Asli Grape Wine

Ark of taste
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Tunisian people known wine from long time ago. The Carthaginian “Magoon” is one of the greatest agricultural engineers of his time, he lived in the second century BC, and wrote more than 28 books in the Punic language related to the sciences of agriculture, seeds and land reclamation until he was called the "Father of Agriculture". He said in one of his books “to get good wine you must find good and suitable land for wine-growing, and to find good land you must do the following experiment: “Put a glass full of water, add to it some soil from the land you chose for vineyards, and then filter the water.” Then taste it, and if it tastes sweet, then it is good ground, and if it tastes normal, then look for another ground”. The name "Magoon" still today roams among the vineyards of Tunisia to give a special taste to Tunisian wine.

Despite, Tunisia is Islamic country knowing long periods of the Islamic caliphate, and despite the conservative societal nature in general, there is a distinct relationship between a large part of Tunisians and alcohol since very long time ago. The American magazine "Newsweek" classify Tunisian wine as the third most luxurious wine in the world. The magazine said that Tunisia is the third of five destinations that, according to experts, offer the finest wines manufactured in countries that are not primarily known for this industry.

In Kerkennah, people have no problem with getting wines and alcohol extracted traditionally from their grapes.

Kerkennah is recognized by these multiple types of wine, especially asly grape wine, which the cultivation of grapes goes back to the Phoenician era. Al Asly grape differs from those shown in other regions because of the natural adaptation to the typical climate of the archipelago, that ameliorate the plant fruit quality.

People in kerkennah always talk about the fact that their product are much different than outside of the archipelago, “because the typical climate of the archipelago and the proximity to the sea make products that have a unique taste and a special flavor” (M. Mohamed Najib kachouri, Al Majarra association and Slow Food Kerkennah). They still conserve traditional wine preparational methods inherited from generation to generation to conserve the specificity of their products and especially its biological aspect. In fact, Asli grapes in kerkennah have the specificity to grown in harsh condition without fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

Asli grapes used to prepare wine should be collected very mature. After harvesting, Asli grapes are washed and putted in a large, sealed jar called Zeer made of clay. Then, a tight closure of Zeer should be done using gypsum and leather to prevent the entry of air over a month. The women then open the jars and filter the juice that is poured out to extract the wines. No chemical intervenient are foreseen in its preparation.

Kerkennian people, not like other Tunisian people, are used to drink wine coming from their own preparations. They prefer their products because, as they said, they are made in a traditional manner.

An overall indicative quantity of wine produced is not calculated. However, Kerkennah keeps its specificity on preserving Asli variety especially dans la zone Ez Zorii au centre du l’ile : Ouled Kacem, Ouled Ezzeddine, Ouled Bou Ali et Remla.

Asli grapes is one of the resources of the island, slightly sold outside. The farmers keep a quantity of production that represents their self-sufficiency and sell the rest outside the archipelago in Sfax.

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Production area:Kerkennah Islands

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Wines and grape varietals