The Pilgrimage: Israel Part Seven


Ah viticulture. The making of wine is a very ancient practice indeed, and yes it was fermented, so yes it was alcoholic, though we are not sure just how strong it was. The process of making wine involved of course the picking of the grapes when ripe, and then the stomping of them. But here’s the thing…. you need to be barefoot and you need to gently step on them so the juice will flow out into the trough, and down into the basin below. Otherwise you lose too much of the precious grape juice. So no stomping, just gentle crushing.


Then after fermentation, there is the other end of the process, namely you need to put it in wineskins, only not the brand new wine. And here is a man making a wineskin out of sheepskin.

The other thing that was ubiquitous in the landscape of Jesus’ world was of course olive trees. Olive oil was a staple for so many things, including of course to use with bread for dipping. Here below you will see an olive tree in Nazareth Village (and this picture also shows just how clearly this re-creation village is in the middle of town).

The difference between olives and grapes is of course the former has a considerable pit, and there is actually even some good stuff to be extracted from the pits, hence the olive press. Below you will see one type of olive press (and by the way the word Gethsemane means olive press), and three Methodist ministers trying mightly to crush a few olives :)

You may or may not be im-pressed with their results. One more thing. This land is rocky, limestone rocky, and hard to plow….. see the picture below.