Timeline of Wine

The history of wine follows the rise of our entire civilization. Here you can find out timetable of its notable events, from its birth over 10.000 years ago, widespread appeal in ancient empires of Rome and Greece, rebirth in medieval Europe, to the worldwide expansion that happened in 19th and 20th century.

  • 8000 BC - Earliest known production of wine is dated to 10 thousand years ago, in an ancient region of Colchis (modern day Georgia).
  • 7000 BC - Another possible birthplace of wine is speculated to be in China. Archeologist found there some of the oldest wine pottery shards known to man.
  • 4500 BC -Wine first came into continental Europe through the tribes that lived on Balkans.
  • 4000 BC - Remains of the oldest winery were found in Armenia. According to some historians, they produced wine since 7000 BC.
  • 1600 BC - Wine pottery was used in burial ceremonies of Chinese Xia Dynasty royal members.
  • 1323 BC - Tomb of Egypt pharaoh Tutankhamen was sealed with several wine jugs. Modern analysis confirmed that the jugs contained red wine.
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  • 400 BC - First historical mentioning of grape-based wine in India.
  • 1st millennia BC - Wine became commonplace in the ancient empires of Rome, Greece and Thrace.
  • 1st millennia AD - After the decline of Rome, Christian church became the only widespread producer of wine. While majority of Muslim believers were not allowed to produce wine, Muslim chemist were ones who discovered the process of distillation.
  • Medieval Europe - Increased production of grapes in southern Europe gave rise to its wine industry. Northern Europe however focused to production of beer and ale.
  • 12th century - Monasteries develop vineyards in regions of Champagne, Burgundy and Rhine Valley.
  • 1224 - French king organized first international wine tasting competition. Winner was Cypriot wine.
  • 14th, 15th and 16th century - Production of winemaking started by several catholic monks separates from the church, spreading its influence across entire Europe. Wine becomes commonplace drink of both nobility and common people. The lack of clean water in Europe gave boost to the consumption of wine.
  • Early 17th century - Production of glass reaches modern standards. Storing and transporting wine is greatly improved.
  • 1729 - Ruinart, world oldest French champagne house was founded.
  • Early 1800s - Majority of French wine production was privatized after the French Revolution.
  • 1825 - Mass production of wine started in United States with the forming of Hudson's Bay Company in Fort Vancouver, Washington State.
  • 1861 - Britain introduced Single Bottle Act, which enabled groceries to sell wine in the glass bottles.
  • 1864 - First sighting of Phylloxera in France. This pest managed to ravage majority of world's vineyards for nearly 20 years.
  • 19th and 20th century - Wine productions spreads across the entire world. Vineyards in California, Australia, South America and New Zealand gain acclaim.
  • 1920 - American prohibition starts. Sale and consumption of alcohol became illegal, which brought closure to many vineries.
  • 1934 - Prohibition ends. In California, only 160 of 700 wineries survive.
  • 1976 - For the first time, Californian wine managed to beat French in the famous "Judgment of Paris" tasting.
  • 2006 - The total wine production intended for export reached the number of 8.3 million tons, with Italy (1.7 million), France (1.4 million) and Spain (1.3 million) having biggest market share.
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