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Wine grapes first domesticated in Turkey

DNA analysis suggests that Stone Age farmers first domesticated wine grapes in Turkey.

“We wanted to collect samples from wild and cultivated grape vines from the Near East — that means southeastern Anatolia, Armenia and Georgia — to see in which place the wild grape was, genetically speaking, linked the closest to the cultivated variety.”

“It turned out to be southeastern Anatolia,” the Asian part of modern Turkey, said Vouillamoz, speaking at the EWBC wine conference in the Turkish city of Izmir this month. “We propose the hypothesis that it is most likely the first place of grape vine domestication.”

McGovern’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania Museum also provided archaeological evidence of wine’s Anatolian roots after analysing residues of liquid recovered from vessels thousands of years old.

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Story: Suzanna Mustacich, AFP | Photo: Suzanna Mustacich, AFP

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