Wine has a rich history, tracing its roots back thousands of years with the first recorded physical evidence dating back to at least 5000 BCE and is even referred to in the biblical story of Noah, who is said to have planted the first vineyard on the slopes of Mount Ararat after the flood. Wine making scenes also appear in tomb paintings and carved stone reliefs.
The origin of many aspects of Western life can be traced back to ancient Greece and wine is no exception. The Greeks felt that wine was the drink of choice for civilized people in contrast to barbarians who drank lowly beer.
Thucydides, a Greek writer and historian in the 5th century BCE wrote, “the peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the vine”.
Wine has historically been viewed more as a drink of the privileged because the cost of transporting a heavy and difficult to preserve product was very expensive. Greece was the first to produce wine on a large scale and it became very important to its economy. As winemaking became more prevalent, it spread to Italy, France and Spain and became more available to the masses. The type of wine one drank became the distinction for the wealthy and privileged and wine became a sign of status and social differentiation. What kind of wine you drank and its age was an indication of how cultured you were.