World's Oldest Wine Found in 8000-Year-Old Jars

World's Oldest Wine Found in 8000-Year-Old Jars

The world's earliest evidence of grape wine-making has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia, making the tradition nearly 1,000 years older than previously thought, researchers said Monday.

That honour belongs to the long-ago people of Jiahu in the Yellow Valley of China, where researchers previously found evidence of an even earlier kind of wine production dating back to around 7000 BCE.

"We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine exclusively for the production of wine".

"Our research suggests that one of the primary adaptations of the Neolithic way of life as it spread to Caucasia was viniculture", said Batiuk.

Mr Batiuk said the wine was probably made in a similar way to the qvevri method today "where the grapes are crushed and the fruit, stems and seeds are all fermented together".

The earliest evidence of winemaking has been traced back 8,000 years to Georgia by an global team of scientists.


Eight large ceramic jars were found to have residual wine compounds, researchers said.

The team analyzed 18 shards from pottery jars uncovered in recent years from multiple sites across Georgia, as well as samples from a 1960 excavation. Experts from University of Toronto in Canada and Georgian National Museum have found that wine-making as a practice began hundreds of years ago on the border of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.

In 2011, Areshian reported the discovery of a 6,000-year-old winery in Armenia. A team of researchers digging in Georgia has found that origin of the practice could be around 6000 BC, 600-1,000 years earlier than what was determined earlier. "Georgia is home to over 500 varieties for wine alone, suggesting that grapes have been domesticated and cross-breeding in the region for a very long time".

But the study's lead author, Patrick McGovern, a scientific director at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia who also co-authored the 1996 Nature study that placed the earliest evidence for grape wine in Iran, said the search for the truly oldest wine artifacts will continue.

The researchers say this chemical evidence is a snapshot of early human civilisation toward the end of the Stone Age, as it encountered new environments and made the best use of whatever resources found there - which in this case included cultivating the beginnings of all modern wine. However, these traces dated back from 5400 to 5000 BC, also in the Neolithic period.

Related Articles