Origins of Viniculture: The Noah Hypothesis

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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But how early and where was the Eurasian grapevine domesticated? Was it at Hajji Firuz, which lies within the modern distribution of the wild vine, or elsewhere in the Near East? Recent dna profiling of modern wild grape and domesticated vine varieties in Europe and the Near East (including Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia but not yet Lebanon or Iran) points to a single Near Eastern domestication event (the so-called noah Hypothesis). Specifically, a very close relationship has been shown between wild and domesticated vines from eastern Turkey and Georgia and important western European cultivars, including Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Syrah, and Chasselas. Since the European V. v. sylvestris was far removed from these cultivars, it cannot fully account for their origin (see below).