Good Grapes: 10 Oldest Wines in the World

Ethanol consumption began long ago to the point that ten percent of the enzymes created by the human liver are dedicated to creating energy from alcohol. Wine is one of the oldest fermented beverages on earth and has led to the worldwide cultivation of fine grapes. What are the 10 oldest wines in the world?

Although it is the grapes that make a good wine, processing methods also make a difference. Sipping wine allows us to taste water, soil, air and technology from a snapshot of time in specific places. United States, Chile, France, Italy, Argentina and many more places you can travel through your passions.

Winemaking began in the Neolithic period between 8500 BCE and 4000 BCE. Although wine is known to increase in value as it ages, if it is kept too long it can age to the point of being undrinkable. However, wine is a time capsule and some are designed to be enjoyed centuries after they were created.

What are the world’s 10 oldest wines and best grapes? We will now discuss.

10 oldest wines in the world

grapes
Winemaking began in the Neolithic period between 8500 BCE and 4000 BCE.

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Some of the oldest wines in the world are:

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  1. Commanderia: 5,000 years old
  2. Speyer wine bottle from 350 CE
  3. Strasbourg Hospital Vine from 1472 CE
  4. Žametovka Maribor wine is 350 years old
  5. Kloster Eberbach wine from 1706 CE
  6. Rüdesheimer Apostelwein wine from 1727 CE
  7. 1774 CE to Vin John d’Arbois
  8. Chateau Margaux from 1787 CE
  9. Turkey Flat Shiraz from 1847
  10. Penfolds Calima Block 42 from 1888 CE

10. Oldest Continuous Cabernet Sauvignon: Penfolds Calymna Block 42 from 1888 CE

An area known as Block 42 at Penfolds Calymna Vineyard in Australia’s Barossa Valley fueled the creation of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon in continuous production.

The vines have been alive since 1888 and are producing good grapes. The wine sells for around $700 a bottle from a variety of retailers.

9. Australia’s oldest commercial wine: Turkey Flat Shiraz from 1847 CE

Australia on the map
Turkey Flat in Australia’s Barossa Valley has been making wine since 1847 CE.

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Turkey Flat’s Shiraz is the oldest commercially produced wine still being created. Turkey Flat in Australia’s Barossa Valley has been making wine since 1847 CE. A bottle from ancient vines known as “The Ancestors” is available for a little over a hundred dollars depending on the year.

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The name “Turkey Flat” refers to the birds observed by the original Prussian colonists in the area. They are Australian bustards that look vaguely like domesticated European turkeys. Today, they are rarely seen near a vineyard, but they are an animal of least concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

8. Oldest spilled wine: Chateau Margaux from 1787 CE

On April 23, 1989, the 1787 Chateau Margaux bottle of France was broken. Bill Sokolin, a wine merchant and owner of 1787 Chateau Margaux, spilled eighty percent of the contents of a bottle at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan, NY.

The bottle of wine was insured for $225,000 so it wasn’t a total loss. He originally asked $519,750 for it, and he paid $212,000 to buy it. The little that remained was eaten by Sokolin and others, who said it still tasted like wine, but not as good.

7. Oldest bottle of French wine: Vin John d’Arbois from 1774 CE

White wine pouring into glasses, close-up
This wine is a yellow wine originating from the Jura region of eastern France.

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The oldest French wine bottles available to the public are three bottles of Vin John from 1774 CE, which were auctioned in France in 2018. This wine is a yellow wine originating from the Jura region of eastern France. These bottles come from the Vercell family cellar of their historic winery and are vintage in the same year that King Louis XVI ascended the throne.

Jura Enchers sold the bottles to a Canadian buyer, who in turn sold the purchased wines to Americans. A single bottle has fetched as much as $120,000.

6. Oldest German white wine: Rüdesheimer Apostelwein wine from 1727 CE

Rüdesheimer Apostelwein wine originates from the cellar of the Bremer Ratskeller in Bremen, Germany. It is dated 1727 CE.

Bottles of this wine cost around $200,000 and reportedly still taste great due to its high sugar content. In the 1960s, it was converted from old barrels into bottles.

5. Oldest German red wine: Kloster Eberbach wine from 1706 CE

Mustang grape
This unholy monastery is the oldest wine producer in Germany.

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The oldest German red wine is Kloster Eberbach wine from 1706 CE. The winery dates back to 1136 CE and this red is the oldest wine left in their cellar. This unholy monastery is the oldest wine producer in Germany.

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Kloster Eberbach is a Cistercian monastery for the Catholic Church in Eltville am Rhein, Germany. After it was converted to secular use by the state, it became first an asylum and then a prison. It is now an entertainment venue and the government continues to manage the vineyard.

4. The Oldest Grape: Zametovka Grapevine in Maribor is 350 years old

In northeastern Slovenia, in the city of Maribor, the oldest fruit-bearing grape still fuels winemaking efforts. It is over 350 years old and was saved in the 1980s before the house attached to it was demolished due to neglect. It is now flourishing again and is the main attraction at the festival in its honor at harvest time.

About 120 pounds of red grapes are produced and turned into wine each year. It is then bottled in about a hundred small bottles.

The grape variety is called Žametovka and is one of the oldest grapes in the region. Grafts from these vines cut in a pruning program are distributed to wine connoisseurs around the world.

3. Oldest Casked Wine: Strasbourg Hospital Wine from 1472 CE

Wine and cask with glass
Many people who are rich enough to fit a hospital have a hand in the very popular wine business.

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Strasbourg wine from the Grand Est region of France is the oldest cased wine. On January 21, 2015, the Historic Cellars of the Hospices de Strasbourg transferred 1472 wines into a new cask for safekeeping. This casket is specially designed to retain its properties in its place.

The cellar where this wine still lives was built between 1393 and 1395 and was part of the hospital. One of the reasons a hospital needed a wine cellar in the Middle Ages was as a way to store payment. When someone in need of medical assistance could not afford the services, wine was used instead of money.

Many people who are rich enough to fit a hospital have a hand in the very popular wine business. A cellar helped the hospital to store this liquid currency. Stored wine was believed to have medicinal properties, and the cellar allowed wine to be available, which was used for many ailments.

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A few centuries later, the hospital traded and sold the wine it created itself. Today, local artisans own and run the cellar according to standards from the fifteenth century.

2. Oldest unopened wine bottle: Speyer wine bottle from 350 CE

Spier wine bottle is the oldest unopened wine bottle in the world. It was created around 350 CE and was found in a great couple’s tomb.

The Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, Germany owns this wine bottle. It was found locally and dates back to the ancient Roman period.

Since the bottle is unopened, the exact makeup of the liquid inside is beyond imagination. The museum that owns it is reluctant to open it if it is damaged by exposure to air. What is known is that unidentified herbs are suspended in it and it is not wine because of its extreme age.

In all other tombs and archaeological excavations from this period, the liquid in the intact bottles was lost. It is unique because of the wax seal over the opening and the large amount of olive oil poured into the bottle. Since wine is water-based, olive oil is suspended on the wine and is the main reason the liquid has been preserved for millennia.

1. The oldest wine variety: Commanderia is 5,000 years old

A grape vine in a Cyprus winery
The wine was named after the newly acquired protectorate by knights who participated in the Crusades in the 1200s.

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Commanderia has been produced in Limassol, Cyprus for perhaps 5,000 years. The wine was named after the newly acquired protectorate by knights who participated in the Crusades in the 1200s. It has a history of export and this tradition continues today through Australia, Scandinavia, France, Russia and the United States.

It is a dessert wine that requires specific grape management. If you take it once, it will stay in the sun for ten days. This increases the sugar concentration of the fruit. The grapes are pressed, fortified and stored in oak barrels for at least two years.

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