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A Little Wine History

Posted by Vintage Oaks

Topics: Articles About Texas Hill Country

Come visit and discover Vintage Oaks in New Braunfels, Texas—in the very heart of the Texas Hill Country. We are fortunate enough at Vintage Oaks not only to be surrounded by other local vineyards, but also to have incredible amenities available for our residents. We will be breaking ground soon to include our very own planned vineyard. At Vintage Oaks, you don’t have to be a wine lover to appreciate the serenity and luxury that living on a vineyard affords. But if you are a wine lover, you should know that Vintage Oaks is something truly special for you. We love to share our uniqueness and passion with our guests and homeowners. Part of our vision is to help more people learn about the art of wine and about the beauty of vineyard living.

Historians believe that wine was first discovered in the Fertile Crescent between the Nile River and the Persian Gulf. That means that wine dates back as far as 4000 BC! We know for sure that grapes were used by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Romans, and that it was the Phoenicians’ influence that spread the love of grapes and the culture of winemaking throughout Europe. Ancient wall paintings have even been found that depict grape seeds, ripening grapes, and the use of grapes to produce wine.

Most current wine historians are now convinced that winemaking was first discovered somewhat by accident, when grapes were held too long in storage, causing them to ferment and produce yeast. There is some evidence that Egyptians then expanded on this discovery to learn how to ferment grapes on purpose, so that they could produce their own magical elixir on demand. The Egyptians are even credited with the first grape stomping—that is, engineering large vats where fermented grapes could be stepped on to yield their juices in a reproducible, methodical approach. The Egyptians used wine both for drink offerings to their gods and ceremonially at funerals.

Although the Persians referred to wine as “the divine gift,” it was the Phoenicians who were first responsible for spreading its story and thus its popularity. Some early records indicate that the Phoenicians, shipbuilders and trading merchants were the first to spread early winemaking techniques both to Greece and to Italy.

Much later, there was a period of time in Rome when wine was forbidden by the Islamic leadership who controlled the city, leading to an almost complete halt in winemaking and a kind of early Prohibition. However, the Catholic Church is later credited with spreading winemaking techniques more broadly; as Catholicism began incorporating wine into its practices and traditions, the spread of the faith coincidentally spread the use of wine.

Wine is so much more than just a delicious drink. It has a deep, rich history spanning the age of time. At Vintage Oaks, we’re happy to share in that tradition of winemaking, and we hope to contribute to a broader understanding and appreciation of this art from antiquity. If you have questions, or if you’d like to connect with us, we’d be happy for you to come find us on Twitter and on Facebook.