Whenever you’re sipping your favorite Italian red, have ever given thought to the person who invented wine? Indeed, wine has withstood the test of time and has continued to evolve over the thousands of years it existed. To this day, it is part of everyday culture and it comes in more styles and flavors than one can imagine.
Most of us are aware that the beverage has a rich, significant history. However, the topic of its origin has been subjected to much debate and interpretation. Is there anyone who truly know the inventor of wine? Can historians trace its origin?
Historians had hypothesized that the nomadic, early humans would gather berries and fruits like wild grapes. When they failed to consume what they gathered within a few days, the fruits would start to ferment. It was generally believed that the residual juice coming from the fermented berries were the earliest beginnings of what we now know as wine—albeit a variation that with low alcohol content.
So, according to historians, early humans did not ‘invent’ wine. Instead, they accidentally discovered the natural process of fermentation. Now, how did wine transform into the beverage we know today?
Early Wine Productions
Centuries after wine discovery, humans slowly transitioned from their nomadic lifestyle. They started forming more permanent communities and developing practices like animal domestication, farming, and even wine making. Over time, these practices have become much more prevalent, eventually leading to the development of wine production.
For the most part, archaeologists and historians agree that the earliest evidence of wine production came from Armenia, around 4100 B.C. The oldest winery was discovered in the Areni-1 cave. The archaeological site contained fermentation vat, a wine press, grape seeds, jars, and even grape vines. Of course, we can assume that wine production occurred even before this era. However, the artefacts found in this cave are still the earliest proof discovered by archaeologists.
Throughout recorded history, wine has been associated with religion. It was often used for achieving higher consciousness which opened the mind for connection to deities. Wine has been mentioned in various religious literature—from Greek mythology’s god of wine, Dionysus, and Noah who exposed himself while in a drunken state. Indeed, wine has been around for as long as anyone can imagine.
Centuries later, wine production spread to other areas of Europe and the Middle East. As the Roman Empire expanded throughout the Mediterranean, wine making became increasingly popular.
Over the years, the process of making wine became more refined. As wine continued to evolve, it started to find its way into Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Spain. By this point, wine became an integral part of everyday life. During that time, because of the lack of proper sanitation practices, it was safer to drink a glass of red than to drink water!
So, when you sip your favorite Chardonnay from Arthur Cantina Wine & Liquor, don’t forget to give a toast to those ancient nomads who accidentally discovered wine.