"Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard." Genesis 9.20-21
Many have noticed the striking coincidence that Mount Ararat, where the Ark came to rest, is located where the cultivation of grapevines is believed to have originated - Transcaucasia, south of the Black Sea. However, even if one accepts the Biblical origins of viticulture, it is not necessary to plant a vineyard in order to produce wine. It is likely that early communities discovered the apparently miraculous transformation of grapes into wine when they first collected the fruit of wild vines: the berries will naturally, and quickly, ferment due to the presence of air-borne yeast on the grape skins. One wonders how these communities explained how grape juice acquired the intoxicating properties which seem to have caught poor Noah unawares - "When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent."