Winemaking in Ancient Egypt
The making of wine goes back centuries, and is related to cultural and religious ceremonies as well as cuisine. In ancient Egypt, the liquid was used in ceremonies, and produced as far back as 3000 B.C., all which is depicted in scenes on the walls of tombs. The wine of choice drank by the ancient Egyptians was red wine, although some evidence exists that suggests white wine was drank on occasion too. However, among the Egyptian workers, beer was the beverage of choice. Nevertheless, among the Egyptian royals, winemaking in the Nile Delta was firmly established.
Other Ancient Winemakers
In addition, the Macedonians relished the beverage as did the Chinese in ancient times. The Romans also enjoyed the beverage, and laid the foundation for establishing plantations for wine production in Rome and the surrounding countryside. As a result, a number of varieties of grapes were cultivated and perfected for use in the making of wine.
Early Accounts of Winemaking
A good deal of wine was drunk during Medieval times as the Catholic Church used it in its rituals and ceremonies. From that moment, the production and drinking of wine slowly progressed to the point where it was regularly produced in various parts of the world. It’s no surprise then that the drink is mentioned in the Bible. One of the earliest accounts refers to Noah producing the drink in what is now Turkey. Theophrastus, who was an ancient Greek writer, supplied the earliest description available depicting the process of winemaking in Greece. Another Greek writer, Homer, referred to wine as the “nectar of the gods,” and liked to make reference to the ocean as being wine-dark in color
Making Wine in Greece and Rome
Even with all the above findings, no one still has determined when wine was initially manufactured. However, a good majority of information about viticulture points toward the wine production of ancient Greece. In fact, grapes grown in Greece today are the same or closely similar to grapes that were harvested in ancient times. Exporting the drink by way of the Mediterranean Sea, Greek winemakers made their way into the present regions of southern France, Italy and Spain. The perfection of the drink though can, in large part, be credited to the Romans as wine was a staple at meals; therefore, making wine became a craft. Most all of the prime regions that produce wine in Western Europe today were initiated by the Romans.
As an example – in France, several noted regions harvest grapes for wines, and maintain terroirs. A terroir can be defined as a grouping of vineyards from a region that are exposed to the same climate and soil and winemaking processes, all which give the wine its specific character and flavor. For example, in the winemaking regions of Beaujolais, the terroirs are Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly and Fleurie.
Old World Tradition
Today, the study of winemaking is called oenology while the activities surrounding growing and harvesting grapes comprise viticulture. Although Old World wine has always been noted and revered by wine connoisseurs, New World wine, or wine produced in America acquired some recognition in the 1976 Paris wine tasting. Regardless of where it is implemented though, winemaking is an art that has gained acclaim throughout the world. Buy some wine glasses online today and pay homage to this ancient, well-established skill.
A sommelier educated at Cambridge in Culinary Arts. For over 30 years, she has cultivated her knowledge and love for wine into a rewarding career within the flourishing underground community which makes up Detroit’s wine district. She is currently building her network with plans of expanding internationally in order to bring fine wine gifts to the world’s masses. wine tours in willamette valley