade of luxury service, is a published researcher, and studies the cultural-alcohol consumption behavior of aspiring international touring cultures, specifically, China, India, and South America.


Travels with Bacchus: How an Enigmatic Wine-God Came to France

Date: Saturday, July 11, 2015
Time: 5:30–8:00 p.m.
Location: Auditorium and Cafe Terrace
Admission: $60; advance ticket required. Includes lecture, wine tasting reception, and parking.

The ancients believed that it was the wine-god Bacchus—or to the Greeks, Dionysos—who first introduced the fruit of the vine and its fermented juice to humans. He traveled extensively from east to west, sharing his gift to all who would accept him. Bacchic iconography on Roman silver cups and bowls unearthed in northern France demonstrates that the god was well known in Gaul by the first century A.D. But when did he get there, and how? Join noted classicist and culinary historian Albert Leonard, Jr. as he sheds light on the early history of wine through ancient literature and modern archaeological evidence, and tracks Bacchus on his epic journey throughout the Mediterranean world. Following his talk enjoy a reception and wine tasting led by certified sommelier Mark Botieff in the picturesque outdoor setting of the Getty Villa.

About Albert Leonard, Jr.
Albert Leonard, Jr. is an archaeologist who specializes in the social impact of interregional trade among the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean world. He is professor emeritus in both the departments of classical archaeology and Near Eastern studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and for more than four decades has directed excavations in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, and Jordan. As his alter ego, the Time-traveling Gourmet ©, Leonard combines his command of archaeological, historical, and literary material with culinary skills acquired at Le Cordon Bleu in London and the Culinary Institute of America in order to reconstruct dishes described by ancient authors. He presently divides his time between Tucson and California's Russian River Valley where he is a member of The Society of Wine Educators and the Northern Sonoma County convivium of Slow Foods International.

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 evening. 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. The auditorium opens at 5:00 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Cafe is open for lunch service from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the Museum Store is open until 5:30 p.m.