Ancient Winery Found in Armenia

Those of you who love your well-aged vino take note: The world’s oldest winery was recently discovered in an Armenian cave. National Geographic News reports that a 6,100 year old wine press was found Areni, Armenia, in the same cave where were a well-preserved, 5,500-year-old leather moccasin was recently uncovered. The winemaking is believed to have been a ritualistic process that was possibly part of a burial celebration. (It’s thought that the wine-makers used to remove their shoes as part of the ritual. Either that or they kicked up their heels after drinking the wine.) The discovery was reported in a study released by the Journal of Archaeology Science today, and described how the conclusions were made by scientists:

To test whether the vat and jars in the Armenian cave had held wine, the team chemically analyzed pottery shards–which had been radiocarbon-dated to between 4100 B.C. and 4000 B.C.–for telltale residues.

The chemical tests revealed traces of malvidin, the plant pigment largely responsible for red wine’s color.

National Geographic partially funded the study through its Committee for Research and Exploration. Read the full story at NG News.

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