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Exeat: Day 159/84: Red Wine Day

Earliest known winery in Areni region of Armenia c.4010BC. The winery consists of fermentation vats, a wine press, storage jars and pottery sherds. Located in the Areni cave [pictured below] it consists of a shallow basin used to press grapes and also found were grape seeds, remains of pressed grapes and dozens of dried vines. The seeds were from vitis vinifera, a grape still used to make wine. Although not a large player in the world of wine today Armenian wine clearly played an important role in history and it has been suggested that the domestication of the Eurasian grape first occurred in the mountainous regions of Armenia before moving to the south. They were one of the main wine producers in the Soviet Union and have since started exporting worldwide. Armenian wine also spread to Africa during the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during World War I when Armenians fled to Ethiopia where they cultivated vineyards. Many Armenian reds are very sweet and rich as are Ethiopian wines.

Areni is a thousand years older than the winery unearthed in Judea and Samaria. Next we know that by 800BC the ancient Greeks had perfected wine making and used it for trade, religion and health. As they conquered new lands they planted vines including in Spain and Italy. In the absence of clean water across Europe right though until the 1500s wine or ale was safer to drink.
Personal preferences have already been rehearsed in earlier blogs honouring Chianti Classico, Rioja and Pinotage. And of course Oz memories of Tyrell's Long Flat Red from New South Wales' Hunter Valley! The Chianti came from our memorable months at Vila I Tattoli, Val di Pesa at San Casciano working for MCB building our Italian Literati Club memberships. It sits in the heart of the region and we had our own vineyard at the Vila and the option to buy it by the litre for 1500 Lira. Pinotage was the drink of our long standing friend and colleague Bev Bruce from Zimbabwe and South Africa. And Rioja, well it became our regular wine as we moved from that famed White Rioja to the better known and acclaimed reds and joined the Vino Seleccion wine club from Madrid with its endless supply of Reserva and more. And tonight, although it's Friday and it is Salmon Steaks, I couldn't resist one.

Rehang the Three Tartans painted by Janet McCrorie We're very proud of this painting by Janet McCrorie that captures the three family tartans - left to right they are Lochnaw, Prestoungrange & Dolphinstoun all designed for us by great friend Keith Lumsden of the former Scottish Tartans Society. He preceded me there as Keeper of The Register. It hangs at the end of our hallway and it's always been precarious; and it took a tumble last month. But yesterday we took serious steps to reinstate it... with No Nails adhesion, screwed in short screw brass hooks and picture wire. It's now back in pride of place!

Coffee today was Julian and myself.... discussing the future structures of the family trusts and property investments followed after lunch by my Tesco solo outing. It went well including collecting prescriptions and the new hip took the strain!

Published Date: August 28th 2020

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