The origin of the wine grape
There are many etiological myths told about the first cultivation of the grapevine and fermentation of wine. Wine has been produced for thousands of years. The evidence of wine in Georgia from 6000 BC, Iran from 5000 BC, and Sicily from 4000 BC.
The oldest archaeological evidence of wine produced from grapes has been found at sites in Georgia (c. 6000 BC), Lebanon (c. 5000 BC), Iran (c. 5000 BC), Greece (c. 4500 BC), and Sicily (c. 4000 BC). The earliest-extant evidence of wine production has been found in Armenia (c. 4100 BC).The cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago. One of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs naturally on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine. The earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia.
The European wine grape , also known as Vitis vinifera , originated in an unexpected place named the Caucasus Mountains and the Zagros Mountains . These mountain ranges span from Armenia through Azerbaijan, Georgia , northern Iran , southeastern Anatolia and eastern Turkey.People who made the first wine were from the Shulaveri-Shomu culture .The name ‘Shulaveri-Shomu’ comes from the town of Shulaveri, in the Republic of Georgia, known since 1925 as Shaumiani, and Shomu-Tepe, in the Agstafa District of Azerbaijan. People of Stone Age who used obsidian for tools , raised cattle and pigs , and most importantly , grew grapes.
The oldest-known winery was discovered in the “Areni” cave in Vayots Dzor, Armenia. Dated to c. 4100 BC, the site contained a wine press, fermentation vats, jars, and cups.The civilisation of Greece and the ancient Phoenicians have to be thanks for the spreading of wine grapes throughout Europe .They were the most responsible for the spread of wine grape throughout Western Europe .
The grape slowly mutated and adapted to their unique environment , with each each new region that was planted.This slow divergence over thousands of years is what created the amazing diversity of over the 1300 identified wine varieties we have today .Diversity is important , at least in wine because it protect against disease and reduce the need of unnatural defence like pesticides .unfortunately , demand for popular grapes threatens to reduce the amount of natural diversity in wine around the world .