What Do We Know About The Oldest Wine In The World?

by Karoline Arberg

Wine lovers not only look for news about wine to know more about the industry. It is also fun to know some curiosities. For example, it was recently discovered that the oldest wine in the world is about 8,000 years old. The first example of winemaking in the world, which was discovered in excavations carried out in Georgia, dates from the Neolithic period around 6,000 BC. That means the making of wine dates back 600 to 1,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Specifically, researchers from the University of Toronto and the National Museum of Georgia have been working in two Neolithic sites known as Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora. The sites are located around 50 kilometers from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Here they have found remains of early ceramics that were used between 6,000 BC and 4,500 BC. The people in charge of this excavation affirm that they believe it is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian vine grown specifically for the making of wine.

They base this on the analysis of the parts of the eight jars recovered where they discovered thousands of remains of tartaric acid on the insides of the jars, the compound that allows us to identify the grapes and the wine.

The sites that were excavated by the University of Toronto and a team from the National Museum of Georgia who was in charge of the study are the remains of two towns that date back to the Neolithic around 15,200 BC.

The researchers confirm that the ceramic was ideal for processing, serving and storing fermented beverages and that it was invented in the Neolithic. Furthermore, the team describes an ancient society where drinking and offering wine was very important in many aspects of life, special celebrations, as a religious cult or in the society in the Near East.

Further conclusions drawn from the remains that were analysed is that the Eurasian vine ‘Vitis vinifera’ was growing abundantly around the sites, and today this vine is being used in the production of ‘premium’ wine in Italy and in the south of France.

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