Dionysus – Greek Mythological God of Wine

Where did wine first come from? A popular legend about the invention of wine has been told by
many: a Sumerian king who liked his crops of grapes hid some for himself into a cask from his
wives and children. He labeled the cask “Poison” so nobody would dare to touch it. One day
one of his wives became depressed and decided to kill herself. She opened the cask and
drank some of its contents. What she didn’t know, was that she drank what’s now known as

Since the primary ingredient of a wine is grapes, where it’s naturally grown is the origin of
viticulture and viniculture. Of course, the origin must also include the people that produced and
consumed wine. This leads to discovering where humans first originated and where grapevines
are indigenous. The most ancient civilizations were found in the region occupying southeastern
Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers(now southern Iraq from around Baghdad
to the Persian Gulf) in 6000 to 4000 BC. It just so happens that grapevines are native in this region.

Wine as medicine
Wine in ancient Egypt was not only used in ceremonial events, it was also found to be a
form of medication. Around 1500 BC, about 15 percent of their doctor’s prescriptions
included beer or wine. Most likely, wine was used as a pain reliever.

Greeks and Romans were the most important in European wine culture. Around 1000 BC, wine was brought
to Greece, by the god of wine in classical mythology, Dionysus. The Greeks were the first to establish wine
trading in Europe and the
The Mediterranean, from east of the Black Sea to Spain. Most imports came from India, but their favorite was
from Italy, especially from Sicily. It is no wonder that “Italy” in Greek is translated to “land of wine”.
Julius Caesar viewed that women and wine were the two essential components of a successful military
campaign. Everywhere their army triumphed, vines are planted. But wines in France were not brought by
Romans. Greeks planted vines near Marseilles around 500 BC. Greeks were also the first to age their wines.

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