Skip to comments.Ancient Greeks introduced wine to France, Cambridge study reveals [Prof Paul Cartledge]
Posted on 10/27/2009 5:04:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The original makers of Côtes-du-Rhône are said to have descended from Greek explorers who settled in southern France about 2500 years ago... The study, by Prof Paul Cartledge, suggested the world's biggest wine industry might never have developed had it not been for a "band of pioneering Greek explorers" who settled in southern France around 600 BC. His study appears to dispel the theory that it was the Romans who were responsible for bringing viticulture to France. The study found that the Greeks founded Massalia, now known as Marseilles, which they then turned into a bustling trading site, where local tribes of Ligurian Celts undertook friendly bartering. Prof Cartledge said within a matter of generations the nearby Rhône became a major thoroughfare for vessels carrying terracotta amphorae that contained what was seen as a new, exotic Greek drink made from fermented grape juice. He argued the new drink rapidly became a hit among the tribes of Western Europe, which then contributed to the French's modern love of wine... Archaeologists have discovered a five-foot high, 31.5 stone bronze vessel, the Vix Krater, which was found in the grave of a Celtic princess in northern Burgundy, France... The research forms part of Professor Cartledge's study into where the boundaries of Ancient Greece began and ended. Rather than covering the geographical area occupied by the modern Greek state, he argued Ancient Greece stretched from Georgia in the east to Spain in the west.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The original makers of Côtes-du-Rhône are said to have descended from Greek explorers who settled in southern France about 2500 years ago Photo: PAUL GROVER
Archaeologists have discovered a five-foot high, 31.5 stone bronze vessel, the Vix Krater, which was found in the grave of a Celtic princess in northern Burgundy, France...
Of COURSE they did: Dionysus invented it.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Scientists discover Neolithic wine-makingThe porous structure of these clay vessels is what has made it possible for scientists to analyze wine that is thousands of years old. Clay jars designed to hold about 2.5 gallons were found during an excavation conducted by Mary M. Voigt near the Hajji Firuz Tepe site in the Northern Zagros Mountains of Iran. A yellowish residue discovered inside a jar was tested using a variety of analyses including infrared, liquid chromatographic and wet chemical analyses. The chromatographic test showed the best proof that this was indeed wine by revealing the presence of terebinth tree resin... The tree resin was added to the wine during fermentation to help prevent it from turning to vinegar. The combination of finding these two components in the jar together and the discovery of clay stoppers, which are the perfect size to fit the necks of the vessels, in close vicinity to the jars, all points to the probability that the grape product inside the jars was indeed wine.
by Lora Griffin
UNLV Rebel Yell
The World of the
of Ancient Greece,
from Utopia to
Crisis and Collapse
by Paul Cartledge
directed by David Portlock
And that stuff was distilled.
Well, duh. The Greeks spread wine production all over the ancient Mediterranean.
It’s funny that they don’t have a popular international wine product today. I never see Greek wines promoted here, and we’re mildly cosmopolitan: our health-foods store had a special on Georgian wines a while back ... the former Soviet republic, not the state a few hours south.
They don’t make enough to ship ‘em anywhere. :’) If you look in the better stores (specialty shops, gourmet cooking joints, high-end liquor stores, and Greek groceries) you’ll find some selection, including Retsina, which has been called the national beverage of Greece. It’s wine mingled with pine resin, and it has been identified in Mycenaean kitchen artifacts (IOW, older than this 600 BC thing).
Retsina, yuck. That’s why I specified a *popular* international wine product!
Must have permanently turned the french on to that other Greek thing later that evening.
Those clay jars were (various sizes) were used to ship whatever was headed out to its destination, and generally so unadorned and cheap that they seldom made a second trip. Those beautiful ones with the painted mythological scenes, love scenes, and whatnot, that sell for 100s of 1000s of bucks, sold for only slightly more than the plain clay ones — back then.
:’) Now you know who to thank.
Coat’-du-Ripple, You can’t keep a good wine down!
...our indebtedness to the ancient Greeks only grows.
I could have guessed the Greeks did it after watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Greeks invented everything.
!!!!!!!!!!!!! For SHAME, Amerikaneetha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Retsina is the very nectar of the gods. I was in college before I learned that most wine tasted like vinegar (too bad the French forgo how to make wine.)instead of nice, honest turpentine!
Its still my favorite wine by far!
But what about cheese? Huh? Huh? Huh? ;-)
Uh, I’m tellin’... ;’)
Perhaps they meant the Liquorin' Celts...
I prefer Ouzo.
I think Retsina was a brilliant invention myself. It’s the first chemical anti-theft device. The Greeks obviously put pine tar in their wine so that the Turks wouldn’t steal the wine. It’s just brilliant in it’s simplicity.
“The Greeks obviously put pine tar in their wine so that the Turks wouldnt steal the wine. Its just brilliant in its simplicity.”
My grandparents always maintained that was the story...and the fact that no Turk will drink Retsina lends it credibility.
Vix Krater was a friend of mine years ago.
You have to try Muscadine. It's made here in the South!
Colonies and culture of Magna Graecia! Recommend this obscure book to all, it's a real gem:
GODS WITH BRONZE SWORDS by Costa De Loverdo
Older book, cheap on Amazon, somewhat heavy on the speculation but always entertaining and thought-provoking. You start seeing the Greek influence in its earliest epoch, though the physical evidence was long ago broken down by the waves.
Another excellent work: MEDITERRANEAN, SAGA OF A SEA by Emil Ludwig. A Med-lover must-read!
“Ouzo the famed drink of Lesvos”
Isn’t that redundant?
A couple of Halloweens ago I took a bottle of retsina and a bottle of mead to a party, and got some friends (I don’t drink) to try the retsina-mead-beer combo that may have been a Mycenaean favorite. We came up with a 1-2-3 proportion on that for flavor. Anyway, one of those friends has since added retsina to his “often” list.
I wonder if any of their drinking songs have survived?
Hey, if you can’t keep it down, it’s probably *not* a good wine. Or, there was far too much of it. ;’)
Most larger wine shops carry at least a bottle or two of Nemea. Goes very well with rack of lamb.
The Turks actually produce some nice white wines, but none with pine resin.
“The Turks actually produce some nice white wines,...”
Indeed they do, mostly from the Ionian coast area; also some pretty good oil. Guess who taught them how to make it? :)
Here’s the background music
Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters
by Jonathan Nossiter
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