The Mark Wine News Winter '18 Volume 8.1 - Page 21

research grapes, clones, planting techniques as well as how the “terroir” or terrain affected the grapes and vines. Of course, all this was done with religion in mind. It was an effort to improve sacramental spirits. Roman slaves crushing grapes with their feet probably know, the Greeks worshipped the grape in the form of Dionysus, god of wine and wild revels. But rather than the sweet white wines the Babylonians enjoyed, the Greeks preferred their wine old and watered, stored in the same clay jars, called Amphoras. The Romans were not thoroughly impressed with the current wine storage containers and vastly improved on them by inventing barrels specifically for wine storage. The Romans also added different ingredients to their wines, seawater, perfumes and herbs, making them thick and sweet. (And not very appealing if you ask me) The French vineyard system we know today actually got its start as wealthy Burgundian landowners left tracks of land to the monasteries. However, the French Revolution changed things up a bit. Politics and wine are practically inseparable. During the French Revolution, France further divided vineyard lands by taking ownership out of the hands of the Church and into the hands of the Republic. The French Revolution also sent the British walking or rather running to Portugal for their wines. The English had been drinking the wines of Bordeaux since the 13th century but declared a grape allegiance to Portugal in 1703 when the Methuen Treaty made French wines much too pricey. Medieval French Monk tasting wine From Rome, vines and winemaking spread to other regions including France and Germany. Winemaking in these areas dates back to around 600 BCE. Vine disease, Bordeaux classification and the emergence of the new world will be covered in The History of Wine Part Two. Look for it in the Spring 2018 edition of The The spread of grapes and winemaking throughout Mark Wine News. what is now known as Europe continued. Soon, the Catholic Church got involved and spearheaded the next phase of wine development. We’ve all wondered what monks do all day, right? Well, it turns out that back in the day, they spent a lot of time on wine. The Monastery system allowed monks time to constantly Clay Amphoras, used to store wine WINTER 2018 Dionysus (Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking & wine) 19