Wine has been made in Israel since prebiblical times and was a major export at the time of Jesus. Modern Israeli winemakers serve the secular and religious markets. In August and September, growers assess the harvest and carry out the "crush," when the juice is extracted from the grapes. Here are scenes of modern winemaking in the Holy Land.
Ultra-Orthodox Jew Haim Abergil ensures that all Dalton Wineries wines conform to kosher law. He recites his morning prayers among the sauvignon blanc grapes during harvest last month in a vineyard near the ancient Galilee town of Safed in northern Israel.
Jasmine Saslove, center, pours a just-released cabernet sauvignon 2003 from her family's boutique winery during a late-night tasting at the Harvest of Israel wine shop in Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv. Harvest sells a variety of local wines.
Father Khad, a Lebanese cleric who serves the Armenian Patriarchy in Jerusalem, raises a golden cup of sanctified wine during Sunday mass in the grotto of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.