The Earliest Evidence of Wine Making

Samuel Reason | November 13th, 2017

This new find definitely deserves a grand toast. Scientists have just recently discovered what is now to be considered the oldest known winemaking site on record. Archaeologists have just recently discovered ceramic jars which have shown evidence of winemaking during an excavation of two Neolithic sites called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora. These sites are in the South Caucasus, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital.

Researchers have formerly stated that the oldest evidence of winemaking was found in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, and dated to between 5500 B.C. and 5000 B.C. The new finding, dated to 6000 B.C., shows that people were liking the alcoholic drink a good 600 to 1,000 years longer than previously thought. During the excavation in Georgia, researchers have uncovered remains of ceramic jars. While examining the chemical deposit on shards from eight large jars, scientists discovered a tartaric acid and a fingerprint compound of grapes, as well wine. Stephen Batiuk, who is a senior research associate at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and the Archaeology Centre at the University of Toronto stated the following. “We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine solely for the production of wine.”

Researchers also believe that during the Neolithic period, people started settling into permanent villages, farming crops, domesticating animals, creating refined stone tools, and developing crafts, like pottery and woven items. These new skills aided ancient people with winemaking. Stephen Batiuk has also stated that Georgia is home to over 500 variations for wine alone, suggesting that grapes have been domesticated and cross-bred in the region for quite a long time. There is a number of studies including archaeological, chemical, botanical, climatic and radiocarbon which indicate that the Eurasian grape known as Vitis vinifera was plentiful at the two Neolithic locations. This grape likely had model growing conditions in these Neolithic villages, which had conditions close to those of the current wine-producing areas of Italy and France. It’s absolutely no surprise that once ancient farmers domesticated the grape, wine culture trailed, Batiuk also added. These ancient cultures were oversupplied in wine. This filled nearly every aspect of life, including medical actions, special celebrations, as well everyday meals.

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