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Winter is here and while it might be cold outside it is a great excuse for entertaining with friends! With delicious food and wine flowing we like to think there is more to that bottle on the table than "red or white".

We have put together a few facts about wine to be sure you have some great intel when the conversation flows to that new bottle of red on the table.

What gives red wine and white wine their colours?

Surprisingly both red and white grapes both produce a clear liquid. What gives red wine its colour is the time it is left on skins during the fermentation process. The colour of the skin infuses the wine and produces its distinctive colour. Conversely, white wines go through the fermentation process without their skins.

How many grapes go into a glass of wine?

Most of us have visited a vineyard and seen the thousands of grapes on the vines but how many really go into making a glass of wine? 1 glass of wine consists of the juice of one cluster of grapes, which is 75 grapes!

The origins of red wine pre date white wine

The green coloured grapes that produce white wines are thought to have originated from a DNA mutation of red grapes. This theory is supported by the fact that Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc share the same genetics.

Where in the world did wine originate from?

Despite popular belief, the French did not invent wine. In fact, the oldest known winemaking dates back to 5400 BC in Iran. Traces of wine has been found in pottery jars in the Zagros Mountains. The Egyptians were the next civilisation to establish a winemaking industry, with Pharoahs loving wine so much that took thousands of litres with them to their tombs.

Why do we say cheers?

Cheers is a favourite amongst friends and family during celebration but the actual origins are far more sinister. The ritual dates back to the Middle Ages when poisoning was a favourite way to anonymously get rid of an enemy. Before consuming, drinkers would pour a bit of their wine into each other’s glass to ensure it was poison free.

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Awatere Valley