Spain: History to Columbus

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Although the wine-growing phoenicians founded Cádiz c.1100 bc on the coast of southern Spain, they did not introduce viticulture to the Iberian peninsula, for the vine had been cultivated in Spain since between 4000 and 3000 bc. Grapes, found in Spain from the close of the Tertiary era onwards, pre-date Homo sapiens by millions of years.

Cádiz, gateway to the Atlantic, was an important Phoenician trading post. After the Phoenicians came the Carthaginians, themselves inhabitants of a city—carthage—founded by Phoenicians. The Carthaginians grew wine in Spain; more importantly, they were a threat to the emerging republic of Ancient rome.