Those of you who love your well-aged vino take note: The world’s oldest winery was recently discovered in an Armenian cave. National Geographic News reports that a 6,100 year old wine press was found Areni, Armenia, in the same cave where were a well-preserved, 5,500-year-old leather moccasin was recently uncovered. The winemaking is believed to have been a ritualistic process that was possibly part of a burial celebration. (It’s thought that the wine-makers used to remove their shoes as part of the ritual. Either that or they kicked up their heels after drinking the wine.) The discovery was reported in a study released by the Journal of Archaeology Science today, and described how the conclusions were made by scientists:
To test whether the vat and jars in the Armenian cave had held wine, the team chemically analyzed pottery shards–which had been radiocarbon-dated to between 4100 B.C. and 4000 B.C.–for telltale residues.
The chemical tests revealed traces of malvidin, the plant pigment largely responsible for red wine’s color.