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Jewish Tours Argentina

Individual Farmsteads in the Negev

A Return Visit to Individual Farmsteads in the Negev


"Carmei Avdat Farm"

The "Carmei Avdat" farmstead, hiding in a valley between Sde Boqer and Mitzpeh Ramon, shows clear signs of being established and of a creative routine.  The large vineyard is shedding leaves as winter approaches and last year’s produce of Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot wines has already been bottled.  The young winery is the latest venture of Eyal and Hana Yizrael and was completed only last summer.  Eyal almost hugs the two modest barrels containing the remnant of 2004’s wines, still unbottled (by hand.) “With operation of the winery, we completed our initial goals and are now continuing to develop.  We have settled right in an area where, thousands of years ago, a Nabatean farm existed with vines and fruit trees.  The next stage in development of the winery is to dig a cave for the barrels in the hillside adjoining the present winery building, exactly as the ancient Nabateans did.  This is my fantasy but it is not a task I can carry out alone because of the cost.  I think it is essential to create a complete historical continuity and reconstruction of the original farming culture.”


The Yizrael family "Carmei Avdat" winery currently produces some 2,500 bottles of exceptional quality wine and Eyal and Hana have no aspirations to develop it beyond an output of 10,000 bottles a year.  “We will develop quality rather than quantity to preserve the proportions of life in a secluded farmstead.  Last year, we also added the final two guest units, as part of the quota allowed us of six units, and I am happy at the popularity of this style of hosting with all strata of the population who share the love of the desert.


Eyal has recently abandoned his metal artwork and sold the gallery at the farmstead with the ceramic pieces created by Hana, to make time to develop and run the winery, while systematically studying the fundamentals of wine-growing from professionals.  He has been having an ongoing “love affair” with KKL-JNF since the latter prepared the infrastructures for establishment of the farmstead and the area for the planting of the vineyard.  “I am still in need of current aid from KKL-JNF for maintenance of the dirt road to the farm which is damaged each winter in the flash floods.  KKL-JNF is also assisting me with ornamental plants from the Gilat Nursery.” Eyal points to the guest houses adorned with trees and flowering pots.  A large flock of partridges, which has made its home at the farmstead, is another positive sign of life returning to the desert.

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