The History of Wine; a Timeline from Ancient Times

Wine is an alcoholic drink which is made through the fermentation of grapes.  You can also make wine from other fruits or even vegetables.  But when speaking of wine, we usually mean the product made of grapes.

  1. 4100 B.C. The earliest evidence of a wine production facility was found in Armenia and is at least 6100 years old.  It is presumed that the production of wine started much earlier.
  2. 3100 B.C. The Egyptians began making a wine-like substance from red grapes.  They also used it in ceremonies, because of its resemblance to blood.  The Egyptians came in contact with Jews and the Phoenicians.
  3. 1700 B.C. Recently an almost 3,700-year-old wine cellar was discovered in northern-Israel.  Archaeologists and the scientists, who studied the findings, said that more than 500 gallons of wine were stored in this cellar
  4. 1200 B.C – 539 B.C. The Phoenicians began to trade across the Mediterranean, including the Middle-East (Israel) and around the sea from North Africa to Greece and Italy.  They also brought wine along in ceramic jugs, as well as grapevines.
  5. 800 B.C. The Greeks began to perfect the beverage.  Wine became a symbol of religion and health and also a symbol for trade.  While colonizing the land around the Mediterranean with their armies, they travelled with wine.  After conquering a new area, the Greeks would settle that area, planting grapevines they brought with them.  Sicily and Southern Italy were some of these areas, and then the wine also travelled to Rome.
  6. 146 B.C. Rome conquers Greece and builds an Empire.  Wine became a central part of their culture.  Their cultivation methods became famous.  As the Empire expands they plant grapevines in what is today modern France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and a number of Central European nations.
  7. 380 The Roman Empire adopts the Catholic Church and Christianity.  Wine becomes an important part of the Sacrament.  The Catholic Church starts to focus on wine cultivation and production.  Monks perfected winemaking technology.  As the Catholic Church grows, the wine went with it.

Then wine travelled all over the world as we know it.  The estimated wine production by country, put Italy first, France second, Spain third, the United States fourth, Argentina fifth, Australia sixth, South-Africa seventh, China eighth, Chile ninth and Germany tenth.

Each year more countries are discovered that produce wine.  Even in places like the Gobi Desert, you will find vineyards.  Antarctica might be the next.