Alcoholic beverages were made by indigenous peoples of the Americas before the Age of Discovery. Indigenous peoples are known to have used maize, potatoes, quinua, pepper tree fruits and strawberries to make alcoholic beverages. Despite the existence of species of the vitis genus (to which Vitis vinifera belongs) in Venezuela, Colombia, Central America and Mexico indigenous peoples did not ferment these species and therefore did not make wine.
In ancient times, the reputation of a wine depended on the region the wine came from rather than an individual producer or vineyard. In the 4th century BC, the most expensive wine sold in Athens was that from Chios, which sold for between a quarter of a drachma and 2 drachma for a chous worth—about
Great wines taste like they come from somewhere. Lesser wines taste interchangeable; they could come from anywhere. You can’t fake somewhereness. You can’t manufacture it … but when you taste a wine that has it, you know.
Riesling has a long history, and there are several written references to the variety dating from the 15th century, although with varying orthography. The earliest of these references dates from March 13, 1435, when the storage inventory of the high noble Count John IV. of Katzenelnbogen in Rüsselsheim (a small principality on the Rhine, close
Fruit wines are fermented alcoholic beverages made from a variety of base ingredients (other than grapes); they may also have additional flavors taken from fruits, flowers, and herbs. This definition is sometimes broadened to include any fermented alcoholic beverage except beer. For historical reasons, mead, cider, and perry are also excluded from the definition of
Wine is regulated by regional, state, and local laws. The laws and their relative rigidity differ for New World and Old World wines. Old World wines tend to have more stringent regulations than New World wines. Various wine laws, however, may include appellation-based regulations that cover boundaries as well as permitted grape varieties and winemaking practice-such as the French Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), Italian Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC), Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) and Portuguese Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). In some New World wine regions, such as the United States and Australia, the wine laws of the appellation systems (American Viticultural Area (AVA) and Australian Geographical Indication (GIs)) only pertain to boundary specifics and guaranteeing that a certain percentage of grapes come from the area listed on the wine label.
Other techniques associated with Old World winemakers include higher fermentation temperatures and a period of extended maceration following fermentation where the wine can leech more phenolic compounds from the grape skins.
This can create more tannic and austere wines with more layers of complexity that require longer periods of bottle aging in order to mature. In contrast, the technique of transferring the must into oak barrels during fermentation and inducing malolactic fermentation early is more commonly associated with New World wine regions and wines that are softer and mature earlier.
Viticulture in most of the Old World wine regions dates back to several hundred or even thousands of years with the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans establishing some of the earliest vineyards. Over centuries, these Old World wine regions have developed viticultural techniques and practices adapted around their unique climates and landscapes. Many of these practices
Old World winemaking is often terroir driven with emphasis being placed on how well the wine communicates the sense of place where it originated. For example, a winemaker making a Riesling from the Mosel will often try to highlight the unique traits of the Mosel wine region (such as its slate soils) with the wine expressing those traits in the form of minerality.
Vine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope were brought to the penal colony of New South Wales by Governor Phillip on the First Fleet (1788). An attempt at wine making from these first vines failed, but with perseverance, other settlers managed to successfully cultivate vines for winemaking, and Australian made wine was available for
Archaeological evidence has established the earliest-known production of wine from fermenting grapes during the late Neolithic or early Chalcolithic in the Caucasus and the northern edge of the Middle East. An extensive gene-mapping project in 2006 analyzed the heritage of more than 110 modern grape cultivars, narrowing their origin to a region of Georgia. This