World’s oldest wine discovered in ancient Roman burial site

The tomb's conditions, safe from natural elements, allowed the wine to be preserved for 2,000 years

The world’s oldest bottle of wine was recently discovered in an ancient Roman burial site in southern Spain, according to a study published this week. 

The wine remains in a glass funeral urn inside an ancient mausoleum, untouched for around 2,000 years in the Andalusian town of Carmona. 

ancient roman urn

An urn containing reddish liquid.  (University of Córdoba )

A family found the sunken tomb in 2019 while doing work on their home. The discovery made headlines when a team of researchers discovered that the urn contained a liquid with a "reddish hue." 

A team of researchers conducted a series of tests to confirm that the liquid was in fact wine, as was their suspicion.  


"At first we were very surprised that liquid was preserved in one of the funerary urns," said the City of Carmona's municipal archaeologist Juan Manuel Román, who was part of the team that conducted the study, along with the Department of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cordoba. 

roman burial tomb

An ancient Roman tomb located in southern Spain.  (University of Córdoba )

The team found that the tomb's conservation conditions were "extraordinary," having been well-sealed for two millennia, allowing the wine to, for the most part, remain in its natural state. 

funeral chamber

An ancient Roman funeral chamber.  (University of Córdoba )

The team published the findings of their study Tuesday in the Journal of Archaeological Science. 

The discovery breaks the previous record of the Speyer wine bottle discovered in 1867 and dating from the fourth century AD. 

The Speyer wine is preserved at the Historical Museum of Pfalz in Germany. 

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