The journey from grapevine to wine is a long one.  Wine occurs naturally when grapes ripen, fall off of the vine & yeast invades.  Humans noticed and began aiding the process around 7,000 BCE.  The first traceable occurrence of this is in modern day Georgia & Armenia between the Black and Caspian Seas.  From there, societies grew and traveled, all the while learning to domesticate animals and harvest the resources that the needed (and we all need wine). Vitis Vinifera is the type of grape vine that is appropriate to vinify (turn into wine) and is not native everywhere, so the Sumerians, then the Phoenicians, then the Greeks & Romans cultivated it where it was indigenous and / or took it with them where they went.  The wine industry thrived all around the Mediterranean.  It became significant in religion, a symbol of luxury and pleasure in comfort, and of course a sellable product.  Time and tradition would tell where the most suitable land for growth was: Burgundy, France; Alsace, Germany; Tuscany, Italy; the list goes on.  Colonialism through the ages brought the arts of viticulture (the growing of the grapes) and viniculture (the making of wine) to Australia, South Africa and the Americas.

The progress continues.  Wine is now produced in all 50 of the United States and corners as far as the countries of Azerbaijan and Romania.  This means we have a VAST selection of wine to choose from.  Each location has its unique regional climate and varying influences in the vineyard and differing viticulture tradition and cultural preferences.

Today’s recommendation: Try a wine (any wine) from a country that you’ve never had one from before.  Here’s one from Slovenia.  Or just find something unusual at your local wine shop and support wine worldwide.