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Friday, May 2, 2008

Greco-Roman Contributions to Wine History

The spread of Greek civilization brought wine to Europe around 1600 BC. There are very detailed descriptions of wine culture in Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad. Wine had become an important commodity of Greek commerce. Greek doctors like Hippocrates, were the first to tell their patients to use wine as part of medical practice. The Greeks perfected the use of herbs and spices to keep wine from spoiling.

The very basis for viniculture in Western Europe has been attributed to the Romans. From 1000 BC, the Romans worked in areas life classifying different types of grapes and they identified the myriad colors. They observed the ripening process as well as treating diseases. Romans became experts at pruning and increasing crop yields with advanced irrigation and fertilization methods.

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