Where was Wine Invented?
9th July 2019
There are a fair few areas to consider when answering this question which must be looked at and many countries will add to the history of wine as a whole having claimed to have founded varied elements amongst its evolution.
It will surprise many that China is seen to be the original location where wine was born, at least the idea of a grape-based fermented drink is seen to have been traced back to c. 7,000 BC there which is c. 1,000 years ahead of Georgia and over 7,500 years in front of the birth of Champagne*.
Many will think that the Romans invented wine – This is not the case though they added a great deal of advancing some of the viticulture practices and of course broadening its fan base as they expanding their empire.
The biggest thing to consider with the birth of wine is that no it was not in France and wrong again, it was not in Italy either! Some facts and claims are a little harder to prove compared to others which give wine a long and varied history life span already. Wine appears in the likes of the Bible and Hebrew Bible (Noah planted a vineyard and became inebriated) – Famous pieces of artwork include wine to include Twelfth-night (The King Drinks) 1634-40 and The Last Supper 1495–1498.
Many of us will have also heard that wine is a gift from the Gods and that Jesus Christ himself was able to turn the water into wine!
- Oldest Evidence of wine (fermentation) production – China c. 8,000 B.C
- First earthenware containers used for storing wine – 6,000 B.C.
- Oldest recorded winery – Armenian 4,100 B.C.
- Wooden Barrels for wines – Romans 3rd Century
- First usage of glass bottles for wines – 17th Century
In this article I wanted to take a quick look at some sparkling wines from a country, which I have visited myself, that holds one of the longest and what many consider the most important history when it comes to wine – Georgia.
The winery I’d like to take a look at is Badagoni: “Georgia is the place where man first conquered the grape. Archaeological evidence suggests that winemaking could have begun there as long as 8 millenniums ago, thus actually confirming that Georgia is the cradle of wine. Biochemical tests on the ancient pottery wine jars from Georgia are showing that at this early period, humans were deliberately adding anti-bacterial preservatives to grape juice so that the resulting wine could be kept for longer periods after fermentation. Winemaking as an academic discipline was taught here as early as VIII century.”
The winery itself started back in only 2006 and is set in the heart of the Georgian winemaking region (Kakheti) within the village of Zemo Khodasheni. They proudly state that they have vineyards in each and every micro-zone of the Kakheti wine region thus enabling them to produce the highest quality that expresses the region in the best way.
They produce over 20 still wines and also an impressive 7 sparkling wines using grape types including Saperavi, Kakhetian Mtsvane and Rkatsiteli.
We tasted three of their award winning wines:
Badagoni Brut (Silver Medal Winners Creamy): “Touch of dryness initially then you get a yellow fruit / mango flavour. Good length and crisp.”
Badagoni Rosé (Silver Medal Winner Dessert): “Really enjoyable fruity wine mostly showing ripe strawberries in aromas and in taste. Sweeter in style though not overly thus enabling you to enjoy a few glasses quite easily!”
Maestro Saperavi (Silver Medal Winner Dessert): “A well balanced sparkling red – sweeter red berry fruits including strawberry and dark cherry. It would be a great wine to pair with some rich dessert dishes.”
* Dom Perignon is said to have first discovered Champagne, though the birth of sparkling wine is equally given to Christopher Merret (he made the deliberate addition of sugar for the production of sparkling wine).
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