Discovered in Sicily the world’s oldest wine

September 4, 2017

The oldest wine in the world might be Italian: this is the spectacular discover made by a team of researchers who, recently, has found traces of 6,000-year-old fermented grapes off the west coast of Sicily. The wine was at the bottom of terracotta jars in a cave, showing clearly that this fermented drink has been consumed in the country for a very long time.

Until now, it was believed that winemaking developed in Italy around 1200 BC, but the researchers responsible for the newest discovery – a team from the University of South Florida – has now a quite different opinion about the matter: “Unlike earlier discoveries that were limited to vines and so showed only that grapes were being grown, our work has resulted in the identification of a wine residue,” said Davide Tanasi, the archeologist who led the research. “That obviously involves not just the practice of viticulture but the production of actual wine – and during a much earlier period”.

The discovery about the oldest wine in the world was recently published in the Microchemical Journal and is considered especially significant because it is “the earliest discovery of wine residue in the entire prehistory of the Italian peninsula”.

“We conducted chemical analysis on the ancient pottery and identified the presence of tartaric acid and its salt. The presence of these molecules allows us to confirm the use of this vessel as a wine container.” Enrico Greco, a chemistry researcher at the University of Catania who was involved in the research, stated.

Wine experts in the Agrigento area are “filled with joy”, as stated by Alessio Planeta, a winemaking expert and historian from the territory – even today rightly considered as one of the most important wine-producing regions in the world. “Before this, we used to thinking Sicily’s wine culture arrived with the island’s colonization by the ancient Greeks.”


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