Archaeologists have announced the discovery of the world's oldest winemaking facility. The winery was found in an Armenian cave near the village of Areni -the same cave where the oldest shoe ever was found last year. Carbon dating shows that the winery dates back 6,100 years!
In September 2010 archaeologists completed excavations of a large, 2-foot-deep (60-centimeter-deep) vat buried next to a shallow, 3.5-foot-long (1-meter-long) basin made of hard-packed clay with elevated edges.
The installation suggests the Copper Age vintners pressed their wine the old-fashioned way, using their feet, Areshian said.
Juice from the trampled grapes drained into the vat, where it was left to ferment, he explained.
The wine was then stored in jars—the cool, dry conditions of the cave would have made a perfect wine cellar, according to Areshian, who co-authored the new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Analysis of residue found malvidin, a plant pigment found in red wine. Read more about the discovery at National Geographic News. Link -Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!
(Image credit: Hans Barnard)