The History of Wine

Dionysus, Greek God of Wine and Pleasure

Dionysus, Greek God of Wine and Pleasure

People commonly enjoy wine today with an Italian dinner, to accompany a romantic evening, for a nightcap before laying down to sleep, or as a vehicle for getting inebriated. We know that wine has been consumed by people for many years, making appearances in ancient mythology, holy texts, and cultural customs that date back to the distant past all over the world. However, the history of wine is rarely talked about, and totally deserving of the wine enthusiast’s interest. If you were wondering where wine was first made, here are some clues…

The Origin of Wine

Archeological evidence suggests that drink made of fermented grapes was created in China as far back as 7000 BC. Soon after, wine became a prevalent beverage in the Near East, Mesopotamia, Israel, and Egypt, gaining deep appreciation in Greek and Roman culture, mythology, and daily life. Under the Roman Empire, the wine press was greatly improved and barrels for transport were developed.

Wine in Religion and Mythology

Wine’s ability to alter consciousness has been appreciated within religious circles since it’s conception. The Greeks god Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, was characterized as a hedonist, libertine, and theatric. His cults carried over into Roman culture as well. Wine has been a part of communion in the Catholic Church since ancient times, representative of Jesus’ last supper. Famously, Jesus turns water into wine in the gospel books.

Origin of American-Made Wine

Since the creation and consumption of wine predates written language, it’s impossible to know for certain when and where wine came into existence. However, it’s been speculated that wine first appeared in modern day Georgia following the development of pottery sometime after the Neolithic era, later spreading south, and eventually out in all directions. Georgia seems the most likely source because of the wild grapes endemic to the region. Whatever the case, wine went on to have a major presence in varied social circles, cultures, and different parts of the world. Standing the ultimate test of time, wine continues to be appreciated today.