Wine has a history back to the 3.000 BC and some researchers think that it goes back to the 7000 BC. The presence of wine records and wall paintings of ancient civilizations are found from Sumerians to the Hittites. Wine is thought to originate in Asia Minor. With migrations and conquests, Anatolian tribes communities took wine with them and wine production has spread to a wider geography. Wine was an important part of daily life in ancient world. Moreover, it became an important commercial commodity in ancient world.
The Thracians deserve a special attention in viticulture. Wine had been a mystery and the journey into the world of wine would be appropriate to begin with the mysterious ancient Thrace. Wine for the Thracians was in every sense of the word a drink, a nutritious liquid for the spirit and body. Their attitude towards wine became the basis of a high wine culture, forming a special quality approach to its acceptance and the wine – making.
Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes who created a unique civilization and lived for millennia, from the middle of II BC – to VI AD, on a territory stretching from the Carpathian Mountains to the Aegean Sea and Asia Minor. They were skilled warriors, excellent farmers and wine became truly legendary. Thracians were also famous for vine growing. It was mentioned in the works of Homer, Herodotus and other ancient historians that the wines produced in Thrace were famous all over the ancient world.
Homer was the first author to write about Thracians in the Iliad. According to Homer, the Greek heroes drank wine, which Achaean ships carried every day on the wide sea from Thrace. Odysseus in his travels also drank wine, which was brought to him by the Thracians. The legendary Troy also derived power from the Thracian wine. Homer mentioned that Thracian warriors had come to help the city of Troy in the Trojan war. According to legend Odysseus used Thracian wine to defeat the Cyclop Polyphemus.
The Thracian culture is one of the oldest wine producing cultures in the world, which had a great contribution to wine making. Moreover, wine was not only a drink; it was a sacred drink. Thracians believed that drinking wine means to drink knowledge, strength and courage. Thrace is the place that is associated with the appearance of the God of wine, Dionysus. Most ancient authors believed that the cult of God of wine originated in ancient Thrace and spread throughout the ancient world. Dionysianism is a particular belief system which became the first organized religion honouring the wine God. The ancient Greek god Dionysus and his Thracian god Zagreus were worshipped by the Thracians as gods of wine. They worshiped the god of wine, building altars in their honor and temples.
Homer’s Iliad refers to the ‘honey-sweet black wine, which the ships of the Achaeans brought daily from the Thracian city of Ismarus to their саmр outside Troy. the Odyssey describes ‘the dark wine and sweet’ of Maron, king of the Cicones. The cunning hero from Ithaca used precisely this wine to get Polyphemus the Cyclops drunk before blinding him. ‘Ву spear mу Ismaric wine is won, which I drink, leaning uроn mу spear’, the Greek poet Archilochus (seventh century BC) writes in оnе of his elegies. In his Works aпd Days, Hesiod mеntions ‘wine of Biblis’, which, according to some ancient authors, meant Thracian wine. Athenaeus writes that “Thrace and the neighboring lands were considered as lands with a sweet wine”.