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Crafting Negev Vinum Byzantium

Within the context of our research, we crafted small-batch wine made from Dabouki grapes, a variety that was found to have a genetic affiliation with 1200-year-old grape pips recently discovered in the Negev. Dabouki stems from the Hebrew word ‘Davik’, or sticky, an epitaph that likely relates to its enormously sweet clusters. For centuries Dabouki grapes grew throughout Israel. Large numbers of this ancient variety still exist in the western Negev, a semi arid region with an illustrious wine history dating back millennia.

Our Dabouki Pét-Nat (short for Pétillant Naturel) was made by winemaker Ari Erle using
grapes from 50-year-old vines. Hand-harvests, natural yeasts and in bottle fermentation
combine to elicit a crisp, lightly sparkling wine with a touch of cloudiness whose unique
flavours and aromas evoke tastes from the past, making it very clear why the Dabouki has survived for so long!

This is the first of two vintages we will be doing. In 2024 we intend to craft a second batch of wine made entirely from feral grapes and using a natural process to create an Orange Wine that will be in the style of how wines were made in antiquity.

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