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.
. . . 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.