The History of Wine – From Ancient Times to Modern-Day
Wine is a staple drink in most cultures, with its tangy taste and aroma creating the perfect mood-altering beverage. It’s also a powerful symbol of civilization and culture, with its history spanning the centuries and influencing the modern day. Find out the best info about The History of Wine.
The history of wine is as fascinating as its taste, and there’s no better way to explore its past than through a comprehensive look at how it’s impacted the world over the years. We’ll examine how wine has shaped human history from the ancient Greeks to the New World.
When Wine First Came into Being
Archaeological studies show that the earliest wine made in ancient times was not distilled but created by accident. It was probably made from wild grapes growing on an old vine, stuffed in a jar, and left to ferment. The resulting substance had such a profound effect on people that they started to look upon it as a gift from the gods, and the viticultural practice became a central part of their social life.
Throughout the Near East, the early use of vines and grape cultivation dates back to 4000 BCE. The Egyptians had their version of the practice, and the Phoenicians were instrumental in spreading wine and viticulture across the Mediterranean.
As the centuries passed, the Romans and Greeks took viticulture into their own hands. They revolutionized the wine industry, developing a grape-based economy and laying the foundations for the great European vineyards we know today.
The Romans were a civilization that excelled at science, technology, and engineering, and they quickly saw the potential for wine to improve the lives of their people. As a result, their wine culture spread from Italy and Greece into the rest of Europe, where it helped to make the continent a global powerhouse.
Christianity and the Catholic Church dominated the Roman Empire, and wine continued to play an essential role in religious ceremonies. It was used in the Eucharist sacrament, which commemorated Christ’s last supper and is still performed in some communities. It was also associated with blood and, to this day, is a symbol of the faith and sacrifice of Jesus.
From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance
The wine trade spread throughout the Western world as people discovered new places to plant vines and make wine, with France, Germany, and Italy leading the charge. Benedictine monks founded vineyards in Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Riesling in Germany. The winemaking monks grew grapes for their enjoyment and export, but they also made enough to ship to churches and secular venues in other parts of Europe. Hence, their influence spread beyond their original regions.
In the 16th century, European conquests brought European grape production to Latin America and South Africa. In South Africa, grapes were planted in the Cape Province during a Dutch East India Company colonization of the area. The Dutch sailors’ need for a drink during long transatlantic journeys meant there was sufficient demand to create successful vineyards in this region, which would later become known as the New World.
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