Winemaking in First-Century Israel

You don't have to read for long to discover wine is a big thing in the Bible. After the flood, Noah is described as planting a vineyard. Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine. Vineyards feature in parables, stories, history, prophecy, and poetry throughout the whole Bible. From ancient days until now, wine has been a part of the human experience.


Historians believe winemaking was invented in the country of Georgia (though it wasn't called Georgia at the time!) From there, it moved south through ancient Canaan and down to Egypt. Later, winemaking was taken up by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans, who spread wine across Europe. Wine was one of the major trade products of the ancient world. Biblical rulers like Solomon traded wine for other goods they needed. (2 Chronicles 2:10)


How was wine made? How was wine stored? Do we know what wine tasted like in the time of Jesus? Read on to learn more!

How was wine made in ancient Israel?

Egyptian art from 1401-1391 BC depicts men trampling grapes beneath their feet in a vat to extract the juice. Human feet are excellent for squishing grapes without crushing the seeds, which would add a bitter taste to the grape juice. The juice was then held in containers or pits and left to ferment.