Researchers have found evidence of the world’s oldest Italian wine in a large storage jar from the Copper Age which indicates that winemaking in the region began as early a fourth millennium BC.
The discovery, detailed in Micro-chemical Journal, could dramatically predate the commencement of winemaking in Italy. Traditionally, it has been believed that wine production developed in Italy in the Middle Bronze Age (1300-1100 BC).
Chemical analysis conducted on the ancient large storage jar tested positive for wine. Lead study author Davide Tanasi from University of South Florida in Tampa, US, conducted chemical analysis of residue on un-glazed pottery found at the Copper Age site of Monte Kronio in Agrigento, located off the southwest coast of Sicily.
The team determined that the residue contains tartaric acid and its sodium salt, which occur naturally in grapes and in the winemaking process. The researchers are now trying to determine whether the wine was red or white.