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6,000 Year Old Wine Discovered in Italian Cave!

6,000 Year Old Wine Discovered in Italian Cave!

Laurita Winery , News , Wine Science 🕔August 31, 2017 0 comments

Italian wines are some of the best known and most loved in the world… and they should be, since it turns out Italians have had thousands of years to perfect the art of winemaking!

Image courtesy of Davide Tanasi

Scientists have recently discovered wine residue in a cave in Sicily that dates back to the fourth millennium, B.C. Here’s the story, via The Guardian.

Previously scientists had believed winemaking developed in Italy around 1200 BC, but the find by a team from the University of South Florida pushes that date back by at least three millennia.

In 2012, organic residue was sampled from ancient jars in a cave on Monte Kronio, Sicily. What they found was cream of tartar, the salt of tartaric acid. It’s a natural acid in grapes that occurs as part of the winemaking process.

“Unlike earlier discoveries that were limited to vines and so showed only that grapes were being grown, our work has resulted in the identification of a wine residue…

That obviously involves not just the practice of viticulture but the production of actual wine – and during a much earlier period,” Tanasi said.

Smithsonian.com has more.

Davide Tanasi of the University of South Florida who ran the chemical analysis of this latest residue tells Zamira Rahim at CNN that the jars of wine left in the cave may have been an offering to the gods. “The cave site of Monte Kronio is also a cult place used for religious practices from prehistory to Classical times,” he says. “This discovery has important archaeological and historical implications.”

It’s incredible to think that people have been making wine for thousands and thousands of years! Some experts believe winemaking goes back as far as 10,000 years or more, and there is evidence to support a knowledge of viticulture almost that long ago.

Nine-thousand-year-old traces of a wine made of honey and rice were found in China and 7,400-year-old traces of grape wine were discovered in Iran’s Zagros mountains, Brendan Borrell at Scientific American reported in 2009.

Almost ten thousand years of making and drinking wine…

We’ll drink to that!

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