Like the bad drunks we are, human beings have been littering the Earth with evidence of wine storage for thousands of years. From the Tombs of Tutankhamun in ancient Egypt to the cellars of Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello, humans have been stashing wine in caves and crevices since we’ve been able to raise cup to lips. In fact, if you are reading this article and are a patron of the Wine Grotto, there is a good chance that you too have a bottle or two squirreled away. Whether it is a recent Napa purchase or prize brought back from Europe years ago, you undoubtedly can empathize with the wine collectors of old.
But exactly how long has humanity’s obsession with wine storage been going on?
As it turns out, archeologists have traced the oldest sign of fermented grapes—and wine storage—not to the South of France or somewhere in Old Rome, but to China. In the early 2000s a team from the University of Pennsylvania uncovered chemical signatures in clay vessels, indicating that Chinese wine makers were mixing up a form of “Neolithic grog” almost 9,000 years ago (roughly 7000 BC). Flash forward to 3100 BC and a few thousand miles away in the Zagros Mountains of Iran: researchers from the same team discovered ceramic wine jars scattered throughout a number of different excavation sites. But far and away the most interesting piece of evidence of ancient wine storage comes from the town of Speyer, located in Germany, where a sarcophagi dating back to 300 AD housed an unopened bottle of wine—with its contents fully intact. Fortunately for everyone involved, the bottle remains unopened.
So if you are a wine enthusiast and are on the hunt for a secure facility in which to store your vintage for the next few years—or perhaps few millennia—consider the Wine Grotto in Pasadena. We’re open seven days a week and can accommodate collections of every size. Call (626) 407-3439 to start your collection today.