They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
The people of Israel have been making wine for centuries—even as early as the time of Noah, where the Bible says he planted a vineyard and enjoyed its fruits (Genesis 9:20). Winemaking is referenced throughout the New Testament and centuries beyond.
Amos 9:14 is a beautiful passage that lays out God’s promises of restoration to the people of Israel. In this verse it says, “They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them.”
The concept of fruitful vineyards is deeply entwined in the biblical prophecies concerning the return of the Jewish people to the land of promise. Wine is used as a symbol of divine grace and love throughout the Bible.
Today in Israel, these promises are coming true with the growth of the wine industry!
Making wine in Israel practically disappeared after the Muslim conquest and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1500s. But for the past hundred years, winemaking in Israel has returned with vigor. Over the decades, Israeli wine has blossomed and has risen to global prominence.
Currently, visitors and wine lovers can take their pick of more than 300 wineries across Israel’s fruited plain. Some people enjoy wine tours of the country’s most prestigious producers of classic and Mediterranean varieties of wine.
A traveler can visit vineyards in the Upper and Lower Galilee, the Coastal Plain along the Mediterranean Sea, the Central Mountains region, and the Jordan Rift Valley, which stretches from the lush and fertile Golan Heights in the north to the Dead Sea in the south.
Over the decades, archaeologists have uncovered ancient wine presses throughout Israel. The largest find to date was 20 wine presses in the Jerusalem Hills. These winepresses were built over a 2,100-year period.
In 2017, maintenance workers accidently discovered an intact stone winepress in the Ramat Negev region, with a fermentation pool large enough to hold 6,500 liters of wine.
If you look closely at the culture of ancient Israel, you will see a natural inclination to wine as the drink of choice, particularly with the scarcity of clean water—or water at all. Wine became a necessity—a symbol of life and strength for God’s people. And while the Scriptures warn about the negative effects of wine, it was assuredly designed by God to “gladden human hearts” (Psalm 104:14–15) and to be shared joyously in fellowship and celebration.
It is no wonder why Israelis are so good at making wine. It has been a part of who they are since biblical times. When it comes to producing quality Mediterranean wines, Israel is as much of a contender as France, Italy, or Spain.
Presently, Israel produces more than 40 million bottles of wine annually and shows no signs of stopping. Once again, we see God’s hand at work as biblical prophecy is fulfilled in real and practical ways in Israel. God is always faithful.
Originally posted at israeladvantagetours.com