History of Growing Grapes

Wine and grape growing in general existed even during the Neolithic period. It does sprend till modern times from around the year 5 BC. Georgia is famous for having the oldest ever VItis vinifera domestication. In 3200 BC, during the early Bronze Age there has been historic evidence of grape culturing.

In the beginning there were problems with female and male vine species due to pollination facts so Vitis vinifera, one hermaphrodite gender vine became popular. Hermaphrodite vines can easily pollinate themselves.

Viticulture practices started around the year 1000 BC thanks to Phoenicians. Carthage eventually saw these practices used later on in time. One 28 volumes manuscript written by Mago also speaks about viticulture practices in high details. This manuscript did survive during the destruction of all Carthage artifacts thanks to the Roman Empire and did offer a lot of facts about grape growing history.

Inspired by these scripts, Roman statesman Cato de Elder, wrote De Agra Cultura in 160 BC which described the viticulture and agriculture of the Romans. De Re Rustica, written by Columella, talked a lot about the Roman viticulture. Columella writings are the first known text to mention usage of trellis for supporting grape wines.

Also, he talks about an earlier trend that saw vines being trained to grow on trunks of trees and personal reasons why stakes are favored in term of using stakes to gain support. The main reason why Columella preferred stakes is the fact that a vine that is growing on tree trunks is really hard to prune properly and is dangerous. As vegetation thickness stopped proper sunlight exposure for the vines pruning became essential.

World famous wine-growing regions like the Spanish Rioja, the German Mosel, and the French Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone came into picture when Roman Empire spread into Western Europe and made famous their viticulture too.

Roman viticulturists were the pioneers in identifying steep hillsides as ideal locations for growing grapevines. They understood that cold air always travelled down from the hill top to the valley. Grapevines were really delicate while in cold environments and winter frost stood out as not really suitable for a lot of grapes.

Catholic monks emerged as prominent viticulturists during the middle Ages. Vintage wines that were similar were produced thanks to the introduction of cru vineyards. Around this time we saw the development of the Metayage system in France and laborers started working lands on a contract basis. Landlords gave laborers choice rights in choosing grape types that would have been grown.

Most practices of the middle age continued till the 18th century. Studies were conducted to understand the compatibility of different grapevines with different localities. This period also saw conflicts of quality over quantity. The powerful and wealthy landlords preferred quality as it gave them good quality wines. However, the poor labor gave importance to quantity as it affected the money he earned.

Grape history started due to the influence of the Roman Empire as they brought in the practice from Greece ever since 5 BC. It was Catholic Monks that introduced modern day vineyard culture. It does seem that even during ancient times we saw viticulture as highly popular.