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Inauguration of the Avdat Legacy Vineyard in the Negev Highlands!!

In September 2023 we planted a legacy vineyard on the slopes of the Avdat in the Negev desert. A World Heritage site, Avdat contains the ruins of an ancient town that dates back to the Byzantine era and was once the epicenter of a regional viticulture economy that saw its coveted wines gainfully exported throughout the Levant.

We planted over 100 grapevines propagated from native feral cultivars in a plot that is adjacent to an archeological viticulture site that has several well-preserved wine presses dating back to when the town was an active winemaking center. The vines were discovered growing in open sand dunes that border the southwest Mediterranean coast of Israel. Subsequently, through DNA testing, we successfully identified them to be native to the region.

The Avdat Legacy Vineyard represents a first step in the revival of Negev viticulture. The ancient vines will be grown using modern techniques and closely monitored as we attempt to further learn about their horticulture vitality. The site will also serve as a platform for enacting experiential citizen science and heritage education programs with local residents and schools in the area.

Our objective is that, after the initial testing and analysis period, the next phase will be the widespread propagation of these endemic grapevines in vineyards throughout the Negev and beyond. It is our intention that these native cultivars serve as the basis for the contemporary restoration of the historically renowned Negev wine appellation...

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