Viticulture in Egypt is already many thousands of years old, although this area is not among the cradles of viticulture Mesopotamia or Transcaucasia is counted. An early Egyptian wine culture is evidenced by numerous paintings in grave chambers with wine motifs and depictions of wine making. Such finds date back to the 5th dynasty, ie until 2500 BC. Back. A well-known example is the one shown in the picture from the tomb of Chaemwese in Thebes around 1450 BC. There are various wine making steps such as grape picking and fermentation in containers, as well as the loading of a ship with amphorae shown:
In other pictures that will pounding The grape goods were shown with feet, with the workers clinging to bar just above head height. Most of the finds come from the modern city of Luxor in Upper Egypt, the ancient capital of the empire, called by the Greeks "hundred-torn Thebes". A private winery is described in inscriptions from the tomb of Metjen, a senior official in the 4th dynasty (2620-2500 BCE). In Saqqara, in the Nile delta, he owned a large estate with vineyards, which are described in the inscription as follows: A very large pond was created, figs and grapes were planted. Trees and grapes were planted in large quantities and a lot of wine was made from it .
In the hitherto only intact pharaoh grave of the Tut-Ench-Amun (around 1350 BC) 36 amphorae with dried-up wine remains were found. There were 26 of them vintage. ancestry (Vineyard), owner and supreme winemaker (so to speak the winemaker) labeled. For example, the origin is called a "western river," which most likely means the western arm of the Nile delta, where in Lower Egypt at Behbeit el-Hagar, Memphis, and Sile were the best vineyards. In 2004, US scientists discovered in remnants of Tut-Ench-Amun pitchers a substance found only in red wines. This is proof that it was possible to produce both white wine and red wine.
In various texts, the close connection between the wine and the diverse Egyptian divine world is depicted. According to Egyptian beliefs, wine was referred to as the "sweat of the sun god Re" (most important ancient Egyptian god), "tear of Horus" (son of Re) or "child of the sky". The god of the hereafter and the rebirth Osiris was considered "master of winemaking" or "master of wine in abundance". The goddess responsible for love, peace, beauty, dance, art and music Hathor At the annual "Feast of Drunkenness", wine was offered in jugs, because wine was a symbol of the blood and the power of resurrection after death. That's why she was called the "mistress of the jugs" and the "mistress of drunkenness".
Wine and beer counted to the Pharaoh guaranteed minimum income of every Egyptian. Wine was the preferred drink of the upper classes, while the poorer population enjoyed the easier-to-make beer. The staple foods were bread and beer. This also paid workers in the quarries and large-scale construction projects such as the pyramids. The Greek scholar and historian Herodotus (482-425 BC) visited Egypt during his travels and also reported on wine and the then drinking culture, At the time of the Roman Empire, large quantities of Egyptian wine were exported to Rome.
According to a hypothesis Greek colonists in the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) in the oasis of Al-Fayoum south of Cairo have introduced the wine. In 2012, the vineyards covered 71,000 hectares with an upward trend. They are mainly used for growing table grapes used in the fertile Fayoum Basin be grown. The most common variety is Muscat d'Alexandrie, The desert-like, dry climate makes an artificial one irrigation unavoidable. The annual wine production was only 45,000 hectoliters, which takes place mainly in state-owned enterprises. This small amount is on the Islamic alcohol ban due.