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The Ancient Origin of Winemaking Is Not What We Thought

Archaeologists recently revealed an array of evidence indicating that winemaking began over 8000 years ago in a Neolithic Georgian village.

Stephen Batiuk/National Geographic

Humankind’s love affair with wine has been documented over millennia, though the beverage still has secrets to reveal.

Until recently, experts believed wine originated in Northern Iran about 7,000 years ago, but on November 13, an international team of archaeologists released a study that tells a very different tale. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, push the origin story back about 1,000 years and place it in a rural region of Eurasian nation Georgia, about 20 miles south of capital city Tbilisi. This discovery suggests that local farmers were making wine around 6,000 B.C., at a time when humans were still dependent on bone and stone tools.

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