French Grapes Could Have Italian Roots

Archaeologists have discovered that French wine could be technically Italian

Amphora
Flickr/ Antonio Zanghì
Archeologists have found amphoras in France with traces of ancient Italian wine.

Are there il vino roots in le vin?

A new study that has everyone buzzing, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that French wine might have been brought over from Italy. According to a team of archaeologists led by Patrick E. McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, they found containers called amphoras in the French coastal town of Lattara, which were used by the Etruscans, ancient inhabitants of present-day Italy. After some chemical analyses, they showed that is likely the amphoras did, in fact, contain wine.

The archaeologists have hypothesized that the Gaelic locals first imported their wines from central Italy, but the expenses were only attainable by royals. According to an article from The Atlantic, shipwrecks were full of wine vessels, which would allow even the lesser fortunate Gauls to get a taste of the precious nectar. McGovern wrote in the study, "It is not surprising then that the Celts or Gauls along the shore of Mediterranean France should have become entranced by the cultural and economic possibilities for wine and begun to substitute it for their native beverages, which were likely beers, meads, and mixed fermented beverages." That inspired the French to develop their own vineyards and wines with the grape press that developed years later.

Though today’s techniques and tastes are very different between the two countries and even among the various regions, the French wine industry has Italy to thank for its success.


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