Earliest wine in world found in 8000-year-old jars in Georgia

Earliest wine in world found in 8000-year-old jars in Georgia

"We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine exclusively for the production of wine".

Pottery from a site in Georgia has tested positive for traces of wine.

"The Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey are also a prime candidate for further exploration with its monumental sites at Gobekli Tepe and Nevali Cori at the headwaters of the Tigris River", dating as far back as 9,500 BC, he said.

According to David Lordkipanidze who is the director of the Georgian National Museum and the man who helped lead the research, wine was made using a similar method to the gvevri process of today.

Whilst what little remaining liquid has certainly evaporated from the earthenware jars, researchers were still able to identify residual wine compounds that originated from two sites south of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi from around 5,980 BC. Georgia is one of the ideal environments for such undertakings, as it hosts about 500 species and varieties of grapes used only for wine, together with many others cultivated for fruits.

GRAPE represents the Canadian component of a larger global, interdisciplinary project involving researchers from the United States, Denmark, France, Italy and Israel.

The ceramic shards were uncovered in digs conducted in the ancient villages of Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, with the team later confirming the presence of a number of acids found in wine taken from the residue of eight jars: tartaric, malic, succinic, and citric acid.

The Neolithic Period (around 15,200 BCE to 2,000 BCE) was characterized by the beginning of farming, the domestication of animals, the development of crafts such as pottery and weaving, and the production of polished stone tools. One of the most important crafts was pottery, which enabled the fermentation and storage of wine.

"The horticultural potential of the south Caucasus was bound to lead to the domestication of many new and different species, and innovative "secondary" products were bound to emerge".

But this heady drop wasn't the wine we know and love today, and incorporated hawthorn fruit, rice, and honey mead, in addition to grapes.

The researchers say the combined archaeological, chemical, botanical, climatic and radiocarbon data provided by the analysis demonstrate that the Eurasian grapevine Vitis vinifera was abundant around the sites. It was a peak wine-growing region, comparable to the regions in France and Italy today.

"Our research suggests that one of the primary adaptations of the Neolithic way of life as it spread to Caucasia was viniculture", said Batiuk.

"Eventually, drinking and offering wine became part of every aspect of life including medical practice, special celebrations, birth to death, everyday meals".

Wine has been used as a "social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and highly valued commodity" throughout the ages. Many designs are available.

Related Articles