The history of ceramic wineware

A series of vintage ceramic pots laying on the ground against a stone wall in a mediterranean setting

Ceramics have played an important role in the winemaking process for centuries. From storage vessels to wine presses, ceramic materials have been used by winemakers for their durability, insulating properties, and resistance to the effects of light and air.

One of the earliest known uses of ceramics in winemaking was the production of amphorae, which were large, earthenware jars used for the storage and transportation of wine. The ancient Greeks and Romans were particularly fond of using amphorae, which were often decorated with intricate designs and used to trade wine across the Mediterranean.

During the Middle Ages, ceramic vessels known as demijohns were used for the storage and transportation of wine. These containers were typically made of glass or earthenware and had a distinctive rounded shape. They were particularly popular in France and Italy, where they were used to transport wine from vineyards to local markets.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, ceramic materials were used in the construction of wine presses. These presses were typically made of stoneware or earthenware and were used to extract juice from grapes. The use of ceramics in winemaking declined in the 20th century with the advent of more modern materials, such as stainless steel and plastic.

However, ceramics have made a comeback in recent years with the rise of artisanal winemaking. Many small-scale winemakers have turned to ceramic vessels, such as amphorae, to add complexity and character to their wines. The porous nature of ceramic materials allows for a slow, gentle oxygenation of the wine, which can enhance its flavour and aroma.

Cato & Co's ceramic wineware continues this tradition of using ceramics in winemaking. Our handcrafted cups, decanters, and carafes are designed to enhance the wine-drinking experience by providing a unique vessel that not only looks beautiful but also helps to improve the wine's flavour and aroma.

In our opinion, now is the time for ceramics to make a comeback. With the rise of artisanal winemaking, we believe that the perfect way to enjoy a unique drop of wine is with vessel that is made to last and enhances the overall wine-drinking experience. Cheers!