…or somethin’ like that. Just pour me another glass. Now.
Pour yourself a glass too – Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Syrah… whatever tickles your fancy. We don’t judge. I consider myself to be quite the wine enthusiast – the more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I get. About wine. And history. And a combination thereof! We all know wine comes from grapes, and those come from prime wine areas such as Italy, France, South Africa and California. But where does wine really come from?
You may want to top up your glass there mate – the history of wine is a long and flavorful one! But I am grateful for each bit of it, else we wouldn’t be enjoying wine these days! Just imagine… Pasta without wine?!
Ok, so let travel back in time, to the headwaters of the Tigris River in Turkey, as well as ancient Georgia and Iran. Researchers have traced the first domesticated grapes back to there. So how far back are we looking? 6000 BC, give or take a day. Fermented grape juice was discovered to be quite the delicacy and that’s pretty much how it all began. However, these wines do not relate to the modern-day art of wine-making. The first real and traceable roots of wine begins with the Greeks around 4500 BC. As does pretty much everything else.
As soon as the Greeks perfected their ancient art of wine-making, there was no stopping the booze fest! Around 1500 BC, wines and wine-making had spread to all Greek, Phoenician and Roman colonizations (Southern Europe and Northern Africa). The Greeks gave us the idea for wine, the Romans showed us how to store it: around 200 AD, the Romans began to use barrels for wine storage – much better than those tiny amphora, right?
Who is craving a wine break round about now? I sure am. Let’s top up our glasses, chill a bit and then continue with our wine-time travels! Who would have thought that this early age of discovery would have such an impact on our daily lives! Speaking of, why not use this wine-break to do a little discovering yourself? Set sail in our exciting slot game, Age of Discovery and explore the reels, discover hidden treasures, enjoy Free Vegas Slots and join the Euro Palace online adventurers!
Alright! Back to wine 🙂 Around 1500, wine was introduced to the new world. Spanish conquistadors planted grape varieties in Mexico and South America. At the same time, they were also planted in Japan and round 1600, Dutch settlers introduced grapes to South Africa. In the 1800s, grapes were also introduced to Australia and New Zealand. Between 1700 and 1800 the first vintage worthy wines appeared in Europe due to the development in production methods, yeast cultures, sugar and glucose isolation and such. This era also saw the introduction of cork as a bottle sealant, with the first cork factory opening its doors in the 1750s in Spain.
As such, those wines would be drinkable today – not delicious, smooth with undertones of oak, berries and chocolate, but rather like vinegar. Good thing there was no stopping the innovation and progress from here on out. I suppose, a glass of wine can inspire a whole lots of greatness 😉 From the discovery to cross-pollinations, gas covers, fermentations tanks and rotary drum vacuums to the introduction of fungicides, mechanical harvesting techniques and real-time yield estimations, the field of wine research knows no end. Luckily. Cheers to that!
And to close off, one or two fun facts… because wine not? 🙂
Italy, France and the USA are the top wine producing countries worldwide, with Italy producing roughly 4,796,600 tons of wine (one ton is 1,000 kg, so about 1,000 litres)
There are over 10,000 varieties of grapes in the world, but not all are used for wine-making
The types of wine are harder to pinpoint, based on varietals, blends and knock-offs. The below chart should give you a little idea though…