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Italian winemaking thousands of years older than previously thought

Davide Tanasi / University of South Florida

Scientists from the University of South Florida discovered wine residue in roughly 6,000-year-old terra cotta jars in a Sicilian cave, indicating that wine production began in Italy thousands of years before the previously assumed date of 1200 B.C., per The Guardian.

How they found it: According to the paper published in the Microchemical Journal, the researchers found that the jars had residue containing tartaric acid, a component of grapes that accumulates during winemaking. Previous attempts to date the viniculture of Italy had relied on attempting to date preserved vines and seeds.

What's next: The team hopes to carry out a more sophisticated scientific analysis to determine if the wine was red or white.

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