The winery’s vineyards are scattered throughout the Yatir Forest and along Nachal Anim and the Roman road. When the JNF planted the Yatir Forest it allowed the valleys between the hills to be utilized for orchards. The variety of small vineyard plots integrates into a forest mosaic. Each plot has its own unique attributes. The type of earth, the altitude of the vineyards, the incline and angle of the slopes, the varying rock-strewn areas, and the collection of species planted, all designate differentiated plots, which leads to wines very diverse in character. The wines from the various plots constitute milestones in the preparation of the different blends into a complex and harmonious wine that expresses the very character of the region.
This impressive structure overlooks the Yatir Forest, its vineyards and the Negev towards the Mediterranean Sea, from an altitude of 687 meters above sea level. This fortress was established in 1967 in order to help the foresters with accommodations and looking after the forest. The fortress is located at the intersection of Highway 316 and the Israel National Trail.
The station is part of an international network that researches assimilation of carbon from the atmosphere and the involvement of the forest in the process. The findings concerning the contribution of pine trees and the forest to assimilation of carbon are fascinating. In the picture is a mast reaching 19 meters and some of the research equipment installed on it.
The Yatir Forest was planted in the 1960s by the JNF as part of the vision of Prime Minister David Ben Gurion for making the desert bloom. The national effort and determination succeeded and the forest currently extends over about 40 thousand dunams, and consists of close to five million trees. The trees planted in the forest include Jerusalem Pines, cypresses, olive trees, carobs, terebinth and various species of eucalyptus. The forest has become a green lung that constitutes a objective for ecological research. The JNF foresters, the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture made efforts to search for agricultural plots throughout the forest, which have been prepared for the thriving agriculture of the wine vineyards, cherries, peonies for export and various orchards.
The Biblical and Talmudic village of Anim in the tracts of land assigned to the Tribe of Judah (“And Anab, and Eshtemoh and Anim” Joshua 15, 50). Eusebius, the Roman priest from Caesarea, in the fourth century, states in the Onomasticon “And in the south there is a village of Jews called Aniyah, 9 miles south of Hebron”. The houses of the village were hewn into the soft chalk rock found under the layer of hard caliche rock. There are about 50 homes, burial caves and an area of agricultural facilities such as a wine press, olive press and water wells. In a prominent and impressive area is a synagogue characteristic of the region and next to it the village citadel. The major agricultural enterprise of the residents of the region was wine, which constituted the leading agricultural branch until the Arab conquest that destroyed the regional wine industry.
A sophisticated wine press was found in the Yatir Forest that included a treading area, a filtration and sedimentation pit and the “winery”. The intake pit of the wine can be clearly seen. According to research conducted in cooperation with the Carmel Winery, it appears that the fermentation process in ancient times continued for five days, after which the wine was filtered and dripped into the winery. From there the wine was poured by means of the “crusher”, a large and dedicated implement for collection, into jars that were sealed with mortar and preserved for future use.
The city of Arad subsisted on agricultural growths such as: grains, wine, legumes, olives and pastures. In addition traces of trading in bitumen salt, hides and working implements. The city developed from the Chalcolithic (Copper) Age to the end of the Bronze Age, and it extends over a hundred dunams. The city, one of the oldest in Israel, was planned according to regions and streets, as well as drainage of rainwater to a water pit. A number of impressive findings were discovered in the city, among them a water reservoir, ruins of an ancient idol-worshippers temple, together with the ruins of the “Arad House”, the unique Canaanite style of building a miniature of which was also found in the excavations. In addition, an ancient utensil for manufacturing beer (liquor) was found. The city was eventually abandoned, probably because of climate changes that minimized rainfall, as well as geo-political changes in the region.
This remarkable Tel (hill), located at an altitude of 576 meters above sea level, overlooks the Arad Valley and the ancient road leading up the mountain, as well as the ancient and contemporary agriculture. The fortress developed during the period of dispersed Israelite settlement and subsequently was constructed as the units of the fortress. Within the fortress an altar was found, matching that of the Temple on an East-West axis. This ancient Israelite altar was tended by the priestly families, known to us from the Bible. The original ruins were taken partially to the Israel Museum. The altar was covered by dirt in the days of King Yoshiyahu and thus, in fact, they survived until the excavations at the site. The fortress fulfilled its function until at least the Persian Period. An impressive water system, excavated by Yehuda Guvrin, was discovered in the fortress. In the Southeastern corner of the fortress, a treasure of ostracons was found of the commander of the fortress Elyashiv Ben Oshiya sending bread and wine and other products to soldiers in the Negev.