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Part 1 of 3 | Words by Eric Ryan. Strangely, for a northerly country that is quite the great banqueting hall, at Tara, and noted how damp and cloudy, a vibrant wine drinking tradition has existed in Ireland for over two millennia. A further oddity is that Irish whiskey has been inextricably linked, for centuries, to this vigorous Irish wine trade. This three-part series will focus initially on “Irish wine”, or the heritage of wine in Ireland, before linking this heritage into the wine merchant/whiskey bonder business of later centuries. The Celts can be credited with first importing wine, most likely of Greek origin, to Ireland. Shards of wine-stained pottery, found in Irish archaeological sites, date as far back as 500BC - approximately the same period that saw the burgeoning of a long-lasting Celtic culture in Ireland. Dating from the first century AD, the “Táin Bó Cúailnge” (Cattle Raid of Cooley) is the earliest and most famous epic in Irish lite
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