Wine was discovered about 6,000 years ago in either Mesopotamia, Palestine/Israel, or what is now called Georgia. It originally fermented by accident when native yeasts stuck to grapes stored in containers turned the sugars in the grapes into alcohol. The ancient Egyptians refined the sciences of both grape growing and winemaking and included wine in burial crypts for consumption in the afterlife. The Greeks spread winemaking throughout the Mediterranean, and the Romans turned it into a big business. The Spanish exploration of the New World brought winemaking to the Americas, while other Europeans took it to Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
If almost all wine grapes produce clear juice, how does wine get its color?
Red wines get their color from the skins, which are included in the mix when a red wine is fermented. White wines usually are fermented only from juice, so they are much lighter in color. Rosés, which are pink in color, are typically made from starting a fermentation with red wine juice and skins, and then removing the partially fermented wines from the skins after a short period.
What is the most widely planted grape variety in the Bordeaux region of France?
Merlot is the most widely planted grape variety in the Bordeaux region of France. Around the world, Merlot is the fifth most planted wine grape.
Originally published in our Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press, Morello Wines edition.