Centuries may go by, but discovering ancient wineries never gets old. Excavations in a small western Galilean village in Israel recently revealed what local archaeologists are calling “the largest Crusader-era winery yet found” in the region, the Drinks Business reported on Tuesday.
In Mi’ilya, Israel, archaeologists have been working to excavate and restore a mid-12th century castle believed to have been built by King Baldwin III (the king of Jerusalem from 1143 to 1163). The winery was found under the home of a local gas station owner, Salma Assaf.
Galilee, which is a vineyard region today, was reportedly planted with vines during the Roman and Crusader periods. As such, the ancient winery and castle would have likely been the center of a fief, where local grape growers from neighboring villages would be required to bring their crops as rent or dues.
As for the gas station owner, Assaf has reportedly moved to a new home, and built a restaurant in his former residence. There, patrons can view the ancient winery through glass floors, as well as visit the winery below.