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The origin and history of wine

Wine is one of the most popular liquors. Whether it’s in the Philippines, United States, etc. You name it, that country certainly loves it. But do you know the history of the beloved drink? Although it is hard to come up with a definitive history of wine-making, this article will try to show you how the practice started in certain parts of the world.

China

Though the true origins of wine is uncertain because of the lack of hard evidence, the earliest known wine was found in a village in China. This village is called Jiahu. Here, archeologists found residues on pottery shards. The residue was made from a fermented beverage that was made of a mix of rice, honey, and fruit; similar to most wines today. The presence of the fruit was identified because there was tartaric acid found on the bottom of the jars found. Often, this is a trait seen to happen often in wine that is stored in corked bottles. Although it is uncertain, the evidence definitely points to this as the first recorded version of wine. The radiocarbon date of this dated it back to 7000-6600BC.

However, researchers could not identify what kind of tartrate it was. It was a battle between grape, hawthorn, Longyan, or cornelian cherry; or even a combination of two or three of these. Both grape and hawthorn seeds have also been found at Jiahu; making these the likely components.

If grape were used, then there would be native to China because there are over 50 wild grape species there. However, they also have imported European grapes, which they received in 200 BC.

short history of wine

Contributed image by John Marc Ramirez

Western Asia

In Western Asia, wine came from a village called Hajji Firuz in Iran. Here, people found a deposit of sediments at the bottom of an amphora. This was a mixture of tannin a tartrate crystal. This was dated to 5400-5000BC. The jars that these were found in were able to carry 9 liters of liquid.

Then, in Lake Zeriber, Iran, grape pollen was found in a soil core. This was dated to 4300BC. It served as evidence that grape processing was done in early Western Asia.

There were also charred fruit skin found in Kurban Höyük (Southern Turkey). These were dated to 6000-5000BC.

Finally, there is also evidence of wine importation from western Asia. This was found in the tomb of the Scorpion King. Here, archeologists found 700 jars filled with wine, which they believed to have been shipped to Egypt from Levant. This was said to have happened in 3150BC.

Europe

In Europe, pips of Vitis vinifera (a type of wild grape) were found in the Franchthi Cave, Greece (10,000 BC) and Balma de l’Abeurador, France (8,000 BC). Then, pips and skins of grape were also found in Dikili Tash in Greece as well. These were dated to 4400-4000 BC.

Finally, a wine production installation was found in Armenia. This consisted of a platform used to crush grapes and an apparatus to pack a store the liquid in jars. Clearly, there is evidence of the fermentation of red wine here and it was dated to have started in 4000BC.

Key Takeaway

It is hard to pinpoint where wine exactly came from. Even though some of the evidence here points to as early as 10,000BC for the origins of wine, there’s no telling if these are accurate because there is a lack of records. But nonetheless, it is an ancient drink that is still enjoyed today and with good reason. It exudes class and leisure; making it fitting for any gentleman or lady.

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