Wine-growing in Egypt is already many thousands of years old, although this area is not counted among the cradles of viticulture like Mesopotamia or Transcaucasia. An early Egyptian wine culture is evidenced by numerous paintings in burial chambers with wine motifs and illustrations of wine production. Such finds date back to the 5th Dynasty, i.e. to 2500 BC. A well-known example is the one shown in the picture from the tomb of Chaemwese in Thebes around 1450 B.C. It depicts various winemaking steps such as grape harvesting and fermentation in containers, as well as the loading of a ship with amphorae:
Other pictures show the stomping of the grapes with feet, with the workers holding on to poles placed just above head height. Most of the finds come from the present-day city of Luxor in Upper Egypt, the ancient capital of the empire, called "hundred-gate Thebes" by the Greeks. A private vineyard is described in inscriptions from the grave of Metjen, a high official in the 4th dynasty (2620 to 2500 BC). He owned a large estate in Sakkara in the Nile delta with vineyards, which are described in the inscription as follows: A very large pond was created, figs and grapes were planted. Trees and grapes were planted in large quantities and a lot of wine was made from them.