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How to live to 107: 'Drink four bottles of red wine a day'
thinkSPAIN , Thursday, February 25, 2016

A GALICIA man who died a week ago at the age of 107 always claimed the secret to his long life was drinking four bottles of red wine a day.

Antonio Docampo García, whose nephew Jerónimo has taken over running of the family wine merchant's, never drank water.

But according to his son Miguel, his father put away two bottles of wine, or a litre and a half, over lunch and another two with his evening meal.

He literally downed it in two or three gulps, says Miguel.

Jerónimo, now at the helm of Bodegas Docampo wine producers near the city of Vigo, in the north-western region of Galicia, says his uncle used to churn out around 60,000 litres of wine a year, or 4,000 bottles.

But he kept at least 3,000 litres, or 200 bottles, for himself.

My uncle always claimed that was his secret to living to such a great age,” Jerónimo reveals.

After just three more years, if he had carried on living, Antonio would have been classed as a 'super-centenarian' – the title given to people who live to 110 or more.

Spain has one of the highest numbers of super-centenarians, and the figure of those aged at least 100 is thought to run into thousands rather than hundreds.

Other centenarians and super-centenarians around the globe asked about the secret to their long lives have given varied and unlikely reasons – although not necessarily as drastic as four bottles of red wine a day.

Lifelong spinster Miss Jessie Gallan, from Aberdeen, Scotland, was 109 when she died last year and, after her last-ever birthday, claimed her 'secrets' were knitting, avoiding men, and eating porridge.

Another well-travelled Brit was Ethel Lang, who died last year aged 114, having hardly ever drunk alcohol, never smoked, but danced a lot.

Alice Herz-Sommer did not expect to make it to her 40s, but she survived the Holocaust and was in fact 110 when she passed away in 2014 – and, unsurprisingly, said 'being positive' was the key to a long life.

Kamato Hongo from Japan passed away in 2003, aged 116, and said the trick to making it well into treble figures was sleeping solidly for two days, and then not sleeping at all for the next two, and alternating the pattern.

By contrast, her compatriot Misao Okawa, who was nearly 117 when she passed away last year, said she had kept alive so long by sleeping eight hours a night – and eating plenty of sushi.

Women over 100 are more common than men – and research shows centenarians and super-centenarians tend to be fairly healthy; simply because, in fact, if they were not healthy they would never have reached such a great age in the first place.

But Henry Allingham made it to 113 before his death in 2009, an achievement he attributes to 'wild, wild women', plus 'cigarettes and whisky'.

Other super-centenarians who are still alive have offered their tips for reaching a ripe old age – such as Agnes Fenton, who turned 110 last year and hopes her three beers and a shot of whisky a day, plus 'keeping in touch with God', will keep her going until at least her 111th birthday this year.

Susannah Mushatt-Jones was actually born in the 19th century – but only just; she came into the world in 1899 and is still here at 116, hoping the fact she does not smoke or drink, gets plenty of sleep and breakfasts on bacon and eggs as often as possible may get her to her 117th birthday this year.


Photograph of Antonio Docampo at age 107 from Twitter



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