Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vats and vineyards

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Let's visit vats and vineyards for ABC Wednesday.

Click on the transparent sign to read names of the various vats.

This is a reconstruction of what a winepress would have looked like in Byzantine times, about 1,500 years ago.
It is part of the Biblical Garden at Yad Hashmona.

As this mosaic picture shows, the treading floor was a large area, normally covered by mosaics, where the grapes were laid and crushed by the feet of the workers, extracting the juice.

A small hole in the center of the treading floor was for a secondary crushing of the grapes.

Juice flowed from the small filtering vat into the collection vats.

Workers went down the steps to collect the juice into vessels or to clean the vat.

Fermentation took place in the jars and a cool storage area, such as a cave, was used to store the wine.

During the Roman and Byzantine periods there were hundreds of winepresses in the fields, villages and cities of the Holy Land.

BibleWalks.com explains
. . . each Roman soldier consumed a liter per day, or 6,000 liters per day for one Legion stationed in the Galilee. The wine has medical advantages - killing bacteria and making the drinking water safer. The wine was often diluted with equal portion of water, and used as their drinking water, keeping the soldiers healthy (and happy). This may have been one of the Roman soldiers advantages in the battlefield. To supply this demand the wine was produced in a short period of a month or so, producing a low alcohol (4%) sour wine.

13 comments:

Winchester Daily Photos said...

I guess they don't still make wine there now do they?

Birdman said...

Every time I see a press, I just can't get that I Love Lucy image of Lucy and Ethel out of my head. A riot!

Kay L. Davies said...

Various vats and vast amounts of vino for victorious Romans. Very interesting choice for V day.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Roger Owen Green said...

how appropriate, for this week and next!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Hels said...

With just the architectural relics, it would certainly have been possible to reconstruct the wine-making process. But the mosaic includes the human element and is just wonderful.

Cloudia said...

You live such rich history!

Do come see my Tuesday post for a mitzvah :)



Aloha from Waikiki :)

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Pietro said...

I find the red wine a bit nauseating. Every man to his taste, of course.

VP said...

When I was a kid I have seen these 'tools' and vats, almost unchanged, still at work in our countryside.

Francisca said...

Very interesting V post, your vats and vineyards, Dina. Of course I knew grapes were crushed by human feet in days gone by, but that is probably considered unsanitary today, whereas in the Byzantine/Roman periods, wine was drunk to stay healthy. Isn't history amusing.

*Honest Abe said...

What a find.

Just let your imagination wander...

Suzanne said...

Now just a little cheese and crackers and we'll be all set. L'heim!

Ann said...

do the feet get red stains after all the stepping?

Reader Wil said...

I also like wine, but the idea that pele have treaded it with their dirty feet, is not so pleasant. Still I drink a glass of wine every day ! Thanks fpr the very interesting information.