Phoenix Winery & Vineyards

Dedicated to people who love wine

Hello & Welcome!


My name is Guenther Heeb.  I am the winemaker and owner of the Phoenix Winery & Vineyards which is set in the beautiful countryside of the Missouri Ozark Region. I am German by birth; born and raised in one of the finest wine regions in Germany.   Our wines are deeply influenced by my German heritage and love of wine.  I've created this site so that I can share that love of wine with you. (Please visit our sister site: )

A Brief History of Wine

The grapevine is as old as history itself.


The earliest evidence is found in the fossils of some sixty million years ago; though it is improbable that this grape could have been used for making wine. Coming somewhat nearer to our times, a vine is found in the relics of the quaternary period of the Upper Paleolithic Age. About 100,000 years ago; it was a vine whose fruit was capable of producing wine. It is probably the original source of the many species of vines and varieties of wine which successive civilizations have developed all over the world.


However, fable gives us a clue as to the discovery of wine. A lady of the King Jamshid’s court in Persia is reported to have been so driven to desperation by the loss of royal favor that she decided to end her life by draining the juice of eating grapes which had gone bad in a storing jar. She succumbed to the fermented juice, and awoke to find that the stresses and strains which had made life intolerable had disappeared. She returned to the source of her relief and presumably her conduct became so remarkable that she was noticed again by King Jamshid. His court then also enjoyed, and made full use of, this new drink.


It is certain that viticulture and wine drinking started by 4000 B.C.  The first development was in the Middle East around the Caspian Sea and in Mesopotamia about 6000- 4000 B.C. in Asia Minor and Phoenicia about 3000 B.C.  Texts from the tombs of the 5th, 6th, and 7th dynasties of Egypt prove conclusively that wine was in general use throughout Egypt in 2750- 2500 B.C.


The tide continued to flow westward. Wine making and drinking in Europe accompanied  the spread of Greek civilization.  First in the Aegean, and then on the mainland, by the 16th century B.C. The foundation of viticulture throughout Western Europe owes its origin and strength to the ever widening influence of the Roman Empire after the decline of Greece, starting in Italy, Sicily and North Africa about 1000 B.C.  The foundations of the French, German and Spanish wine production were, however, well and truly laid by the Romans. They also brought the grapevine to Britain but for climatic reasons cultivation was not wide spread.


Exploration, conquest and settlement each led in its turn to the introduction of the vine wherever climatic conditions made it possible - Mexico, the Argentine, the Cape of Good Hope and California developed vineyards in the nineteenth centuries; Australia followed at the beginning of the 19th Century. 


The rest, as there history. 


Please visit our sister site, if you would like to find out about our wine club