A 6,100-year-old winery that was discovered in a cave by archaeologists in 2007 in the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province of the Republic of Armenia and full findings of the excavations were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in January 2011.
The winery consists of fermentation vats, a wine press, storage jars, pottery shards, drinking cups and bowls, and is believed to be at least a thousand years older than the winery unearthed in the West Bank in 1963, which is the second oldest currently known.
The excavations were sponsored by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the National Geographic Society and carried out by a team of archaeologists led by Gregory Areshian and Hans Barnard, both from UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, and Boris Gasparyan of the Armenian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.
Excavations at the Areni-1 site began in 2007 and continued until September 2010, when Armenian, American and Irish archaeologists fully unearthed a large, well-preserved 2-foot (60 centimeters) deep vat, along with a 3.5-foot (one meter) long basin made of clay and covered with malvidin. In addition to these discoveries were found grape seeds, remains of pressed grapes, prunes, walnuts, and desiccated vines. A number of drinking cups, found next to a set of ancient graves, were also excavated, suggesting that the site was used for funeral ceremonies and ritualistic practices. The cave was abandoned after its roof caved in, and the organic material was preserved thanks to sheep dung, which prevented fungi from destroying the remains.