Wine in North Africa and the Middle East: History of Wine Part Four

An interview with Aghiles Ourad from the project The Other Grape.

From around 800 BCE ancient Phoenician merchant sailors created commercial hubs and trading stations all over North Affrica and Spain. Doubtless they exported their wine making and grape growing there more than 2600 years ago...

The Mediterranean is for all intends and purposes a lake as much as a sea. The trade and commerce of the peoples living on her shores happened through the sea for millennia. The climate is very similar and the exchange of ideas, foods, and culture almost free-flowing. 

And yet, nowadays, when we talk about wine we only think of French, Spanish, Italian, perhaps Greek and ...that's about it! We completely forget the other half of the Med. The southern shores, the lands of North Africa and the Middle East. A vast area of any fertile lands, that played important roles in the rise and fall of countless empires! The grape was first cultivated and wine drunk in the East. In the Anatolia lands, in modern Turkey but also in Iran and Iraq, and Lebanon. Ancient Egypt too, had a very important wine production.The proper old, old world wines!

Why this blindness persists in our globalised age? And what is the colonial legacy of the wine making and vine growing on these lands?

Yet today we tend to ignore of the wine production of the predominately Muslim countries. Well today we'll try and rectify that!

I hope you'll enjoy our discussion! 

Thom & The Delicious Legacy

Music by Pavlos Kapralos

Aghiles wine adventure is

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