American Archeologists Discover 9000-Year-Old Recipe for Chinese Wine

January 24, 2007 Updated: January 24, 2007

American archeologists have discovered an ancient formula for brewing wine on the fragments of pottery uncovered from the 9000-year-old Jiahu ruins in Henan Province. The composition was successfully analyzed and now one American brewing company uses the same formula to make ancient Chinese wine as a modern beer, naming it “Château Jiahu.” It has been prepared to hit the market this July.

According to the Chongqing Evening News, the Jiahu ancient ruins, situated in Wuyang County, Luohe City of Henan Province, date back 9000 years. It was covered in a flood and recovered again in the 1980s. American archeologist Professor McGovern obtained 16 pottery fragments in 2004 from the Jiahu ruins, and discovered traces of alcohol within these pots. He used chemical analysis to extract the substance from the fragments.

After laboratory tests, the traces were found to contain honey, Chinese hawthorn, grapes, and rice, as well as other ingredients. It was similar in composition to modern rice wine and grape wines, confirming that 9000 years ago the people of Jiahu had the knowledge to brew wines. This discovery pushed the history of wine from 5000 years to 9000 years old. China has now become the earliest country to brew wine.

McGovern had the formula, but did not know how it was made. He later gave the formula to a brewery in Delaware. This brewery used a kind of Chinese wine (Qujiu) to imitate traditional Chinese wine-brewing methods and successfully made “Château Jiahu” [from the discovered formula] as a modern beer made by traditional ancient brewing methods.

“Château Jiahu” is eight percent alcohol, has a champagne-like golden color, and is fragrant and sweet. To test its marketability, the brewery gathered a sampling group in New York City, which gave it very positive feedback. It will be officially released this July. American consumers can then taste the deliciousness of 9000-year-old ancient Chinese wine.