grapes

Grape vineyards and wineries are pretty much synonymous in Scarterra.   Grapes can be used for things other than wine, but the fate of grapes is tied to wineries. In Scarterra, much as Earth, grapes were and are mostly grown in order to make wine and this is why grapes were spread.   In Feudal Era of the Third Age, the plurality but not majority of alcoholic beverages in Scarterra are some variant of grape wine.

Additional Information

Domestication

All Scarterran grapes like sunny areas. Lunatus Grapes grow best in subtropical climates and Condenya Grapes thrive in sunny temperate areas. Selective breeding of grape vines has created several new Third Age varieties of grape. There are six common derivatives of Lunatus grapes (counting the original grape) and seven or eight obscure local varieties. There are three common varieties of the Codenya grape (counting the original grape) and four or five obscure local varieties. Any wine aficionado can figure out immediately if a new type of wine is descended from Codenya or Lunatus grapes.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Grapes can be eaten as is, made into jams or jellies, or dried into raisins, but the vast majority of grapes end up used to make wine.   Of the several Third Age variants of grapes, the so called candy grape is the only grape that is not grown for wine (very few people like the wine). Candy grapes are grown in the Elven Empire and are valued for making tasty raisins and jams.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Wine is a known beverage almost everywhere in Scarterra. Wine is the drink of choice for most modern elves. Wine is a very popular drink in the subequatorial regions of West Colassia, East Colassia, Penarchia, and Umera.   In other areas, some vineyards do exist and imported wine is fairly common, but other alcoholic beverages are more popular than wine in most of these places. Vodka is the most common drink in southern Penarchia. Rice wine is the most common drink in southern Umera. Ale is the most common drink is the interior of West Colassia and East Colassia probably enjoys the widest mix of spirits in all Scarterra with a wide variety of locally produced spirits.

Civilization and Culture

History

Grapes in the First Age

  Vineyards and wineries existed in the First Age, but they were not especially common. It takes a lot of grapes to make enough wine to satisfy a dragon or giant. Because of this limitation, wine was a wealthy dragon's beverage that common dragons and the thurekal only got to taste on holidays and special occasions.    

Grapes in the Second Age

    Vineyards expanded rapidly in the the Second Age. Wine became ubiquitously available throughout all of Scarterra drank by peasant and prince alike (though of course the princes got better vintages).   Wine wasn't just an alcoholic beverage in the Second Age, it was the alcoholic beverage. It was not uncommon for peasants to drink wine, but it was uncommon for princes to not drink wine. Vodka, ale, whiskey, and most other alcoholic beverages were known in the Second Age, but they were viewed as libations of the lower classes, rarely touched by self-respecting elf nobles. If a noble lord or lady ruled over land ill suited to grow grapes, the nobility would import their wine from elsewhere.   Nearly every nation and culture boasted their own local vintages and breeds of wine grape. There were dozens if not hundreds of varieties of grape known in Scarterra at this time. Many elves and non-elves alike developed a taste for foreign wine faire. This created a booming trade. If anything wine was probably the biggest driver of economics in the Second Age as merchants in other trades would piggyback off of wine trading routes.   Tengku made a niche for themselves in the Second Age by frequently running vineyards and wine caravans on behalf of their elf clients. Even in the Third Age, tengku are disproportionately represented in the wine trade. Some surviving historical records mention, half in jest, that elves would not have tolerated tengku at all if they weren't able to deliver quality wine on demand.    

Grapes in the Third Age

  During the Second Unmaking, a great many vineyards were abandoned. Some of them were burned or frozen by Void Demons forward thinking enough to destroy crops, but a lot of grapes grew wild.   There were a lot of harsh winters in the Second Unmaking and the Little Unmaking, this wiped out a lot of wild and cultivated grapes. Of the dozens of varieties of Scarterran grape once known in the Second Age, all but two were extinct by the dawn of the Third Age.     The two surviving grape varieties are now known as "Lunatus grapes" and "Codenya grapes" because these are the lands where grapes survived. These grapes were and are associated with grey elves and wood elves respectively for obvious reasons.   Technically there were FOUR surviving grapes. Both Lunatus and Codenya had green grapes and red variants of their basic grape.   Both varieties of grapes have spread throughout Scarterra. Given that Nami is the goddess of wine, it was not uncommon to find Rovers spearheading the spread of vineyards in the early Third Age, but wine was popular enough that they didn't need religious endorsement to spread. Tengku and other traders were economically incentivized to spread wine grapes throughout Scarterra.   Selective breeding has created new sub varieties of Lunatus and Codenya grapes. They have not reached the diversity of wine grapes available in the Second Age, but each of two main families of grapes has many variants and derivatives throughout Scarterra