Evidence of wine making can be found stretching back into history. Wine is believed to have played a prominent role in the civilization of mankind, with the ancient Greeks regarding anyone who did not drink wine as a barbarian.
It is not surprising that throughout history you find evidence of grape growing and the making of wine because as we know it a simple activity that many people now do at home. Recipes are usually simple to follow with some basic equipment combined with a little patience.
But how good was the wine made by these ancient civilizations?
Its is hard for us to be sure exactly what the quality was like or even how it tasted because obviously no samples remain and it is hard to pass on or interpret that information from the evidence we have left to us.
One clue from numerous painted reliefs’ and other archeological evidence is that in Ancient Egypt wine was generally consumed, by the king, nobles, and in temple ceremonies by priests, only being provided to the masses on special occasions. This would indicate that wine had a certain prestige.
Another interesting discovery from ancient Egypt is that they labeled the wine with the name of the vintner. Not something we do today, but useful then if the vintner was famous for producing fine wines and moved to another vineyard. It would be a way that the Egyptian wine buyer could continue buying fine wine from a proven producer.
For the Romans wine consumption had an important role in their society being consumed at most meals. They continued to refine wine making that was started by the Greeks and Egyptians exporting and importing wines to and from many parts of their Empire. They introduced vineyards to many of these areas and recorded the different grape varieties and types of soils in an effort to produce higher quality and yields. They recorded these qualities and their preferences for the wines from different regions ranking some high in excellence which is similar to what we do today. They also introduced wooden barrels and glass bottles for storing wine.
During the Dark Ages, vineyards were maintained by the monasteries as a source of communion wine. The production of wine became the art of the monks who developed some of the best vineyards and wines in Europe. It is through this time that wine became an important part of the common man’s diet. People of the Shakespearean age enjoyed drinking wine and discussing its virtues and sins with great enthusiasm.
Not much has changed since then except we have such an abundance of great wines to choose from that now practically anyone who wants to try their hand can start to make homemade wine themselves. The desired quality may not happen on the first attempt. portland or wine tours