miércoles, enero 21

A little background on .... wine

To really understand the wine we have to know its history, which is full of anecdotes and unexpected situations. Since the preparation of Champagne by mistake, to the production of great wines of the world in a special way to transport cause great wines of the world as sherries or ports, or even the most important fact in the history of wine that was the appearance phylloxera and change the concept of wine. Here we put a few small words by way of introduction.

Some historians suppose that the man knew the wine before I knew growing grapes; possibly since the Genus Vitis, comprising all domestic vines, made its appearance in the Tertiary era, period of the first mammals. The vine was then a wild plant, from which sprouted a small and sour berries that were collected as other plant species and consumed directly.

But the vitis vinifera, which alone produces quality wines, appears much later in the Caucasus and the Middle East. From Israel, Mesopotamia and Egypt, the vinifera vine was spreading throughout the Mediterranean, promoting the development of wine culture. Much later Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian move this legacy to America and South Africa. The English take Australia and New Zealand and spreading throughout the world.

In ancient Egypt wine ranks first in the trade of that time. The Egyptians gathered the grapes from vines planted in the gardens of the Nile River in rush baskets pressing, which were trodden by the feet of slaves and once fermentation was transferred into jars or jars of different sizes, sometimes very large, for consumption or transport ships. At the time of the Greek vineyard did not receive great attention, but the mild climate gave lots of fruit. The resulting wine never drank pure, was mixed liberally with water, honey, thyme, myrrh, sea water etc. To transport the Greeks used leather skins, while for large storage jars were used.

Later the Etruscans consumed natural wine without added water, although the Romans later return to work it in the Greek manner, adding water infusions, herbal honey and other sweeteners.

It was the Romans who took over for the expansion of wine. Thanks to his military successes, and the realization of numerous commercial companies, consolidated two of the jewels of the Mediterranean agriculture - wine and oil - expanding their growing areas to the periphery of the empire. By this time begin to dictate rules for the election of more suitable varieties, soil properties and climate observations.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, religious orders - especially the Benedictines and Cistercians later - recover wine culture. With the spread of the faith, the new apostles not forget to extend the wine trade, planting new vineyards, making progress processing techniques and upbringing. In the Middle Ages, feudal lords cultivate their lands for them wine that allowed them to show hospitality to the range of the castle had an obligation to try. Also the literary and religious recommendations of the time had their land devoted to wine.

The Middle Ages left their mark on the most artisan work and patients of the vineyard and the winery. Some of these practices and arts have remained almost unchanged until the mid-twentieth century.

For centuries the Vitis vinifera was the only species of vines cultivated in Europe. With the discovery of the New World also appear new species of vitis, for making wine since the mid-nineteenth century began to be imported strains and different species from the United States. The entry of American vineyards on the international stage was as serious and unexpected. Coming from beyond the Atlantic, fungal diseases caused by dangerous unknown parasites in Europe, severely beat the very sensitive to such insects in waves European vineyards: first powdery mildew, then mildew but above phylloxera was introduced in Europe in the last third of the century and devastated all European vineyards, even went beyond, as also Australia suffered their attacks. This plague, in addition to the immediate economic consequences, led to the disappearance of numerous vineyards not return to planting.

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