At the Ideal Wine Company we concentrate on providing you with the types of luxury wine you are proud to store in your collection. Wine collecting is hardly a modern practice; it goes back centuries. It goes back to the ancients, to the days of mythology. For those of us in the wine trade, the history of the wine making industry is fascinating; you can use it to chart the history of society, of the human race itself. In this way wine acts as so much more than a drink; it’s a link to our past, our ancestors. That’s why we’re excited by the discovery of what is potentially the world’s oldest wine cellar.
The Mirror Newspaper reported last Saturday (23rd November) that experts had discovered a wine cellar that is around 4,000 years old in Israel. Tel Kabri, Israel plays host to the fantastic discovery which had 40 amphorae like jars each containing 50 litres of strong sweet wine and the cellar dates back to around 1,700 BC. It was believed to have been produced by the ancient Canaanites, the people who were known to have inhabited Palestine before the Jewish peoples of the Old Testament.
It’s an amazing discovery and it can tell us much about the ancient art of wine making. Already we know that the jars contain wine flavoured with cinnamon, mint, honey and psychotropic resins and this tells us a lot about the culture of the time, however archaeologists were also surprised to discover that the cellar discovered in the ruins of Tel Kabri is not in fact that much different from cellar’s in Israel’s modern day wineries; it suggests a strong tradition that has remained undented by the ravages of time.
In the article Professor Eric Cline, chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations at George Washington University, who was involved in the excavation and research on the site, said that researchers have already excavated a three foot long jug they have nicknamed ‘Bessie.’ In further comments he said that “we dug and dug, and all of a sudden, Bessie’s friends started appearing-five, 10, 15, ultimately 40 jars packed in a 15-by-25-foot storage room.” He concluded by saying that “this is a hugely significant discovery - it’s a wine cellar that, to our knowledge, is largely unmatched in age and size.”