This will surely piss off the French!!! A research team from UCLA says it has found the world’s oldest winery, in Armenia!
"It’s the oldest proven case of documented and dedicated wine production, stretching back the horizons of this important development by thousands of years," said Gregory Areshian, co-director of the excavation for University of California Los Angeles’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.
Areshian states that the clay pots and vats recently discovered in a cave in southern Armenia close to Iran, show clear winemaking and distillation signs during the Copper Age, about 6,000 years ago. Before this find the oldest known winery was in Israel dating back to 1650 BC.
The cave had collapsed long ago, sealing and therefore preserving the winery in an airtight layer of rock and debris. There is still no word as to whether there was a tasting room and souvenir shop attached to the winery, but it’s still early days!
The team found a wine press, vats with wine residue, remnants of grape vines and seeds, and a small cup that might have been used to sample the finished product. The really interesting thing is that after scientists tested the find, they discovered the grape species used to be Vitis Vinifera (the Latin name given to most species of grapes used in winemaking today).
The scientists claim that says the wine would be comparable to a modern (unfiltered) red wine, and may have had a similar taste to Merlot. Knowing this, my personal thoughts are that the winery collapsed shortly after an argument between two Armenian winemakers got out of hand after one stated, “…if anyone makes wine from Merlot, I’m leaving!!I am NOT making any f*cking Merlot!!!”