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Wine production

Harvest in late summer (August), without tools, mainly by men.  
Grapes were placed into baskets.  
The baskets were emptied into a treading vat.  
Treading the grapes underfoot.  
The remainder was pressed (wrung out) in a cloth or a sack to gather all liquid.  
Fermentation (i.e. grape juice turns into wine - sugar turns into alcohol); the wine has to be sealed, otherwise it turns into vinegar.
  • one or two days of fermentation - light wine
  • several weeks - heavy wine
  • longer period - wine turns into vinegar
From the scant evidence it seems that red wine was very common in ancient Egypt; white wine is first securely attested in the third century AD.  
In the tomb of Tutankhamun wine jars were found with the inscription: irp nDm 'Sweet wine'. Partly dried grapes, (because they contain concentrated sugar) were used for producing sweet wine. Sweet wines have a high alcohol content and are therefore longer resistant
'Blended wine' (irp smA), appears on labels found at Malqata. It is not certain whether wine of different years, vineyards or types were mixed.  
Other wines mentioned in Egyptian texts were made from sweet fruits, such as dates and fig.  

Murray/Boulton/Heron 2000: 585-593


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