Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the earliest evidence of wine making yet to be recorded.
In a cave. In Armenia.
The National Geographic Society say that the find of fermentation jars and a wine press represents the earliest example of complete wine production, at roughly 6000 years old.
The winery was uncovered in the mountains of south-east Armenia. The cave contains a shallow basin measuring about 3ft across and was positioned to drain into a deep vat – the assumption being that the basin could have served as wine press where foot-stomping was the order of the day.
The international team of archaeologists team also found ‘grape seeds, the remains of pressed grapes and dozens of dried vines. The seeds were from the same type of grapes – Vitis vinifera vinifera – still used to make wine today.’
However, given that the wine ‘facility’ was surrounded by graves it appears that the wine was intended for ceremonial use as opposed to a jolly good knees up around an old mammoth tusk piano.
The evidence then, suggests that the Eurasian grape had already been domesticated 6,000 years ago.
I think when I grow up I’d like to be an archeologist.