Two thousand years ago, vineyards grew on the plains of present-day Jordan and produced the wines consumed by the Nabateans of Petra. Recently discovered cave paintings (shown here) and the Qasr Al-Bint Temple [pictured below] dedicated to the Nabatean’s chief god Dashara, related to the Greek god of wine Dionysus, provide evidence of the important role of wine in Petra.
After touring Petra today, I retreated to my hotel in Amman to partake of modern Jordanian wine made by Omar Zumot. Producing and selling wine in a 95 percent teetotaling country is a challenge, but the Zumot wines, especially the Winemaker’s Selection line, are world class. Produced in high altitude, very low yielding, organically certified vineyards, these wines are an extremely pleasant surprise to the traveler in Jordan. Unfortunately, it’s neither easy to export alcoholic beverages from Jordan nor to find foreign markets for wine from a country that ceased producing it in the 7th century AD. But those who love and are curious about wine should definitely try Zumot Wines wherever they may find them. [Not in the US, unfortunately!]