Ancient Israelites loved wine, and they made it on an industrial ...

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Ancient Israelites loved wine, and they made it on an industrial scale

A 1,500-year-old wine factory has been unearthed near Tel Aviv, where the drink was used as a substitute for water

Ari Rabinovitch

A 1,500-year-old wine factory the size of a modern-day football field has been unearthed in Israel, showing how vintners met demand for high-quality white wine popular throughout the ancient world.

Excavated in the city of Yavne, about 30km south of Tel Aviv, the cluster of five wine presses was once able to produce about 2-million litres a year, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The stone structures were so well preserved that it is still easy to visualise the winemaking process, from the platform where piles of grapes split open under their own weight, releasing “free-run” juice for the choicest wines, to the grape-stomping floor and collection basins...

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