Our search for a suitable place in the Negev to grow wine grapes led us to the present site of the Carmey Avdat Farm. Archeological evidence shows that a wine industry existed here and that wine grapes were grown at this site 1500 years ago. The farm is located approximately 4 kilometers (two and a half miles) from the ancient wine cellars of the Nabbatean city of Avdat.
The vineyard was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. Care was taken to preserve the ancient terraces and irrigation system. When the first rains came we saw the ancient irrigation systems come to life and the vines take advantage of this important source of water. Floodwaters wash the salty desert soil making it less salty than the usual Negev soil and eliminating the need to wash and desalinate the soil. The vineyard is also irrigated with a modern system using water that we receive from the desalination plant in Ashkelon.
There is no other place in the world where wine grapes are grown under such extreme conditions as those that exist in the Negev, and we were aware that attempting to cultivate grapes here involved a significant risk that might end in failure. However, we discovered that proper irrigation and meticulous horticultural practices, combined with the unique and extreme climatic conditions give Carmey Avdat grapes and wines a unique character.
The relatively low yield per vine and small size of he grapes results in a high sugar level that contributes to the quality of the wine. Carmey Avdat wines have a unique taste and aroma that is characteristic of the Negev. Many of the large wineries have taken an interest in grapes from the Negev and have planted vineyards here.