Tbilisi, November 14: The world's earliest evidence of grape winemaking has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia, making the tradition almost 1,000 years older than previously thought.
Previously, the earliest evidence of wine-making was from pottery dating from about 7,000 years ago found in north-western Iran.
"We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine solely for the production of wine," said co-author Stephen Batiuk, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto.
"The wine was probably made similarly to the traditional qvevri method in Georgia today, where the grapes are crushed and the fruit, stems, and seeds are all fermented together," Batiuk said.
The team of researchers hailed from the United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Israel, and Georgia. The pottery jars were discovered in two Neolithic villages, called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 50km (30 miles) south of Tbilisi, researchers said. Researchers used a combination of mass spectrometry and chromatography techniques to identify the compounds found in wine in the ancient jar fragments. Their chemical analysis confirmed tartaric acid, the fingerprint compound for grape and wine they said in their report.