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Vines and Wines

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

The Land of Israel has been a leader in Viticulture (the study and practice of cultivating grapevines) and Enology (the study of wine and winemaking) for the past 10 thousand years.

With more than 140 references to this delicious fruit of the vine, wine plays a significant role in the Bible. From the days of Noah in Genesis (Genesis 9:18–27) to the time of Solomon (Song of Solomon 7:9) and on through the New Testament to the book of Revelation (Revelation 14:10), wine appears in the biblical text.

A standard drink in the ancient world, wine was one of God’s special blessings to bring joy to His people’s hearts (Deuteronomy 7:13; Jeremiah 48:33; Psalm 104:14–15). Yet the Bible makes it clear that overindulgence and abuse of wine are dangerous practices that can ruin one’s life (Proverbs 20:1; 21:17).

The fruit of the vine is even part of the logo for the Ministry of Tourism which depicts the biblical “tourists” (Joshua and Caleb) carrying fruit back from exploring the fertile Holy Land. “And they came to the Valley of Eshkol and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them” (Numbers 13:23). (see Ministry of Tourism logo below)

‘Eshkol’ means bunch or cluster in Hebrew, and the location is probably in the south Judean hills which even today is a center of viticulture. This a region of small vineyards and many wineries, which is bisected by the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Some of the most prominent wineries are Domaine du Castel (perhaps Israel's most famous estate), Flam Winery (owned by one of the country's leading wine families), white wine specialist Sphera and Tzora vineyards (whose winemaker is Israel's first Master of Wine).

Wine symbolizes life and vitality. It was also a sign of joy, blessing, and prosperity in the Bible (Genesis 27:28). Called “strong drink” thirteen times in the Bible, wine was a potent alcoholic beverage and aphrodisiac.

If you are interested in Viticulture and Enology consider Booking Tours of vineyards and wine-tastings in the Judean Hills and neighboring areas.

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