Farm equipment

To the east of the residential apartments could be found the production equipment, accessed by a third courtyard. The most visible trace is a large warehouse, a 300 sq. m utilitarian structure with two naves separated by an axial line of columns. This large-scale building at the eastern corner of the peristyle stood some 10 metres tall, and rose well above the roof of the nearby residence. It was accessed from the gallery, thus allowing the owner, or more likely the steward, to keep an eye on the estate's wine cellar. Nearly the entire surface of the warehouse was taken up by rows of large jars, buried up to their necks – this is the dolia defossa as described by Roman authors. The dolium, which in Narbonese Gaul was up to 2 metres tall, is a recipient capable of holding between 1,200 and 2,000 litres of liquid. In the Loupian warehouse, there were more than 90 such jars, sealed with pitch, which were used for winemaking. Pressing equipment was not kept in the warehouse but nearby. In the provinces under the Early Roman Empire, wine-presses were of the levered type – a heavy wooden beam, held in place horizontally by pillars, was used to crush the grapes and extract the juice, or must. The weight and pressure were increased by the use of a counterweight or a screw.

Medias

Interactive document - The wine warehouse sector at the end of excavations

The wine warehouse sector at the end of excavations

The initial organisation of the warehouse in the Early Roman Empire is still visible in spite of the many modifications carried out with respect to these wine-making facilities.
© ArchéOfactory
Interactive document - Detail of the wine warehouse of the Loupian Villa under the Early Roman Empire

Detail of the wine warehouse of the Loupian Villa under the Early Roman Empire


S. Cugnet / La Forme © MCC
Interactive document - Carefully arranged dolia

Carefully arranged dolia

The housings for these containers took the form of holes dug in the marl substrate. In Antiquity, the recipients were systematically removed, with the exception of those that were broken during the operation.
© ArchéOfactory
Interactive document - Reconstruction of the interior arrangement of the warehouse, cross-section

Reconstruction of the interior arrangement of the warehouse, cross-section

Note the presence of a vat, which would have had a lead cover, and may have had a pump function.
© Ch. Pellecuer et J.-M. Pène, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon
Interactive document - Vinification of must in dolia

Vinification of must in dolia

Reconstruction of a wine warehouse from Antiquity at the Mas des Tourelles, Beaucaire (Gard).
© H. Durand, Mas des Tourelles
Interactive document - A dolium from southern Gaul

A dolium from southern Gaul

The recipients used at Loupian correspond to a type of pottery manufactured in Gallia Narbonensis, and well represented in the civitas of Nîmes. This example, which for a long time was displayed in front of the Maison Carrée, stands some two metres high and could hold up to 1800 litres.
© Marc Lugand