Sunday, November 14, 2021

History of viticulture in ancient times

Methods of winemaking and storage were invented in the Neolithic period around 8500 to 4000 BC.

Viticulture is estimated to have originated in the 6th or 7th century B.C in the region to the south of the Black Sea. From there the crop spread to the four corners of the earth.

Neolithic evidence of wild grape consumption includes seeds uncovered in a ninth millennium BC site in Çayönü and Can Hasan III (7200–6500 BC) in eastern Turkey and suggests the potential for rudimentary viticultural experimentation.

From its early days in Neolithic villages, viticulture quickly expanded, probably through trade. Archeological findings show that as early as 5,000BC, Neolithic farmers traveled by ship along the Mediterranean coast from the Middle East to the Atlantic.

Western scholars believe that the tomb of Ptah-Hotep built 6000 years ago depicts the scenes of viticulture, grape harvesting and winemaking in ancient Egypt, thus marking the beginning of human wine making.

Viticulture in Anatolia exist at the beginning of the the third millennium BCE. Seed evidence has been uncovered at several sites in Anatolia including Korucutepe.

The period referred to as the Old Assyrian Colony Age (ca. 2000–1750 BC) provides evidence of grape harvesting and wine production, although it is apparent that the Assyrian colonists likely derived their horticultural skills from their Anatolian natives.

The Romans learnt their viticulture and oenology techniques from the Greeks and implemented them across the Italian peninsula.

The Romans invaded most of Europe and planted vineyards everywhere: they needed wines to supply their troops. This was essentially done by the end of the first century.

The expansion of the Roman Empire led to viticulture and winemaking technologies spreading westward throughout most of Europe, particularly France, Spain and Germany, areas now classified as the “Old World” of wine.

Because of their higher alcohol content, wines could be kept longer than beer, and proved a suitable trading product over relatively long distances.
History of viticulture in ancient times

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