Skip to comments.French wine 'has Italian origins' [Etruscans]
Posted on 06/08/2013 7:40:59 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
The earliest known examples of wine-making as we know it are in the regions of modern-day Iran, Georgia, and Armenia -- and researchers believe that modern winemaking slowly spread westward from there to Europe...
The Etruscans, a pre-Roman civilisation in Italy, are thought to have gained wine culture from the Phoenicians -- who spread throughout the Mediterranean from the early Iron Age onward -- because they used similarly shaped amphoras...
Dr McGovern's team focused on the coastal site of Lattara, near the town of Lattes south of Montpellier, where the importation of amphoras continued up until the period 525-475 BC.
They used a high-precision analytical tool called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, which provides a list of the molecules absorbed into the pottery of the amphoras. The results showed that they did once contain wine -- as well as pine resin and herbal components.
But more surprising was the find of a wine-pressing platform, where grapes were ground and liquid drained off.
"In a walled town like this, it is unusual to find a wine press from an early period," Dr McGovern said. "Finding the chemical evidence for the press, that was a surprise."
The find is consistent with a pattern seen elsewhere -- that wine is introduced from abroad, but a local culture eventually seeks to transplant the grapes and grow their own, local wine industry.
"From there, [winemaking] spread up the Rhone River, the domesticated vine gets transplanted, it crosses with the wild grapes and all sorts of interesting cultivars develop -- those are the ones that spread around the world.
"Most of the wine we have today is from French cultivars, which ultimately derive from the Near-East cultivar via the Etruscans," he explained.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
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Renfield’s original find, appears to be open without subscription:
When Did the French Start Making Wine?
Wine Spectator Online
The AP version (can’t use):
London Times (membership now required)
The use of resistant American rootstock to guard against phylloxera also brought about a debate that remains unsettled to this day: whether self-rooted vines produce better wine than those that are grafted. Of course, the argument is essentially irrelevant wherever phylloxera exists. Had American rootstock not been available and used, there would be no V. vinifera wine industry in Europe or most places other than Chile, Washington State, and most of Australia. Cyprus was spared the phylloxera plague, and thus its wine stock has not been grafted for phylloxera resistant purposes.
That’s right, and just as the ancient sources claimed.
Well, the phylloxera came from the Americas. With the advent of steam powered ships, the aphids managed to survive a trans-Atlantic voyage, instead of dying off, as they had in the much slower sailing vessels.
The presence of a language either the same or closely related to Etruscan on the island of Lemnos is a problem for the historians who want to accept to theory that the Etruscans were indigenous to Italy and had not immigrated from the Aegean area. The Lemnians could be colonists from Italy but that seems very improbable--the colonization we know of is mostly from east to west and I don't think there are any parallels of people from the western Mediterranean colonizing a place in the eastern Mediterranean (not until the Roman Empire, at least). Not only Herodotus but other Greek authors accept the idea of "Tyrrhenians" or "Tyrsenians" still being present in the Aegean area in historical times...which would be expected since not all of them would have emigrated to Tuscany.
Volterra is a beautiful place to visit and has one of the best Etruscan museums in existence, along with a gate in the city wall that dates from Etruscan times.
The Etruscans really got around the Mediterranean.
While I was stationed at the Rota Naval Base on the Bay of Cadiz in southern Spain (U.S.Navy - 1980-1986), an Etruscan tomb was discovered by a farmer in the local community. Archaeologist came and looked at it, then reburied it to save for later excavations.
Stayed a few days in Volterra once. Agree. It’s a lovely town.
So, it appears the Etruscans brought their vinestock from Anatolia?