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The history of the vine and winemaking from the very beginning is a winding route that stretches back over more than 7,000 years. Few facts are known about the early years. It is generally accepted that wine was made for the first time in Persia, with evidence of wine production dating back as far as 6000 BC. From there, winemaking spread to Egypt, where written references to wine dating back to 5000 BC have been found. At about that same time, the Phoenicians began making wine. By 2000 BC , the Greeks and the Cretans had also begun producing wine. The Cretans in particular became famous for exporting quality wine. By 1000 BCE, the inhabitants of Sicily, Italy, and most countries in North Africa had begun planting vineyards, and 500 years later wine production spread to Spain, the south of France, and Arabia. In about 100 BCE, wine was also made in northern India and China. Winemaking then spread to the Balkan states and northern Europe. The history of wine virtually ground to a halt for the next 1,000 years as the decline of the Roman Empire and Europe's Dark Ages curtailed its development. Explorers in the 16th century accelerated the pace again, and by 1530 the vine had spread to Mexico and Japan. Some 30 years later Argentina imported vine plantings, followed a short while later by Peru and Chile. The next milestone was the planting of vineyards in South Africa in 1655. California followed in 1697, and Australia and New Zealand in 1813. A 750ml bottle contains approximately 5 5-oz. classes of wine, so be sure to buy enough for everyone at your event. Be careful not to serve your wine too cold or too warm. Americans typically serve white wine too cold and red wine too warm. Whites should ideally be served at 40º - 50º F, while red wines will be more enjoyable if served at 55º - 65º F. Serving at these temperatures will enhance your enjoyment of the wines. Serving your wines "family style" can lend charm to any event. Just open your selections and let your guest help themselves to the tastes they like. – Description from AlexJelena

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