Is This the First-Ever Winery and Microbrewery?
We often share what's new and cool in the wine and beer world, but today we take a step back — OK, thousands and thousands of steps back — to show you what's being hailed as the first-ever winery and microbrewery in the world. How old, you ask? Stone Age and Bronze Age-old.
A new DNA analysis has revealed the home of the first winery (where wine grapes were first domesticated) in Anatolia, the Asian part of Turkey, reports Phys.org. Biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern and "grape DNA sleuth" (best title ever) José Vouillamoz discovered wine vessels from thousands of years ago and analyzed the residues inside for its DNA. They then matched the DNA to a grape varietal from Anatolia. Now, McGovern and Vouillamoz say it's the first domestication of the wild Eurasian grape Vitis vinifera, which occured in southeastern Anatolia sometime between 5,000 and 8,500 BC. It looks like grapes weren't the only thing the early residents of Anatolia were farming; the region, part of the "Fertile Crescent," was responsible for some of the earliest crops in the world, such as barley.
Then, archaeologists discovered roots of the first microbrewery in Cyprus, reports The Drinks Business. There, archaelogists found a "mud-plaster domed structure" that was used as a kiln to dry malt and brew nearly 3,500 years ago. The researchers, from the University of Manchester, also found grinding tools, mortors, and pots that may have been used to grind and cook the grains for beer. The researchers said that beer-drinking was extremely important to the people of the time, the Neolithic society. "It's extremely rare to find the remains of production preserved from thousands of years ago so we’re very excited," said Dr. Lindy Crewe, the head researcher from the University of Manchester. "... [It] gives us a fantastic opportunity to look at Bronze Age toolkits and figure out techniques and recipes.” (And the Huffington Post even has a prehistoric brew recipe.)
Better make a toast to these prehistoric peoples for giving us the gift of beer and wine.