The oldest wine in the world

It happened during the excavations of an ancient Roman mausoleum in Andalusia. There a group of scientists found an unknown reddish liquid in one of the funeral urns. After chemical analysis it was identified as wine. The discovery represents this type of drink in liquid form and is the oldest wine in the world.

In 2019, archaeologists found the entrance to the underground tomb of a wealthy family. It happened in the city of Carmona, Andalusia. In the interior walls they found several niches for funerary urns. They had the remains of a person in each of them. Now historians have studied the finds in more detail and dated them to the first half of the 1st century AD.

The oldest wine in the world was found in Andalusia.
The oldest wine in the world was found in Andalusia.

Table of Contents

White wine

Five liters of a reddish liquid were found inside one of the urns. Presumably it had become intermingled with the cremated skeletal remains. Given the symbolic importance of wine in Roman times and its close relationship with funerary rituals, the researchers assumed that it could be this drink.

The scientists had the task of verifying that the liquid found was wine. The main indicator that confirmed the hypothesis was polyphenols, biomarkers present in all drinks of this type. A technique was used that allows these compounds to be detected in very small quantities. The team from the Department of Organic Chemistry at the University of Córdoba found seven specific polyphenols. They were also present in the wines of Montilla-Moriles, Jerez and Sanlúcar.

Despite the reddish tone of the liquid, the absence of a specific polyphenol, syringic acid, allowed it to be identified as white wine.

It is more than two thousand years old.
It is more than two thousand years old.


«The wine acquires these colors after the fermentation process and through its storage. Thus, over time, the wine darkens due to oxidation reactions. The researchers say so in their published article.

The oldest wine in the world has exceptional conservation. It is a testament to the advanced storage and preservation techniques used by the Romans. The unique environmental conditions that have allowed its conservation for almost 2,000 years are unique.

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