This, is the world. Made up of seven continents and billions of gallons of water it is the perfect place to grow the perfect grape.
1. Over 20 million acres of vineyards on Earth today.
2. Humans produce over 25 million bottles of wine per year.
3. Europe accounts for ¾ of wine production!
4. The World’s vineyards peaked (in quantity) in the 1980’s and are now shrinking; this is due to greater productivity from smaller acreage (and higher quality).
5. Bottles and corks weren’t used for storing wine until the 17th century.
The world is wild about wine and has been since the beginning of civilization, as can be found in the East, in Egypt. Traceable roots however start with the Greeks and Phoenicians along the Mediterranean in about 1500 BC. Winemaking evolved in Italy from the toe of the boot all the way North and beyond, with the Greeks bringing vines to Gaul literally planting the foundation for today’s famous wines. During the Dark Ages, the church and the monarchy became active in the wine world, promoting and creating some of today’s greatest vineyards. Actually, until right around the 17th century, water was often unsafe to drink (particularly in the cities) so wine was the staple at every table. At this time, glass making techniques improved and folks began bottling wine in glass rather then in wood casks, changing the face of wine forever! Wine matured differently in glass and kept well for longer periods of time. Thus began the “vintage” wines and their high prices. In this same century the monk Dom Perignon discovers champagne adding a bit of the bubbly to our lives! Changes swept through all of Europe up to 1880 when catastrophe struck. At a time when the majority of Europe relied heavily on the wine trade, Phylloxera wiped out almost every vine. The last century has seen a re-birth in wine. Technology (including refrigeration) has transformed… nay, revolutionized this industry into an art form. California and Australia lead us toward new traditions, with endless variety in every niche of our world.
Thought to have been in existance for some 4.5 billion years the world is rich in history. In brief, rock cooled, water condensed, land formed, life emerged, man came and invented wine.