Wine was one of the most valuable agricultural commodities in Bible times. People grew grapes to make their own wine, and many farmers produced wine for sale as a commercial product. This verse, from Jesus’ parable of the vineyard owner, gives insight into how grapes were grown and made into wine.
Grapevines are a plant well suited to the climate of Palestine. Grapes were cultivated as far back as Noah’s day (Gen 9:20) and were eaten fresh, dried, or crushed to make juice, vinegar, or wine. In an area where water was often in short supply, the juice from grapes became crucial for life. Clusters of grapes as large as five kilograms (twelve pounds) have been reported in Palestine, giving validity to the spies’ account of the grapes in Canaan in