This is the first draft of the first three stops along my world-and-year-wide tour. It begins in immense turmoil (and Lebanon is next, followed by Uzbekistan). I've realized that there are three historical divisions at work in this story. Muslim vs. Christian world. Colonialism vs. well, everyone, really. And finally Globalization vs. Economic Independence (also, everyone, really.)
To throw myself into these worlds, currently imagined from research's thin gleaning, to attempt it at all-- Well, I have to be Faust once in my life.
Arrival on the Island of Aphrodite. The impetus for this strange journey explained, my small host of vines on the Kansas plains. Commandaria, the world's first wine? Ayios Mamas: a partisan village from the war for independence. Revecca Spirits Winery. Traditional, preserved. First harvest. Then, travel north, towards Nicosia, a city torn in two. Arrival at Vlassides Winery in Kilani. Innovation and chemistry. The Turkish legacy, once settlers, now laborers. The future of antiquity.
Is this enemy territory? Armenian genocide, Islam, Cypriot invasion. Black market production. Arrival at the Corvus Winery on the wine island of Bozcaada. The vanguard of quality Turkish wine. Then, off to Elazig, in Eastern Turkey, to harvest Oküzgözü, one of Turkey's traditional varieties. A trip to Mt. Ararat, site, it is said, of Noah's vineyards.
Arrival in Galilee. Wine and the Old Testament. Yekev Ben-Zimra Winery, Israeli co-operative agricultural tradition. The Golan Heights Winery. Wine-making in a contested land. A spectator in the experimental wine-making station. Then, the Cremisan Winery in Palestine, founded in 1885.