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Roman mythology explains that what began as a rustic Latin harvest festival celebrating the grape harvest, vegetable growth and fertility evolved into Vinalia Rustica during the war of the Latins against Mezentius when the people vowed all wine of the next sacred vintage to Jupiter in return for victory against the Etruscan tyrant.

As god of the weather on which the wine-harvest depended, Jupiter was offered a special libation of the previous year’s sacred wine vintage, blessed by his high priest and poured into a ditch outside Venus’ Capitoline temple.