he vineyard at Sde Boker was established as an experiment in cooperation with the Ministry of agriculture, Research and Development Ramat Negev and Ben Ami Bravdo of the School of Agriculture Rehovot.
We wanted to learn if it was possible to irrigate the vineyard with brackish water found in the area. We also wanted to know which varieties were best suited to our region and on which rootstock. To this end we planted four varieties on two different salt tolerant rootstocks.
The grape varieties included two red grapes, Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot, and two white grapes, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The rootstocks are Roguery and Salt Creek.
Before we stared to irrigate with brackish water we discovered that vines grown at the regional experimental station started to die off due to the high concentrations of salt. We decided not to irrigate with brackish water at this time but we may start adding some brackish water to the water we now use in order to cut down on sweet water used.
The first vineyard at Kibbutz Sde Boker totaled 3 HA (approx. 8 A).
The land that the vineyard is planted on is flat, which makes mechanical harvesting easier. Soil depth of one half meter to one and a half meters or more. The vineyard was enlarged by 5 Ha during the beginning of the year 2000. From our experience with the vineyard planted in 1995 it was determined that our area is most suitable for red varieties, so in 2000 we planted Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon along with small amounts of Zinfandel and Carignan. In 2003 we harvested the new section for the first time.
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