Archaeologists from the University of California at Los Angeles have discovered the oldest known winery, in a cave in Armenia, according to an announcement by the National Geographic Society and a published paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science. The scientists discovered earthenware equipment from a Copper Age site in a cave in Armenia, including huge clay vats where grapes apparently were stomped by foot and fermented, storage jars, and cups carved from animal horns (apparently this ancient winery had a tasting room), as well as fossilized grape seeds and skins. They date the discovery to approximately 6100 years ago.
Alright, time now for some completely unsubtantiated Biblical speculation. The Kosher Hedgehog theorizes, based on no evidence whatsoever, that the UCLA archaeologists actually have stumbled upon Noah's winery, described in Genesis 9:20-21. (For the benefit of Original Hedgehog Lowell Brown, a devout Mormon, allow me to point out that the results of Noah's efforts as a vintner were not entirely blessed, to say the least.) Here is my entire proof:
The winery was discovered in a cave in Armenia. Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark came to rest when the waters of the Biblical flood receded (Genesis 8:4), in present-day Turkey, is located in the Armenian highlands. QEDAdmittedly, there are a few holes in my theory. Chief among them is that the scientists date the find back 6100 years, while the traditional Jewish calendar holds that this year is only 5771 years from the creation of Adam. (According to the traditional Jewish view, the flood occurred in year 1656 from creation, or only 4115 years ago.)
I will try to resolve these difficulties this evening, in the tasting room and the Tierra Sur restaurant at the Herzog Wine Cellars winery in Oxnard, California.