9000 Years of Wine: A World History

9000 Years of Wine: A World History

Title: 9000 Years of Wine: A World History
Author: Rod Phillips
Publisher: Whitecap
The origins of wine are as cloudy as the first wines must have been. We will never know who first allowed grape juice to ferment to the point that it became wine, just as we will never know who ground grain and baked it to produce the first loaf of bread. But the impossibility of tracing the very first batch of wine ever made has not deterred archaeologists and historians from searching for the earliest evidence, a quest that has taken them back some 9,000 years. No wine has lasted this long in physical form, although a rare find was a batch of 3.,000-3,500-year-old Chinese wine that had survived because it was sealed in totally airtight containers. For the most part, though, the evidence of ancient wines is found in earthenware jars and other vessels that must have held wine because they still show the remains of grapes--seeds, stalks, and skins--or stains and chemical residues from wine. Evidence of this kind has been found in pottery jars and bronze vessels at a number of sites in China and the Middle East dating back from the neolithic period (Late Stone Age), which lasted from about 8500 to 4000 B.C.

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