There is a wine gene!
The world’s oldest winery was discovered in Armenia. According to archaeological evidence, it is 6000 years old, and judging from the tools used during the process, it is possible to speak of a technology. The grapes were crushed by foot, and stored in cisterns for fermentation. Than they were transferred to pots to be aged in the cold and dry environment of the cave next to it.
The oldest winery was found, but it is not continuing production. Although there are wineries that have been producing for a record time.
If by chance you are travelling in Italy, especially Tuscany, if you sit in a cafe or restaurant and hear your neighbour talking on and on about wine, do not get annoyed and say “Enough man! How much can you talk? Wine is wine! What is the deal! You talk like your father is a winemaker!”. Because if you do, you will get this answer: “Yes, my father WAS a winemaker. And so was his father. And his father. And his father. And…”. There are regions in the world that have been making wine for generations, so always be careful who you argue with.
In Brolio, Italy, the Ricasoli Family have been making wine since the year 1141. Exactly 872 years! Back than, when not an “I” of Italy existed, when Florence was a small republic, they were founded on a bestowed land close to Siena. Since than, they have never stopped making wine. Currently, the 32nd Baron is managing the family. (Baron Bettino Ricasoli, a member of the family, was the guy that made Chianti from four different grape varieties, by the way.) In Florence there is another family that started a bit later than the Ricasoli’s: The Antinori Family. Founded in 1385.
In France, things get even crazier! Chateau de Goulaine, in the Loire Valley, close to Nantes, has been producing wine for 1000 years. It is the third oldest family of the business world, and the oldest one in Europe.
In Germany, Schloss Vollrads sold it’s first wine in 1211.
Who makes the wine, also drinks. So think about it this way: These families have been drinking wine for a thousand years. Maybe if geneticists study them they can find interesting patterns in their chromosomes. If there is a gene for wine, these guys have it.
Or from these families:
The oldest in Spain is the Codorniu, who are famous for their Cava’s. They were established in 1551. Or to say it more commercially: Since 1551!
The Fonjallaz in Switzerland were established one year later, in 1552.
The Wyndham Estate in Australia was founded in 1828, the Colomes in Argentina in 1831, the Brotherhood Winery in New York in 1839, and Mission Estate in New Zealand in 1851. These wineries are the ones still producing wine.
“The first century of winemaking is the hardest one” is something that one of these families members must have said. And if the wine gene is found, it will be from among these establishments.
In Turkey, Nihat A. Kutman founded the Vinikol Wine House in Galata, in 1926, the first one of the Turkish Republic . This wine house later became Doluca. Kavaklıdere was founded by Cenap And in Ankara, in 1929.