Saturday October 31, 2020

Wine: A 4,000-years grape odyssey

Does humankind exist solely to tend the needs of Vitis vinifera, and spread its genetic empire throughout the world? Tomás Clancy reports.

5th October, 2013
The Douro Valley in Portugal. Photo: Getty

The beginning of civilisation can be traced to the world's first city, Eridu. It emerged around 5,400 years BC as the capital of a small Sumerian city state on the edges of the Indus Basin.

It is from here that we find the first written evidence of the domestication of Vitis vinifera, the noble vine. Today, its varieties are some of the most widely known plant species on the planet.

Merlot, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon and...

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