Tali Grapes offer various activities at their vineyards in Moshav Lachish. And after several visits, I am going to share our experience.
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When is the Picking Season?
Grapes picking takes place from June till November. All our visits were in October and November, which in some cases was towards the end of the season.
The opening hours may vary. In previous years they were open during the weekends, and all our visits were on Saturday mornings. In any case, before visiting, you have to register for a specific time slot at the official site.
30 NIS per person. It also includes a basket for collecting grapes. If you want to take home additional grapes, you can purchase extra containers. Each basket costs 10 NIS.
Map of the area:
Enter “the vineyard in Lachish” into Waze, and it should take you there. But keep in mind that the meeting point changes according to the season and the chosen vineyard. Thus I would suggest following the directions you receive when registering.
What are the Included Activities?
Currently, these are the included activities:
- Picking grapes – you will be picking from one of the vineyards. You can eat as much as you want and take home the baskets (about 1.5 kg of grapes fit into each basket).
- Educational activities – there are guides on site that will tell you about growing grapes and answer all your questions. Also, sometimes there are additional educational games.
- Visiting an ancient winepress and pressing grapes.
“Tali Grapes is the brand name of the cooperative of growers from Moshav Lachish. Moshav Lachish (est. 1955) is home to 66 active growers, in addition to about 100 families of whom most are second-generation growers.”
Source: Tali Grapes
During one of our visits, we received an explanation regarding the Tali Grapes brand. As it turns out, there was no real person called Tali.
Moreover, since they adopted this name, none of the girls born in Moshav Lachish is called Tali. The growers hired a well-known marketing specialist, and he came up with this name. It is quite interesting that the same marketing specialist created the Gali Shoes brand in the same period.
The tours are at Moshav Lachish, close to Kiryat Gat. You might remember the Lachish stream from Lachish Park.
The tour has several stops, and now we will go over them. Also, with every ticket, you get a basket. About 1.5 kg of grapes fit into the basket, and you can take it home. Thus, if a family of four visits, you will end up with 6 kg of grapes. You would better prepare some free place in the freezer or plan to make fruit jam.
Visiting each stop involves self-driving (about 5 min each time). And at each stop, you can stay as much as you like. There are guides at each stop, and they explain when a big group of people arrives, which was about every 10 min during our visit.
At the Vineyards
Before you start eating and picking grapes, you will receive a short explanation about the place. One of the interesting things that we were told is about organic pesticide methods. For example: spreading non-fertile insects. Most insects do not live long and have one chance to bring the next generation. If they waste that chance on non-fertile females, it interrupts the reproduction process.
Visiting one of the vineyards:
Other pest controls are organic as well. Thus you can freely eat grapes.
They grow twenty different grapes species and even winter grapes. The one we got to harvest is Thompson.
During that visit, in mid-October, towards the end of the season, there were rotten grapes as well. But on another visit in November, everything looked good. So I guess it depends on the weather and the type of grapes.
There is a high chance that you will pick a different kind of grapes during each visit. For example, this is the Crimson Grapes:
There are red and green Crimson Grapes:
Raisins Package Factory
Note: This stop was available during our first visits. But it is no longer included in the tour.
The second stop was the raisins package factory. Actually, we did not get into the factory. We got explanations outside, next to the raisins.
As you can see, the grapes are dried outside for two to four weeks. Before spreading the grapes, they add oil (similar to sunscreen protection) and salt (for protection again insects). Grapes that were dried under the sun are always brown. If so, where do the white raisins come from? White means that they were dried in ovens.
The following fact is logical, but you never think about it when buying raisins: all raisins are created from second-class grapes. The best grapes are sold fresh.
Ancient Wine Press
The third stop was an ancient wine press next to the historic 3,000-year-old city of Lachish. You can find additional information at Tel Lachish National Park.
As you probably know, pressing is done barefoot. The reason for taking off shoes is grapes seeds. If barefoot, you will not squeeze the seeds (crushed seeds will add bitterness).
Overall, the tours are nice and aimed at families with small children. Our daughter enjoyed the tours and, as a bonus, she also ate fruits. And for many parents that struggle with children that do not like eating fruits, this could be a game-changer.
But there is one downside. Over the years, the guides started to tell less. In our latest visit, before picking, the short explanation lasted about two minutes. As far as I remember, in our first visit, the explanations lasted about 10-15 minutes. The format changed a little, you were given a short explanation, and those who wanted could stay and ask questions. But, knowing which questions to ask is half of the job 😉
And one last suggestion, you can combine grape picking with a visit to Tel Lachish National Park. That will make a half-day lovely trip that is suitable for families.
Have you ever visited Tali Grapes? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.