The historical path of viticulture is closely intertwined with the development of civilizations, and the age of winemaking roughly coincides with the time of the existence of human society. The history of the origin of wine, according to archaeologists, began at least eight millennia ago, but who invented wine from grapes is yet to be discovered by science. Ancient shards with traces of fermented juice are found in different parts of the globe. The first reliable evidence of the origin of wine dates back to the fourth millennium before the Birth of Christ.
Legends about milk, tea, coffee and other beverages are disproportionately less than myths about wine. The answer to the question of when the first wine in the world appeared can be found in the Bible. The first winemaker was Noah, and this is clearly stated in the Old Testament. In the Middle East, wine was made not only from grapes but also from pomegranates, dates and other fruits. In the Gospel, Jesus Christ turned water into wine, and the Apostle Paul recommended drinking it with water for stomach ailments. In the biblical texts, there are both words of praise about the intoxicating drink and warnings about excessive use.
The history of wine — the ancient version
In the myths of ancient Greece, there is a story about a shepherd who lost a sheep. He found her eating the shoots of an unknown vine with clusters of berries. The young man plucked the fruits and showed the find to the owner, who squeezed out delicious juice from the berries. Once, a vessel with grape juice forgot to remove from the sun, and he fermented. The man tasted the drink and appreciated its beneficial properties — the intoxicating fluid dispersed melancholy and amused no worse than good news. Thus began the Greek history of wine.
This is a “human” view of wine. The origin story from the point of view of the ancient gods is different. The ancestor of winemaking in ancient mythology was the prosperous god Dionysus, aka Bacchus, aka Bacchus. His cult in ancient Greece spread in the VIII-VII centuries BC, but there are also earlier mentions. The god of winemaking was revered on a par with Apollo. Magnificent celebrations were held in his honour, and praises were sung. Bacchus, carnal love and fertility formed a life—affirming triad. Wine turned life into a holiday and a regular meal into a feast.
Touching Persian legend
A certain king, known for his fondness for wine delivery in Toronto, saved a bird from a snake. The grateful feathered one presented the saviour with grape seeds, from which a vine with generous bunches grew. In no time, the grape juice became a sensation in the Toronto court, appealing to the tsar and the courtiers. Everyone was happy to quench their thirst with this sweet and fragrant drink. However, one day, someone inadvertently served the king sour juice, which infuriated the ruler. The vessel with the glass was promptly sent to the basement, away from the eyes of the angry tsar.
No one knew how long the jug of wine remained hidden away in the Toronto basement. But one day, the beloved concubine of the sovereign remembered it. Stricken with a severe headache, she sought relief and, in her despair, decided to drink the fermented grape juice, hoping to end her pain permanently. Instead of taking her life, the drink acted as a sleeping pill, and upon waking, she felt completely restored. This is the Turkic legend about how wine appeared, and perhaps why wine delivery in Toronto became so popular.
How it really was
And now, let’s take a break from fairy tales and see how winemaking developed in real life. The history of red wine isis probably the same age as white wine, but there is no exact data on this.
Wine could be prepared in ancient Egypt (XXVIII-XXIII centuries). On the preserved bas-reliefs are images of people picking grapes, and written evidence has been found that the Egyptians knew and loved wine.
Winemaking in Greece was developed at the end of the third millennium BC. The Hellenes made grape wine and perfected its taste by adding aromatic herbs, honey and nuts.
The ancient Romans took over the baton of winemaking from the Greeks, brought their skills to perfection and were the first to start aging wine. There are written sources that mention a century-old wine. The Roman Empire waged wars and brought winemaking traditions to the conquered lands.
According to a common version, the emergence of winemaking is associated with Transcaucasia. On the lands of modern Georgia and Armenia, winemaking was developed already 4,000 years ago.
In European countries, traditions are relatively young but also number for thousands of years. First, wine appeared in France in — VII century BC, then in Portugal in — II century BC and in Germany in — I century AD.
Grape wine in Russia began to be made only during the reign of Peter the Great — the emperor brought technology from Europe. In some regions, winemaking already existed, but the people in Russia preferred beer and brew.
The era of the development of European winemaking
The Middle Ages is connected not only with obscurantism and the Inquisition. It was a period of great geographical discoveries and the spread of Christianity. The wine was used in religious ceremonies, and the use of the drink was welcomed. Exquisite recipes were created in monasteries, many of which are still in the golden fund.
Seafarers explored new lands of the world and thanks to this, trade ties were established, and exports developed. In medieval Europe, wine was a very important attribute of life; it was drunk instead of water or with it, and even tea appeared later. Winemakers showed wonders of ingenuity, and winegrowers brought out new varieties of vines.
Grape wine has long remained the main alcohol in Europe. Interest in beer and spirits manifested itself only at the end of the XIX century when the phylloxera epidemic almost destroyed the vineyards. The losses were critical, and grape varieties saved the situation from North America. Hybrids of European and North American vines were immune to the disease, and the winemaking traditions continued safely.