The Bible describes perhaps the first alcohol intoxication in the history of mankind. Noah, leaving the Ark, farmed the land (Genesis 9:18-21) and, after planting a vineyard, he made wine and drank too much, apparently unaware of the effects of the excessive consumption of alcohol.
Tradition indicates the Mount Ararat as the place where the legendary Ark landed after the flood, and the mount is located in the Caucasus. It was precisely in that region, more specifically in Georgia, that archaeological traces of vineyard cultivation and wine production dating back to 6000 BC were recently found, suggesting a respectable 8000-year existence of the beverage.
Thereafter grapes, vines and wine spread throughout the world, largely influencing the Mediterranean cultures from the get-go, both from the decorative and artistic point of view and from a religious and symbolic perspective.
The vine, apparently asleep and dry during the winter, greens and bears fruit in the spring, becoming a clear and rich symbol of life and revival. Wine, in turn, results from a complex process which rapidly becomes symbolic, both because of the possibility of birth of a new product of human endeavour – one of the oldest ones along with bread – and because of the effects of drunkenness, made sacred in Dionysian and Bacchus rituals. In the Jewish world, the Sabbath is characterised by wine, and so is the Kiddush, and in the Catholic and Orthodox world wine plays a central role, for it is understood as the blood of Christ.
Either because of the ancient classic world religions, the presence of both biblical religions, or the mere influence of the Mediterranean world, the Portuguese soon included wine, vines, grapes and grape bunches is their works of art, poetry, and eating and drinking habits.
The Azores thus became a very interesting region, for it consisted of virgin land, and the settlement initiated in the 15th century involved the creation of vineyards, overcoming climatic and geographic difficulties, while filling the territory with artistic elements.
We therefore suggest you travel the island of Terceira with this theme in mind, visiting places, observing artistic elements, understanding stains of landscape, experiencing flavours.
A toast to your and our HEALTH!