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Fossil vines, 60 million years old, are the earliest evidence of grapes in the world. The earliest word of viniculture is in the Old Testament of the Bible which stated that Noah planted a vineyard and made wine. As cultivated fermentable crops, honey and grain are older than grapes, although neither mead nor beer has had anywhere near the social impact of wine over recorded time. Wine and history have greatly influenced each another.


Wine, according to an ancient Persian tale, a natural phase of grape spoilage, was discovered by accident. Not an invention of man. It is established that grape cultivation and wine drinking had started by about 4000 B.C. and possibly as early as 6000 B.C. The first developments were around the Caspian Sea and in Mesopotamia, near Iran nowaday. Texts from tombs in ancient Egypt prove that wine was in use 2700 B.C. to 2500 B.C. The Egyptians developed the first arbors and pruning methods. Archeological excavations have uncovered many sites with sunken jars, so the effects of temperature on stored wine were probably known.


Wine came to Europe with the spread of the Greek civilization around 1600 B.C. It was an important article of Greek commerce and Greek doctors, including Hippocrates, were among the first to prescribe it. And, Greeks also learned to add herbs and spices to mask the spoilage.


Due to the influence of the Romans, the foundation and strength of viniculture in Western Europe were established. Starting about 1000 B.C., the Romans made major contributions in classifying grape varieties and colors, observing and charting ripening characteristics, identifying diseases and recognizing soil-type preferences. They became skilled at pruning and increasing yields through irrigation and fertilization techniques.


The Romans also developed wooden cooperage, a great advance for wine storage which had previously been done in skins or jars. They may also have been the first to use glass bottles, as glassblowing activities became more common at that time.


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