Origins of Winemaking

Wine is one of man’s most wondrous, complicated, mysterious, and magical creations[1]. Simultaneously, it is one of the simplest and most innate beverages that has remained in human tradition for centuries. The origins of winemaking go back to the inception of modern humankind. The early man came out from a wandering lifestyle of hunters and gatherers and began to board one of settled domestication.

The practice of gathering grapes for making a fermented beverage and wine appeared as early as 8,000 years ago. Many studies have confirmed that Georgia is the birthplace of winemaking when archaeologists found the first signs of wines in the Southern Caucasus through carbon dating techniques.

They found that the traces of wine could be from 6000BC. Therefore, it is well established that Georgians knew about winemaking from grapes by putting grapes in pots and burying them for months during long winters. From its earliest origins, most likely in the Transcaucasus, the winegrowing rapidly spread across Asia Minor and the Mediterranean, and wine eventually became a symbol of civilization itself5.

Origins of Winemaking

Figure 1. Prehistoric winemaking in Georgia. Source: New York Times

Many studies report that the wine was considered something special from the earliest days of its discovery and creation. During those days, wine was regarded as a unique beverage for kings and nobles. Across all civilizations, such as Sumerians and Egyptians, wine was not only relished at the most crucial moments but also accompanied personages of the top birth on their journeys to the afterlife5.

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During the heyday of the Greeks and Romans, wine was regarded as a drink for kings, pharaohs, and warriors. Furthermore,  early civilizations would take it as an absolute gift from the gods. Cults are based on the consumption and enjoyment of wine that sprang up in ancient Greece and Rome. At the same time, wine became an essential element in Hebrew and Christian rituals and liturgy5.

On this Day

6000BC: Traces of winemaking were discovered in the Southern Caucasus region of Georgia. These traces date back to prehistoric times of 6000BC.

Want to read more? Try these books!

Origins of Winemaking, Origins of WinemakingOrigins of Winemaking, Origins of Winemaking

Reference

[1] Millon, Marc. Wine A Global History. s.l. : Reaktion Books Ltd, 2013.

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