When Was Wine First Made?

The earliest remnants of wine were discovered in the site of Hajji Firuz Tepe, in the northern Zagros Mountains of Iran. The wine dated back to the Neolithic period (8500-4000 B.C.). Carbon dating confirmed the wine was from sometime between 5400-5000 B.C.


Who first made wine?

The Shulaveri-Shomu people (or “Shulaveri-Shomutepe Culture”) are thought to be the earliest people making wine in this area. This was during the Stone Age (neolithic period) when people used obsidian for tools, raised cattle and pigs, and most importantly, grew grapes.

When did humans first make wine?

The people living at Gadachrili Gora and a nearby village were the world’s earliest known vintners—producing wine on a large scale as early as 6,000 B.C., a time when prehistoric humans were still reliant on stone and bone tools.

How was the first wine discovered?

Wine was discovered about 6,000 years ago in either Mesopotamia, Palestine/Israel, or what is now called Georgia. It originally fermented by accident when native yeasts stuck to grapes stored in containers turned the sugars in the grapes into alcohol.

What is the oldest wine ever drank?

Known as Römerwein, or the Speyer wine bottle, it’s at least 1,650 years old. This dates back to the 4th century, sometime between 325 and 359 AD. The 1.5-liter glass vessel was discovered during the excavation of a Roman nobleman’s tomb in modern-day Germany.”

What wine did Romans drink?

Romans drank both red and white wine. To prevent their wine from going bad, they fermented their grapes longer which produced a higher alcohol wine than normal. They then had to mix it with water to be able to drink it.

Who made wine in the Bible?

After the account of the great flood, the biblical Noah is said to have cultivated a vineyard, made wine, and become intoxicated. Thus, the discovery of fermentation is traditionally attributed to Noah because this is the first time alcohol appears in the Bible.

Who invented alcohol?

Fermented beverages existed in early Egyptian civilization, and there is evidence of an early alcoholic drink in China around 7000 B.C. In India, an alcoholic beverage called sura, distilled from rice, was in use between 3000 and 2000 B.C.

Which wine came first red or white?

Red, White, or Rosé? Probably red. Archeological evidence uncovered in Georgia shows that wine making had become a major part of human culture at least as far back as 6,000 BCE and the oldest wine making facility yet discovered was from 2,000 BCE Armenia.

How much is the oldest bottle of wine?

Oldest Bottle of Wine Ever Sold: 1774 Vercel “Vin Jaune d’Arbois” In May 2018, a 1774 Vercel “Vin Jaune d’Arbois” sold for $120,800 at a Christie’s auction. The wine was stored in an underground cellar in Arbois, near the Jura Mountains in eastern France.

What was wine like 2000 years ago?

A typical wine from ancient times would have had a nose redolent of tree sap, giving way to a salty palate, and yielded a finish that could only charitably be compared to floor tile in a public restroom.

What is the oldest alcohol?

Mead — the world’s oldest alcoholic drink — is fast becoming the new drink of choice for experimental cocktail lovers. English Heritage sells more mead in the UK than anyone else.

Can you drink 100 year old wine?

I’ve personally tried some really old wines—including a Port that was about a hundred years old—that were fantastic. Many if not most wines are made to be drunk more or less immediately, and they’ll never be better than on the day they’re released.

Does wine ever expire?

Though unopened wine has a longer shelf life than opened wine, it can go bad. Unopened wine can be consumed past its printed expiration date if it smells and tastes OK. Cooking wine: 3–5 years past the printed expiration date. Fine wine: 10–20 years, stored properly in a wine cellar.

Can you drink 300 year old wine?

That advanced age makes these two bottles the oldest ever offered for sale by Christie’s, though they’re still far from the oldest unopened bottles of wine in the world. The Speyer wine is probably still safe to drink, though scientists say it likely wouldn’t taste good.

Oldest Evidence of Winemaking Discovered at 8,000-Year-Old Village

A cluster of circular, mud-brick cottages rises from a verdant, rich river valley on a little hill less than 20 miles south of Tbilisi, Georgia, and is home to a tiny community of people. Gadachrili Gora is the name of the mound, and the Stone Age farmers who lived here 8,000 years ago were passionate about grapes: It is believed that the area’s forested hillsides were previously covered with grapevines, based from pollen samples taken from the site. Their rough pottery is embellished with bunches of the fruit.

6,000 B.C., the people living in Gadachrili Gora and a nearby settlement are said to have been the world’s first known vintners, having begun producing wine on a wide scale as early as 6,000 B.C., when ancient humans were still dependant on stone and bone tools for survival.

Several other samples were discovered at Shulaveri Gora, a Stone Age hamlet site about a mile and a half from Gadachrili that had been partially excavated in the 1960s.

As a result of this chemical analysis, which was conducted in conjunction with grape decorations painted on the jars and abundant grape pollen found in the site’s fine soil, as well as radiocarbon dates from 5,800 B.C.

  • In fact, a thousand years ago, tipplers at a Chinese location called Jiahuwere producing fermented drinks from a blend of cereals and wild fruit.
  • Stephen Batiuk, an archaeologist at the University of Toronto, and Mindia Jalabdze, an archaeologist at the Georgian National Museum, co-directed the joint expedition.
  • Early winemakers employed pine resin or herbs to keep wine from rotting or to mask bad flavors, just like current wine producers use sulfites to prevent wine from spoiling or to mask unpleasant tastes.
  • “It doesn’t appear to have had any tree resin added to it, making it the world’s first pure wine,” McGovern claims.
  • As a result of this discovery, we have gained fresh insight into the Neolithic, a critical time in human history during which humans were first learning to farm, settling down, and domesticating crops and animals.
  • The process is known as the Neolithic Revolution.
  • “They’re figuring out horticultural ways, such as how to transplant it and how to generate it,” McGovern says of the researchers.

It boasts more than 500 different local grape types, which indicates that people have been breeding and farming grapes in this area for a long time.

Director of the Georgian National Museum David Lordkipanidze believes the region’s wine culture has a long history and has profound historical origins.

Stone Age humans led complicated, full lives, according to archaeologist Patrick Hunt of Stanford University.

“Wine fermentation is not a survival need,” says the author.

Even in the transitional Neolithic, “there is significantly higher intelligence than we had any idea about,” says the researcher.

And according to Batiuk, they haven’t even gotten to the lowest, oldest levels of the site yet.

It’s possible, he thinks, that they’ll be able to push it even further back. “We’re filling in the gaps in the history of wine, this beverage that has played such an important role in so many cultures—indeed, in the development of western civilization.”

Where Did Wine Come From? The True Origin of Wine

Where did wine come from? It wasn’t France. Nor was it Italy. Vitis vinifera, also known as “the common wine grape,” has an unexpected homeland! Let’s dive into the origin of wine. Current evidence suggests wine grapes originated in West Asia.

Where is The True Origin of Wine?

According to current evidence, wine originated in West Asia, namely in the Caucasus Mountains, Zagros Mountains, Euphrates River Valley, and Southeastern Anatolia, among other places. As a whole, this region encompasses the modern-day nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, northern Iran, and eastern Turkey, as well as parts of the former Soviet Union. An ancient winery site in Armenia, grape residue discovered in clay jars in Georgia, and indicators of grape domestication in eastern Turkey are among the evidence of wine manufacturing dating back to between 6,000 BC and 4,000 BC, according to archaeologists.

The Shulaveri-Shomu people (also known as the “Shulaveri-Shomutepe Culture”) are supposed to have been the first people in this area to make wine.

Some instances of what we’ve learnt about the history of wine may be found below.

Wine in 6,000 BC

Organic chemicals identified in ancient Georgian pottery have been linked to the production of wine in a region in the Southern Caucasus. The earthenware pots, known as Kvevri (or Qvevri), may still be found in use in Georgian winemaking today. Purchase the book and receive the course! With the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, you will receive the Wine 101 Course (a $50 value) for free.

Wild Vines in Southeastern Anatolia

José Vouillimoz (a grape “ampelologist”) discovered a location in Turkey where wild grape vines are genetically similar to farmed grape vines via research into grape genetics. This study lends credence to the hypothesis that a convergence zone between cultivated and wild vines might have served as the site of the first winemaking operations.

A Relic Winery Unearthed in Armenia

The grape “ampelologist” José Vouillimoz discovered a location in Turkey where wild grape vines look quite similar to farmed vines after researching grape genetics for a long period of time. As a result of this investigation, it is now possible that a convergence zone between cultivated and wild vines is where winemaking originated!

Ancient Wine Influencers: The Phoenicians and Greeks

Wine vines traveled from West Asia to the Mediterranean, following cultures as they spread throughout the continent. The Phoenicians and the Greeks, among other seafaring civilizations, were responsible for spreading wine over most of Europe. As grapevines were introduced to various environments, they gradually evolved to adapt to the new environment. The mutations resulted in the development of new grape varieties, often known as “cultivars,” within the wine grape species. This explains why we have many thousands of grapes in our vineyard today!

  • The number of types depicted in each nation corresponds to the number of varieties currently in use in contemporary wine production today.
  • The importance of diversity cannot be overstated.
  • In addition, different grape varieties flourish in different climates and soils.
  • Unfortunately, the high demand for popular grape varieties has resulted in a reduction in the quantity of natural diversity in the world.
  • Planting grapes that are known to you is more frequent than you may expect.

For example, around 50 grape varieties account for approximately 70% of the world’s vineyards. According to current vineyard figures, there are more than 700,000 acres (288,400 hectares) of Cabernet Sauvignon planted. Some uncommon types, on the other hand, can only be found in a single vineyard!

Drink New Wines From Old Grapes

If you enjoy wine, make an effort to explore various varieties; this will help to broaden your palate. This is why we’ve put up a basic collection of more than 100 grape types that you might like trying! I hope you enjoyed this look into the history of wine and that you would go at the collection below. More Information on Grapes

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‘World’s oldest wine’ found in 8,000-year-old jars in Georgia

Scientists say they have discovered the earliest evidence of grape wine-making in the form of 8,000-year-old pottery fragments found in two sites south of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.The earthenware jars containing residual wine compounds were discovered in two sites south of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, researchers said.Some of the jars bore images of grape clusters and a dancing man.Previously, the earliest evidence of grape wine-making was discovered in the form of 7-

Traditional methods

The ceramic jars were discovered in two Neolithic settlements, called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Tbilisi, according to the researchers. Gadachrili Gora is a hamlet in the Gadachrili region of Georgia. Eight jars with telltale chemical evidence of wine were unearthed, the oldest of which dates back to around 5,980 BC. According to David Lordkipanidze, director of the Georgian National Museum, who was involved in the research, large jars known as qvevri, which are comparable to the ancient ones, are being used for winemaking in Georgia today.

The world’s first non-grape based wine is believed to be a fermented alcoholic beverage made from rice, honey, and fruit that was discovered in China around 7,000 BC and dates back to that time period.

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Wine Discovery History

Here are a handful of the most significant events in the lengthy history of wine:

  • Scientists have uncovered fossilized grape seeds that are 66 million years old, while archeologists have unearthed evidence of winemaking in Tbilisi, Georgia, that dates back roughly 8,000 years to the Bronze Age. They discovered crockery that was painted with fruit, and pollen research revealed indications of grape growing. Wine jars dating back to the ancient civilization of Hajji Firuz Tepe in modern-day Iran are considered to be among the earliest archaeological evidence of wine production. There have been no written records regarding vineyards or wine manufacturing for about 5,000 years, but the Hajji Firuz Tepe wine jar, together with a wine press, which has been identified as a wine press because of its tartaric crystal and tannin residue, have been dated to 6000 B.C. Making wine has been passed down via families and apprenticeships for millennia
  • Historians think that the Phoenicians were the ones who brought their wine-making skills to ancient Greece and Italy. It is believed that Christian monks are responsible for France’s position as one of the world’s greatest wine-producing countries. In fact, it was their precise records of grape varietals, terroir, and growing practices that allowed France to improve and enhance its winemaking talents.

Wine Myths and Fables

In the wine world, there are several well-known myths and fables that attribute the development, or discovery, of wine to different regions of the world. Some of the most well-known tales are included here.


According to most accounts, this is the most well-known of the wine legends. When Dionysus, a son of Zeus and Semele, lived among the nymphs on the ancient Mount Nysa, according to Greek mythology, he came up with the idea of making wine. The fact that Dionysus is commonly referred to as the “God of Wine” is one of the reasons behind this.

The Persian Woman

Many folklorists believe that this narrative of the Persian woman and the fermented grapes is the basis for the invention of wine. There are at least two different versions of this game. Here are the details:

Version One

A Persian Princess had found herself in disfavor with the King of Persia after a series of unfortunate events. When she learned of this, she attempted to commit herself by ingesting a container of rotting grapes that she had brought with her.

Instead of dying, she discovered that she was feeling better and acting significantly happier. After a while, she slept asleep, but when she awoke, she discovered that the King had been impressed with her new attitude to the point that he had welcomed her back into his good graces.

Version Two

A Persian woman became ill with a headache and drank from a jar she used to hold grapes to alleviate her symptoms. Due to the fermented state of the grapes in the jar, the woman became inebriated and passed out. Her headache was vanished by the time she awoke.

Let’s Just Say…

For the sake of argument, let’s simply claim that the entire globe developed wine because no two legends will ever agree on who did it first. Despite the fact that it is possible to carbon date the earliest wine bottles and that fresh archaeological finds involving wine are being unearthed, there is simply no method to prove who was the first to develop wine. In order to express gratitude to the Persian Princess, Dionysus, or anyone you want, lift your glass of wine and make a nod to them, or to whomever you choose, next time you are sipping your favorite wine.

All intellectual property rights are retained.

A Curious and Captivating History of Wine

Whether you’re a history geek or not, you have to acknowledge that understanding the narrative behind what you eat, drink, wear, and use — and that includes wine — is a remarkable experience. Making the connection between where it all began and where it is now might help you put things into perspective. Making the connection between the world’s first wine grape and your most recent bottle of wine adds another level to the experience and allows you to appreciate and enjoy it more fully. Take this into consideration as we bring you through the history of wine, including where it started (hint: it wasn’t France) and how different civilizations have made and consumed it throughout history.

When and Where Did Winemaking Begin?

There’s no denying that the countries of France, Italy, and Spain are linked with wine production and culture. However, France is perhaps the country that can lay claim to the world’s most renowned wine appellations (also known as wine regions), including Bordeaux, which is known as the “wine capital of the world.” France is also the birthplace of some of the world’s most popular grape varietals and wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Champagne, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

China, according to archeological evidence, was the first country to create wine approximately 7000 BCE.

Armenia, in fact, is home to the world’s oldest vineyard (as well as the world’s oldest shoe!) according to academics.

Clearly, there is a lot more to wine than you may have previously realized.

Ancient World Wine vs. Old World Wine vs. New World Wine

Understanding a few key terms is useful when discussing the history of wine, including the distinctions between “Ancient World” wines, “Old World” wines, and “New World” wines, to name a few examples.

More than anything, these wine words refer to the region in which they are used.

Ancient World Wine

As previously said, the most well-known wine areas today are not the places where wine was first produced. These historic wine regions — which include China, Armenia, Iran, and Egypt — are where the world’s first winemakers created procedures for fermenting grape juice into alcohol, which they passed on to their descendants.

Old World Wine

Old World wine is produced in traditional wine regions around Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, which are also the places where viniculture (wine production) first gained popularity and developed. The grapevine used in the creation of Old World wine is known as Vitis vinifera, and it is a common variety. This grape variety is indigenous to the Mediterranean region of the world.

New World Wine

Wine from the New World can originate from almost any other place that isn’t regarded to be ancient or old. New World wine areas include places like Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and Canada, to name a few. In addition to these countries, there is the United States, with the states of California, Oregon, and Washington being the most well-known wine-producing regions. TheVitis viniferawine grape is also used in the manufacture of Old World wines, although numerous changes have been made to enable it grow well in the various regions of the world.

History of Wine Timeline

Whether it was thousands of years ago or only a few days ago, the history of any sort of wine begins with the grapes being picked, crushed, and fermented, and the trip continues until the wine is finished. The fermentation process is the most important step, as it is this process that transforms crushed grapes (or grape juice) into wine and other beverages. The history of wine is so extensive that we couldn’t possibly cover every single place, discovery, or development that has occurred throughout the centuries.

Here’s a short rundown of wine’s global travels, as well as how different civilizations have made and drank it throughout history.

7000 B.C.

Doctor Patrick McGovern, the world’s best wine scientist and anthropologist, claims that the world’s first scientifically verified alcoholic beverage — including wine — was discovered at Jiahu in the Chinese province of Henan in the year 3000 BC. A fermented drink consisting of wild grapes (including the kinds Vitis amurensis and Vitis thunbergiigrape varietals), rice, honey, and hawthorn fruit was created and stored in clay jars from the Early Neolithic Period during this time period. McGovern and his colleagues came to the conclusion that holding sweet fruit with yeast on its skins within these jars provides evidence of how the liquid was fermented, according to the findings.

The data reveals that these alcoholic beverages were used during funeral and religious rites, whatever the situation may be.

6100 B.C.

In 2016, a team of experts discovered the world’s oldest vineyard in a cave in the Armenian highlands, which they believe to be thousands of years old. In this cave, archaeologists discovered up a drinking bowl and cup, a grape press, and fermentation jars, among other things. It was also confirmed that the wine grapes used were Vitis vinifera, which is the same variety of grape that is used to make most commercial wines today. Because of this, scientists predict that the end product will be equivalent to an unfiltered red wine with a Merlot flavor profile, according to the researchers.

Despite the fact that wine consumption began in China, this find is the world’s first full example of wine manufacturing. Because that specific cave was previously a prominent cemetery location, experts believe that the wine from Armenia was most likely utilized for funeral rites.

3100 B.C.

Ancient Egypt was the first civilization to produce wine from red grapes, and it was the first civilization to do so. The amphorae, which are clay jars with a small neck and two handles, were used to keep this ancient wine for storage. Despite the fact that Egypt currently produces very little wine, the country’s past is rich in the art of winemaking (and wine drinking). The act of plucking grapes from the vine, crushing them, and depositing them in amphoras to ferment is shown on the walls of ancient tombs.

In ancient times, wine was utilized in a variety of rites (including funerals) and for medical purposes, according to archaeological discoveries.

1200 B.C.-539 B.C.

This increasingly popular beverage (and even grapevines themselves) were first transported across the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians, who established trade routes that extended from Greece to Italy and territories throughout modern-day Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. Following interaction with Jewish people during their journeys, the Phoenicians adopted the use of wine in religious rites as a result of their encounter. The first recorded reference of wine in the Bible is found in the book of Genesis, when Noah drinks it after surviving the Great Flood.

800 B.C.

Because of the Phoenicians, the ancient Greeks were able to begin drinking wine and utilizing it as a symbol for religion, trade, and health, among other things. Wine was so revered in Ancient Greece that it was given its own deity, Dionysus, to honor the drink. Wicker baskets were loaded with freshly gathered grapes, which were then crushed before being placed in pithoi, which were enormous clay jars resembling Egyptian amphoras in shape. It was in these jars that the fermenting process took place.

Greeks transported grapevines in the same way that the Phoenicians did.

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200 B.C.-100 B.C.

The Romans, following in the footsteps of the Greeks, developed their own deity of wine, Bacchus. (This is the origin of the term “bacchanalian,” which refers to intoxicated revelry.) Using barrels and other techniques, the Romans improved upon the Greek method of viniculture, allowing them to produce more at a faster rate and at a lesser cost. Using a torculum (wine press) to crush the grapes and a colander-like instrument to separate the grape juice from the skins, for example, was standard practice in Roman wine manufacturing.

Due to the fact that wine was a part of everyday life for the Romans, unlike the pharaohs of Egypt, this so-called “drink of the gods” was widely accessible to both the affluent and the poor.

As the Roman empire expanded over Europe, it began to cultivate grapevines in nations such as modern-day France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Portugal, among others.

Following Constantine the Great’s reign (306-337), the Catholic Church and Christianity ascended to the position of dominant religious power in the Roman Empire. And with it, wine gained prominence in religious ceremonies, particularly during the celebration of the Eucharist (the consecration of the bread and wine) (also known as communion). This tradition is observed at the Catholic mass to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his apostles, with the wine symbolizing the blood of Jesus on the table.

While grape juice is a typical replacement, it is not required.) It is another another example of the long-lasting impact that wine has had on people, not just in terms of social enjoyment, but also in terms of religious practice.


“In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on the ocean blue,” we’ve all heard the chant. When Christopher Columbus first set sail from Spain on one of his four journeys, he and his crew were surprised to discover the Americas on their journey. In spite of the fact that his “discovery” of the New World was everything but, it did herald the beginning of an age of North and South American exploration (as well as colonialism). Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico and Brazil on their transatlantic voyages in the 16th century, bringing with them the practice of European grape planting.

Chile’s first winery was founded by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century (not surprising since wine was a mainstay of the Catholic Church by then).


Spanish missionary Junipero Serra moved to San Diego, California, in the late 18th century, when he founded the state’s first mission and the world’s first known vineyard. As the friar and his fellow monks established missions around the state, they continued to cultivate the Mission grape, a cultivar ofVitis vinifera from Spain that is still grown in California. A sweet white wine was created from this grape by fermenting the juice without the skins; a dry and sweet red wine was formed by fermenting the liquid with the skins on; and a sweet fortified wine was made from this grape by adding sugar to the juice.

In the years that followed, additional European residents in Los Angeles expanded their vineyards by planting many European grape types.


James Busby, a Scottish-born, British-raised, and Australian-based viticulturist and writer who lived in Australia in the early nineteenth century, heralded the beginning of a new age for wine producing in the geographical region of Oceania. In the course of his extensive study and cross-continental trip between Australia and Europe, he obtained grapevine cuttings from Europe and transplanted them into Australian vines. Eventually, he sent some of these cuttings from Australia to New Zealand, where he planted the country’s first vineyard in the year 1836.

The descendants of his original cuttings are still prospering in vineyards all around Australia and New Zealand, some 200 years after they were first planted. It’s no surprise that he’s referred to as “the father of the Australian wine business.”

1980s to Today

Finally, we’ll come full circle and finish our journey through the history of wine just where we started: in China. During the late 1980s, the Chinese economy had a resurgence, and the country expanded to become one of the world’s greatest consumers and producers of wine. Even while rice wine continues to be the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country, as it has since its inception, grape wine has gained in popularity and recognition. In recent years, however, the overall volume of wine produced in China has decreased dramatically.

Whatever happens next in this tale, it’s evident that wine will be around for a long time.

Your Wine Has a Story

Knowing how different civilizations have made and used wine throughout history will help you enjoy your wine drinking experience even more. Wine is considerably more than just fermented grapes in a glass, as evidenced by the discovery of the world’s first winery in Armenia, the Phoenicians’ worldwide effect on winemaking, the social and spiritual components of wine in Greco-Roman society, and many other examples. With each drink, you’ll be reminded of a historical lesson that you may enjoy at your leisure.

What Genius Culture First Thought of Fermenting Grapes?

Wine is an alcoholic beverage created from grapes, and depending on how you define “made from grapes,” there are at least two separate inventions of the beverage to be found in history. In China, some 9,000 years ago, the earliest known potential evidence for the usage of grapes as part of a wine mixture that included fermented rice and honey was discovered. The seeds of what would eventually become the European winemaking culture were planted in western Asia two thousand years later.

Archaeological Evidence

Because the presence of grape seeds, fruit skins, stems, and/or stalks at an archaeological site does not always suggest the manufacturing of wine, finding archaeological evidence of winemaking is a little more difficult to come by. The existence of domesticated stocks and evidence of grape processing are the two primary means of recognizing winemaking that have been approved by academicians. One of the most significant changes that occurred during the domestication process of grapes was the appearance of hermaphroditic blooms, which means that domesticated species of grapes are capable of self-pollination.

Domestication is also shown by the finding of components of the plant outside of its natural region, which is widely acknowledged.

V. vinifera sylvestris, the wild parent of the European wild grape (Vitis vinifera), is native to western Eurasia between the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas; hence, the appearance of V. vinifera outside of its usual range is considered proof of domestication as well.

Chinese Wines

China is where the true history of wine from grapes begins. In China’s early Neolithic site ofJiahuh, residues on ceramic shards radiocarbon-dated to around 7000–6600 BCE were discovered, and they were determined to have come from a fermented beverage produced from a mixture of rice, honey, fruit, and spices. The presence of tartaric acid/tartrate remains at the bottom of a jar was used to confirm the presence of fruits. If you drink wine from corked bottles nowadays, you’re probably familiar with these terms.

It has been discovered that grape seeds and hawthorn seeds have both been found at Jiahu.

It is possible that grapes were used in wine recipes, but they were from a wild grape species local to China, rather than being brought from Western Asia.

China received its first introduction of European grapes around the second century BCE, along with a number of other Silk Road goods.

Western Asia Wines

When it comes to winemaking in western Asia, the first solid evidence comes from an Iranian Neolithic era site named Hajji Firuz (dated to 5400–5000 BCE), where a layer of sediment preserved at the bottom of an amphora was discovered to contain a mixture of tannin and tartrate crystals. A total of five other jars, each having a capacity of about nine liters of liquid, were found in the site deposits, in addition to the jar containing the tannin/tartrate sediment. Lake Zeriber, Iran, is one example of a site outside of the typical range for grapes that has early evidence of grapes and grape processing in western Asia.

By the late sixth millennium BCE to the early fifth millennium BCE, charred fruit skin fragments have been discovered in Kurban Höyük in southeastern Turkey.

An Egyptian tomb belonging to the Scorpion King (dating from around 3150 BCE) contained 700 jars, which were thought to have been produced and filled with wine in the Levant before being carried to Egypt.

European Winemaking

Wild grape (Vitis vinifera) pips have been discovered in Europe in relatively recent contexts, such as the Franchthi Cave in Greece (12,000 years ago) and the Balma de l’Abeurador in France (10,000 years ago) (about 10,000 years ago). However, the evidence for domesticated grapes is older than that for grapes from East Asia, albeit it is similar to that for grapes from Western Asia. In Greece, excavators discovered grape pips and empty skins that were direct-dated to 4400–4000 BCE at a site known as Dikili Tash, making it the earliest known example of grape cultivation in the Aegean.

There have also been reports of grapevines and timber being discovered.

By the Roman period, viticulture had expanded over much of the Mediterranean region and western Europe, and wine had become a highly prized commercial and cultural product.

This development was likely facilitated by Roman expansion. Towards the end of the first century BCE, it had developed into a significant speculative and commercial asset.

The Long Road to New-World Wines

As soon as the Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson set foot on the coasts of North America in the year 1000 CE, he named the newly discovered country Vinland (sometimes written Winland) in honor of the abundance of wild grapevines that grew there. It should come as no surprise that when European people began arriving in the New World around 600 years later, the abundant potential for viticulture was immediately apparent. Unfortunately, with the notable exception ofVitis rotundifolia (commonly known as the muscadine or “Scuppernong” grape), which grew primarily in the southern United States, most of the native grape varieties that European settlers first encountered did not lend themselves to the production of tasty—or even potable—wine when they were first introduced.

“The struggle to make the New World produce wine of the quality they were accustomed to in Europe was begun by the earliest settlers and continued for generations, only to end in defeat over and over again,” writes Thomas Pinney, an award-winning culinary author and retired professor of English at Pomona College.

” For winemaking to have a chance in the eastern portion of the nation, it was necessary to understand that only native grape types could survive against the endemic illnesses and severe environment of North America.” Pinney points out that it wasn’t until the colonization of California in the mid-19th century that things really began to shift for American viticulture.

He attributes the creation of new hybrid grapes as well as cumulative trial and error to the expansion of the breadth of winemaking outside of California, which he describes as more demanding and diversified.

‘After nearly three centuries of tribulation, loss, and fresh endeavor, the expectations of the original inhabitants were finally realized,’ writes the author.

20th-Century Wine Innovations

Wine is produced using yeast, and up until the mid-20th century, the process relied on naturally occurring yeasts to complete the fermentation process. Due to the extended time it took for those fermentations to function, the outcomes were frequently unpredictable, and they were also prone to spoiling. When pure starter strains of MediterraneanSaccharomyces cerevisiae (commonly known as brewer’s yeast) were first introduced in the 1950s and 1960s, it was considered to be one of the most significant achievements in winemaking.

  1. cerevisiae strains, and there are now hundreds of viable commercial wine yeast starter cultures available across the world, allowing for uniform wine production quality and consistency in flavor.
  2. With the introduction of these new bottle stoppers, the conventional natural cork, which has a history that reaches back to ancient Egypt, was challenged.
  3. It was difficult to get past the idea of gallon jugs and low-cost fruit-flavored wines in our minds.
  4. Corks that were not properly sealed spilled, dried out, and disintegrated.
  5. Australian wine makers began to reconsider the cork in the 1980s, when improved screw-top technology was introduced alongside the introduction of synthetic corks.

While certain oenophiles would not accept anything other than a cork, the majority of wine connoisseurs have come to appreciate the newest technology. Boxed and bagged wine, which are also relatively new developments, are also growing increasingly popular.

Fast Facts: 21st Century U.S. Wine Statistics

  • A total of 10,043 wineries were operating in the United States as of February 2019. State with the highest production: California, with 4,425 wineries, generates 85 percent of all wine produced in the United States. Following that are Washington (776 wineries), Oregon (773 wineries), New York (396 wineries), Texas (323 wineries), and Virginia (280 wineries). 40% of the legal drinking population, which amounts to 240 million people, is comprised of adults who consume wine
  • Gender differences in wine consumption in the United States: 56 percent of female customers and 44 percent of male consumers
  • Mature (age 73+) wine drinkers account for 5 percent of total wine consumption in the United States
  • Baby Boomers (age 54 to 72), 34 percent
  • Generation X (age 42 to 53), 19 percent
  • Millennials (age 24 to 41), 36 percent
  • And the I-Generation (age 21 to 23), 6 percent. In the United States, the average annual wine consumption is 11 liters, or approximately 2.94 gallons.
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21st-Century Wine Technology

In the 21st Century, one of the most intriguing breakthroughs in winemaking is a procedure known as micro-oxygenation (also known as “mox”), which eliminates some of the dangers involved with maturing red wine using traditional methods, such as cellaring red wines in cork-sealed bottles. Because of the tiny holes in the cork, enough oxygen is allowed to infiltrate the wine while it matures. The procedure “softens” the natural tannins in the wine, allowing the wine’s distinct taste profile to emerge over a period of time, which is generally rather long.

On the whole, the wines produced by this method are smoother, more consistent in color, and have less harsh and disagreeable flavors.

cerevisiae in commercial wines over the past 50 years, allowing them to compare and contrast different geographical regions and, according to the researchers, opening the door to the possibility of improved wines in the future.


  • Archaeologist Patrick McGovern maintains a website titled The Origins and Ancient History of Wine. Maurizio Antoninetti is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. From Quintessential Element to Local Moonshine to National Sunshine, the Long Journey of Italian Grappa is described in detail. Journal of Cultural Geography, volume 28, number 3, 2011, pages 375–97. The potential of combining morphology and ancient DNA information to investigate grapevine domestication has been demonstrated by Roberto Bacilieri and colleagues. 345–56 in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, volume 26.3 (2017). Print
  • Hans Barnard and colleagues In the Late Chalcolithic Near-Eastern Highlands, there is chemical evidence for wine production circa 4000 BCE. In 2011, the Journal of Archaeological Science published an article titled Journal of Archaeological Science38.5 (2011): 977-84. Print
  • Anthony Borneman and colleagues What is the origin of wine yeast, and where are we getting it from? WineViticulture Journal31.3 (2016): 47–49. WineViticulture Journal31.3 (2016): 47–49. The following is a print version of the paper by H. Campbell-Sills et al. titled “Advances in Wine Analysis by Ptr-Tof-Ms: Optimization of the Method and Discrimination of Wines from Different Geographical Origins and Fermented with Different Malolactic Starters.” The paper is available here. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry397–398 (2016): 42–51. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry397–398 (2016): 42–51. Food and Foodways 19.4 (2011): 294–313
  • Goldberg, Kevin D. ” Acidity and Power: The Politics of Natural Wine in Nineteenth-Century Germany.” Food and Foodways 19.4 (2011): 294–313. The print is by Guasch Jané and Maria Rosa. In “The Meaning of Wine in Egyptian Tombs: The Three Amphorae from Tutankhamun’s Burial Chamber,” Antiquity 85.329 (2011): 851–58, the author discusses the three amphorae from Tutankhamun’s Burial Chamber. Print
  • Patrick E. McGovern and colleagues In France, the beginnings of viniculture may be traced. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America is a journal that publishes research findings from the National Academy of Sciences. The journal 110.25 (2013): 10147–52. The authors, Peter Morrison–Whittle and Matthew R. Goddard, published a print version of their work. ” From Vineyard to Winery: A Source Map of Microbial Diversity Driving Wine Fermentation” is a scientific paper that describes a source map of microbial diversity driving wine fermentation. Environmental Microbiology, Volume 20, Number 1, Pages 75–84, 2018. Print
  • Orrù, Martino, and colleagues “Morphological Characterization of Vitis Vinifera L. Seeds by Image Analysis and Comparison with Archaeological Remains.” ” Morphological Characterization of Vitis Vinifera L. Seeds by Image Analysis and Comparison with Archaeological Remains.” 231–42 in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, vol. 22.3 (2013). The author’s name is Valamoti, SoultanaMaria.” “Taking advantage of the ‘Wild’ Examining the Context of Fruit and Nut Exploitation at Neolithic Dikili Tash, with Particular Attention Paid to Wine” 24.1 (2015): 35–46. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany is a journal dedicated to the study of the history of plants and their evolution. Pinney, Thomas, ed., print. “A History of Wine in the United States:.” The University of California Press published this book (1989) Allison Aubry’s From the Beginnings through Prohibition is a must-read. “Cork vs. Screw Cap: Don’t Make a Decision About a Wine Based on How It’s Sealed.” On January 2, 2014, NPR broadcasted “The Salt”
  • Liz Thach, MW, wrote “The US Wine Industry in 2019 – Slowing but Steady, and Craving Innovation.”

How is wine made? The ancient art of winemaking (Video)

Have you ever been curious about the process of making wine? In our most recent video, we take you step by step through the whole procedure. If you’re more of a traditionalist, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a video transcript embedded below. Enjoy! According to the fact that you are reading this site, it is safe to presume that you appreciate a good glass of wine on occasion. Even while most people can tell the difference between Merlot and Pinot Noir, the origins of our favorite bottle remain a total mystery to the majority of people.

That said, I can guarantee you that there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye.

How was wine made in the past?

Winemaking has a long and intriguing history, which you may read about here. The earliest evidence of this dates back as far as 6000 BC, indicating that our forefathers were likely drinking wine long before they domesticated horses. In the beginning of winemaking, it is thought that winemakers combined grapes and rice to produce fermented, alcoholic beverages. Although it is no longer popular, grapes have been pressed and juiced by human feet for thousands of years, at least until the Ancient Romans created industrial wooden presses to make wine and juice.

Furthermore, you may be pleased to hear that contemporary winemaking is nearly entirely done without the use of toes.

1. Harvesting the grapes

Harvesting mature grapes is the first step in the process. This activity is often carried out by machines, which shake grapes from their stems and collect them in a container.

On the other side, if vineyards are steep, difficult to reach, or where labor is inexpensive, winemakers may opt to harvest by hand. Contrary to common assumption, manual harvesting has little to no impact on the overall quality of the wine produced.

2. Fermentation

This is the stage of the process where the differences between red, white, and rosé wines become apparent. Most people believe that all white wines are created from white grapes, which is not the case. However, many excellent white wines are made from black grapes, despite the popular belief. The addition of grape skins is what gives the wine its distinctive color. The crimson color of red wines and rosé wines is achieved by fermenting them while the black grape skins are still attached to the grapes.

  1. The fermentation of red wine takes place in enormous open containers.
  2. A period of five to two weeks can elapse between the time the wine is in touch with the skins and when it is not.
  3. White wines, on the other hand, are fermented without the use of skins.
  4. White and rose are best served at temperatures ranging from 12 to 22 degrees, while red is best served at temperatures ranging from 20 to 32 degrees.
  5. It is here that the yeast is introduced, which will, over time, convert the sugar present in the juice to ethanol and carbon dioxide, so providing the wine with its oh so vital alcohol content.

3. Maturation

After the juice has fermented, it is separated into different containers to let it to develop. While stainless-steel tanks are typically used for lower-cost wines, a large number of premium wines are fermented and aged in oak barrels to impart nuanced toasty-smoky flavors. The period of maturation is when the wine acquires its most nuanced flavors. If the wine is aged in ancient wood barrels, the containers are porous, allowing small quantities of oxygen to dissolve into the wine throughout the maturation process.

The length of time a wine is allowed to mature varies based on the style of wine being produced.

While certain wines are prepared specifically for early consumption — for example, some wines are available for purchase within a few months of harvest – others are not.

4. Fining and bottling

Fining is used to clarify wine, unless the wine is organic or ‘natural.’ Fining is a method that is used to clarify wine.

This eliminates any undesirable particles from the wine. The majority of the time, minerals such as bentonite are used, however some firms also employ egg white or gelatine. There is no trace of the fining agent left in the bottle because it is filtered out. After that, the wine is put into bottles.

Fining is used to clarify wine, unless the wine is organic or ‘natural.’ Fining is a method that clarifies the wine. This helps to eliminate any undesirable particles from the wine throughout the fermentation process. Although most makers employ minerals such as bentonite, some use egg white or gelatine to achieve this effect. A fine mesh filter removes any remaining fining agent from within the bottle. After that, the wine is put into bottles for consumption.

Ancient Winemaking Practices

During the last two columns, we talked about grape harvesting and winemaking processes, specifically as they pertained to City Scape Winery, which is located in southern Greenville County, South Carolina. My mind wandered during the entire time I was interviewing Josh and Deb Jones and writing about contemporary winemaking processes, and I couldn’t stop thinking how winemaking came to be discovered in the first place. The first human to discover and consume wine was named Julius Caesar. How did he come to do so?

It goes without saying that winemaking did not originate before the development of pottery, which happened around 11,000 years ago.

A primitive human climbed a tree and harvested wild grapes that were growing on an ancient vine, which was the first time wine was found.

Because the first wine was made from a jar of grapes that had been hanging about for quite some time, it is safe to assume that there was a plentiful harvest.

This chemical had such a significant influence on early man that it was rapidly regarded as a gift from the gods, according to some scholars.

Armenian archaeologists discovered the world’s first evidence of wine making in a cave thousands of years ago.

The sophistication of the winemaking here indicates that it has been around for quite some time before this historical period.

The wild grape (Vitis sylvestris) was most likely the first variety to be employed.

Apricots and plums have also been discovered in the Armenian cave, showing that orchards were in operation during this time period.

When fruits, grains, or animals are domesticated, it signifies that they have been grown, farmed, and harvested by humans with the purpose of exhibiting particular desired qualities.

Corn, tomatoes, and cows, to name a few crops, are no longer found in their natural habitat.

That well-known grape, which is required for wine production, is not found in the wild.

The Greeks made significant breakthroughs in winemaking, and we all know how significant the Romans’ contributions to the wine industry have been throughout history.

After the grapes are picked, they are crushed by whatever methods necessary to manufacture wine in ancient cultures.

The pressure produced by bare feet would be sufficient to split the skin of a grape, but would not smash the seeds, which would result in a bitter flavor.

After these containers had been sitting for a few weeks, they were transferred to containers with lids that had little holes bored into the tops of them.

As the product matured, it transformed into wine.

The interaction of yeast and sugar results in the production of CO2 and alcohol.

I was curious as to how yeast was put to juice back in the old days.

During my investigation on yeast, I came across something else that I thought was interesting.

Yeast may also be found on the surface of human skin.

Despite the fact that I have not identified any additional mentions to this in any winemaking literature, keep this in mind.

If that’s the case, keep in mind that you read it here first.

The science of winemaking has progressed tremendously. Our gratitude goes to the first person who preserved his grapes in a clay pot, but it’s comforting to know that filtered, cleansed, and sterilized wine can now be found in glass bottles thanks to modern technology. [email protected] 243-3446

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