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The Origin of Wine

by Arthur Tan, BBA 1992

Figure 1: Tokaji Aszu ancient wines

In this inaugural article about wines, I would like to share about the probable origin of wine. With every sip of wine, you can imagine that you are carrying on an important tradition of wine drinking dated thousands of years ago. Through archaeological findings, we discovered that wines were made in places that are now known as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, northern Iran, and eastern Turkey.

Ancient wine production was dated between 6,000 BC and 4,000 BC. That meant wine was drunk 8,000 years ago! An ancient winery site in Armenia was found, and grape residue were found in clay jars known as kvevri in Georgia. Up till today in Georgia, the ancient kvevri is still used for winemaking. But how was wine discovered? It was probably grapes on wild vines that ‘spoiled and fermented’, and humans foraging for food, came across it and ate it. And then they started getting euphoric effects… well, like what people say, the rest is history.

Figure 2: Kvevri

Figure 3: Ancient religious rituals

In history texts relating to different religious occasions taking place in Middle East, Caucasus, Europe for a long time, imbibing wine was an important part of the priests' rituals. The ‘euphoric effects’ brought the priests into the sub-conscious plane and into the realm of God/Gods.

As we travel along the road of wine, let us enjoy the journey. Remember, good wines should not be drunk alone. Sante!


Figure 2: Kvevri . From

Figure 3: Ancient religious rituals. From

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