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The most ancient wine cellars of the world

The most ancient wine cellars of the world

Grapes’ seed, rests of squeezed grapes, shoots of dried vineyards, a rudimentary press, a vat made of clay for the fermentation,some fragments of terracotta impregnated with wine, a cup and a bowl to drink in: a complete wine production unit of 6,100 years ago, the oldest one known so far, was discovered in a cave complex in southern Armenia, on the border with Iran (in the same site, in June, 2010 the oldest sandal in history, in perfect condition, was discovered).

The analysis of the remains found in the tank highlighted the presence of a pigment present only in the vine and in the pomegranate and, since there are no remains of pomegranates in the site, the archaeologists concluded that the only possible production was the wine one. The tank, with a surface of 1 square meters and surrounded by a very thick border, resembles the wine press used up to the XIX century throughout the Mediterranean area and the Caucasus; the oldest press known so fardated back to 1650 BC and was located in Israel.

The wine produced in the ancient Armenian farmis not supposed to be used for daily consumption, but rather to carry out ceremonial complexes, as suggested by the remains of wine found in nearby burials. The identity of the master vintnersis still a mystery, but the researchers think that the press was used by the predecessors of the culture of Kura - Araxes, predecessors of the trans-Caucasian populations.

In the Yeghegnadzor valley, in the village of Rind, near the rediscovered ancient winery, among others, a red vine variety - the Areni - is cultivated, and a village is named after it and its thick skin allows to bear the great exposure to solar radiation of the vineyard at 1,300 meters of altitude. Since phylloxera never arrived here, it is easy to prove that the vine variety is the same as it was thousands of years ago.

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