France made wine famous - the prominent chemist Louis Pasteur set out to solve the spoilage problem the domestic wine industry faced and his success set off an international craze- but they didn't make it first.

That was done by early Israelites with a little help from climate change. Except not global warming, global cooling. As time moves on and nature takes her random walk, genes usually follow or die. A paper in Science details how as the climate changed, the Near East (Israel) wild grapevine population (Syl-E1) split off nearly 11,000 years ago - and it forms the basis for all cultivated table grapes which were then carried to eastern and western Europe and became most of the known wine grapes.

Agriculture is what led to civilization but this study shows that in its earliest form agriculture included wine grapes along with animals, wheat, barley and legumes. After a long day in the sun, there was nothing like a glass of vino to take the edge off. As The Economist notes, its appearance in the Old Testament is apparently not far off from how it really happened. 

None of those original varietals are around today but I do have a bottle of Vin Jaune Savignan Blanc from the Jura region of France, the oldest varietal that has not been genetically modified. That's how well-liked it has been for 900 years, even the French couldn't find fault in it.