According to the Jerusalem Post, Tzuba once grew kiwis that guzzled an outrageous 1,000 cubic meters of water per dunam (dunam=1/4 acre). Then the farm switched to apples, which take 750, and has finally settled on grapes, which sip a modest 200 cubic meters. The new vineyards will spread over 145 dunams and will expand Tzuba’s already strong wine lineup with eight new varieties.
Tzuba’s story is a gradual reality check that speaks for the larger picture of Israeli farms. The kiwi growing era is an emblem for when the country’s water managers built massive projects to irrigate fields in the Negev, growing fruit that was more suited to Ecuador than to the arid Middle East. Over time, Israel has realized there are limits to human intervention. Tzuba’s newest crop has been grown in the Middle East for thousands of years and unsurprisingly makes the fewest demands. If necessary, grapes can also be grown without water. Tzuba’s wine is a deeper level of locally grown.
Image credit: Jerusalem Post