Saturday, October 2, 2010

After the Flood, first thing, Noah plants a vineyard

If you had just spent more than a month on a cramped wooden boat packed with two of all the planet's animals–think huge smelly number of beasts and critters, perhaps getting seasick floating on a flooded earth, what would be the first thing you did when you stepped on dry ground?

If you were Noah, you would plant a vineyard and become a winemaker. Why? That Bible story
in Genesis 9 always amazed me. I picture a waterlogged earth covered with flood mud much as the Willamette Valley was covered with silt brought down from Montana and Washington by the Missoula floods some 40,000 years ago. Then I picture this old bearded guy–some 600 years old–with the foresight to have taken grape cuttings with him on the boat, stepping off the arc into the gooey flood mud to plant a vineyard. What are the priorities here?

Then Noah's after-the-flood vineyard story continues as a drunken affair where he curses one of his sons–Canaan–to become a slave, affecting the rest of human history. Now that's a vineyard story that's hard to match.

So why do vineyards and wine take on so much importance in Biblical history? Any ideas as to what varietal Noah planted?

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