Admiring the game of amber or ruby wine in a glass, you always unwittingly ask yourself the question - what is the origin of this noble drink? Although you understand that his story goes back deep into the millennia.
Maybe someone accidentally forgot a bunch of grapes in a small clay shard, where, having lain for several days, for the first time in history, fermented grape juice became a laughing drink? There is a hypothesis that about 40 thousand years ago, the first “homo sapiens” - Cro-Magnon - who lived in the oases of Central Asia, invented a drink, the raw material for which was juice squeezed from the fruits of wild grapes and collected in stone containers.
The very same vine is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth, and archaeologists argue that in the same Central Asia, Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, the first farmers first began to break vineyards near their homes, and then gradually began to breed.
It is believed that the grapes were imported to China from the West - from Samarkand, Persia, Tibet, Kashgar, Khami. Not only archeologists testify to the very long history of the vine, but also linguists, since the words “grape”, “vine”, “wine” existed in one of the oldest languages - Sanskrit, as well as in Greek, Latin, French, Chinese , ancient Egyptian and ancient Persian.
There are many legends about who owns the laurels of the discoverers of wine. The famous Eastern poet, philosopher and mathematician Omar Khayyam in the book “Navruz-name” claims that the first wine was prepared in Herat, which is located on the territory of modern Afghanistan.
According to the myths of ancient Greece, the god of wine was Dionysus, he traveled the world and taught to make an intoxicating miraculous drink - wine. Dionysus was noisy, so he was also called Bacchus - insane. The primacy of the invention of wine is also attributed to the famous queen Semiramide, who lived almost 2500 years ago in Mesopotamia, and the Persian king Yemmed, and the biblical Noah, to whom the idea of planting a vine and squeezing the juice from its fruit came after the next incident.
Once, having released his goat at will, Noah saw that the animal, after eating the fruits of the wild grapes, was drunk and began to fight with other animals. Seeing this, Noah planted a vine near the dwelling, poured it with the blood of a lion and a ram to give the grape a fortress and “domesticate” it.
All peoples who left behind written sources or oral legends, the vine and winemaking occupy a special, honorable place.
In the Roman Empire, wine was consumed daily by all residents. In the 1st century AD, there were more than 80 varieties of wine. Tsekubsky wine was very much appreciated, which in its ode was sung by the famous Horace. Already in antiquity, the healing effect of wine was noticed. The great philosopher Plato called it "the milk of the old", that is, a product that is very useful for maintaining youth. He distinguished wines by their properties and, consequently, the purpose and the "father of medicine" Hippocrates. And Celsius in his essay on healing provides various information about wines and recipes for flavoring them. It highlights the famous honey-grape wine. Having conquered Europe, the Romans introduced wine culture into it. After a while, the Germans, Gauls, Iberians and ancient Celts became acquainted with wine.
It is safe to say that France has the richest variety of soil and microclimate, and therefore grape varieties. Therefore, there is almost all varieties of wines. In this regard, since the Middle Ages, in France, winemaking has been developed almost everywhere. Especially a lot of vineyards were on the banks of rivers. Wines from Normandy and Picardy have always been valued. Even the kings and dukes of Burgundy planted vineyards.
In ancient Germany, wine was rare, was considered a luxury, and viticulture was not widely spread. But already during the Middle Ages, wines from Germany became known throughout Europe.
Speaking about the history of world winemaking, it would be unfair not to mention sunny Spain. The culture of grapes in Spain began to develop thanks to the dominion of the Moors. In the XII century, the Arab scholar Gu-Albavam, wrote a manual on viticulture and winemaking, which became very popular in Spain.
In the medieval East, in particular in Central Asia, winemaking was practically ceased, however, despite the prohibitions, the wine continued to enter into most healing drugs. Thus, the great Abu Ali Ibn Sina not only looked at wine from a medical point of view, but also glorified it in his ghazals. Many quatrains of Eastern poets and scholars - Beruni, Omar Khayyam, Hafiz, Babur, Alisher Navoi, Mashrab, Nodira - are dedicated to praising wine that helps overcome sadness and enjoy life. The praises of blame were a rather bold form of freethinking, expressed by them with all the directness.
There is still blessed Georgia, which simply cannot be imagined without its vineyards. The vine is called sacred there, and the traditions of drinking wine have existed for thousands of years. Georgia is famous for several dozens of varieties of wine that have absorbed and conveyed to us the legends of the past, taste, smell and sunlight. The healing air, the charm of the mountains covered with emerald meadows, the swiftness and purity of the bubbling streams - in such an atmosphere the main wine varieties of Georgia grow.
According to the International Organization of Viticulture and Wine in Paris, the total area of vineyards in the world is about 10 million hectares. In Europe - about 72%, in Asia - 13%, in America - 9%, in Africa - 5%, in Australia and Oceania - 1%. 21 countries are considered countries of developed viticulture, while viticulture is the main branch of all fruit and berry production. Of the total grape harvest, 10% is consumed fresh, 6% is used for drying, and the remaining 84% is processed into wine.
To understand what Wine is, you should try at least once a wine, really high quality. You should drink it thoughtfully, slowly, in accordance with certain rules, respecting what you drink and those people who have been perfecting the art of winemaking for many centuries. After such a wine, you probably will not be able to treat it simply as a intoxicating liquid.