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Syria

Syria (GB)
Siria (I)
Siria (ES)
Syrie (F)
Síria (PO)
Syrië (N)
This state on the Mediterranean coast, bordering Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, is one of the cradles of viticulture. Parts of the north-east were part of the cultural landscape of Mesopotamia. The coastal area and parts of Lebanon were part of Phoenicia in the 2nd and 1st millennium BC. Phoenician city-states located in what is now Syria were Arados (Arwad) and Ugurit (Latakia). Vines were already cultivated here at least at the beginning of the 2nd millennium. The wine produced was delivered to Egypt to the court of the Pharaohs, among others. The capital Damascus was founded around 1,500 B.C. as the centre of the Aramaic Empire and is mentioned in the Bible as a wine-growing centre. In the 8th century BC the country came under the rule of Assyria and in 64 BC it was conquered by the Romans under the general Pompey (106-48 BC). It is worth mentioning that glass was produced here as early as the 2nd century BC and the art of glassblowing was invented

Viniculture existed until the 1970s, but was then virtually eliminated by Islamic fundamentalism and the associated ban on alcohol. The famous English wine author Cyrus Redding (1785-1870) reported that red and white wine of Bordeaux quality was produced in Syria. At that time, there must have been significant viticulture. From 1920 to 1944, Syria was under French mandate, which led to the introduction of French grape varieties and a revival of viticulture. At the beginning of the 1990s, there were still 120,000 hectares of vineyards. By 2012, this had shrunk to 49,000 hectares, but these are used almost exclusively for table grapes and raisins. The low wine production of around 1,000 hectares of vineyards with French grape varieties in the hills around Damascus, Aleppo and Hems is due to the Christian minority. However, due to the civil war that raged from 2011 onwards, viticulture came to an almost complete standstill.

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