Monday, October 06, 2014

Vintage resurrection

IMPORTANT RESEARCH: Israeli wine researchers aim to revive ancient libations. Matching indigenous grapes with archaeological finds, Elyashiv Drori hopes to recreate the drinks enjoyed by King David (Ben Sales, JTA/Times of Israel).
ARIEL, West Bank (JTA) — The small cardboard box in Elyashiv Drori’s palm looks like it’s full of black pebbles.

Closing the box quickly, he explains that it cannot be open for long. The pebble-like pieces, which were uncovered in an archaeological dig near Jerusalem’s Old City, are in fact remains of a kilo of grapes stored nearly 3,000 years ago. They were preserved under layers of earth from the era when David and Solomon ruled over the Land of Israel.

Next to his laboratory at Ariel University, Drori — an oenophile who has judged international wine competitions — already has barrels of wine made from grapes that have grown in Israel for two millennia. Finding a living sample of the 3,000-year-old grapes will be the next step in his years-long quest to produce wine identical to that consumed in ancient Israel.

A recent potentially relevant story is noted here. And for similar efforts to resurrect ancient beer, see here and links.