Grape Vine

Grape VineThe vine, its fruit and the wine made from it are mentioned constantly in the Bible, from Noah onwards. Noah, indeed, planted a vineyard after the deluge (Gen.9:20-21). The vine, wheat and olive—those essentials of the Holy Land are part of everyone's daily life. "A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees" (Deut.8:8). This was the promised land.

GrapesThe vines of Palestine were famous for their heavy clusters of large juicy grapes. The spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan cut, in the valley of Eschol, a cluster of grapes that was so large that "they bare it between two upon a staff" (Num.13:23). The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the puny grapes of Egypt—"And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place: it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines" (Num.20.5)—unaware of the delicious ones which lay ahead of them. The grape vine is the first cultivated plant to be recorded in the Bible. Its origins are Grapesuncertain; botanists say that it came from Armenia, where it still grows with the luxuriant wildness of a tropical creeper, clinging to tall trees and producing abundant fruit without pruning or cultivation.

The vine is honoured before all other plants of the world. 'The fruitful vine' and 'the vine brought out of Egypt' symbolized the Jewish people and our Lord compared himself with the 'true vine'.

The Flowers and Fruits of the Bible,
John Chancellor

Pruning. Select fruiting arms either from a shoot produced by the spur(s) left from the previous year, or from one of the lower shoots off the previous year's arm. In winter, tip the leader back by about one-third and shorten the other main shoots to two buds. Thin any crowded spurs back to one or two shoots.

Plant care. Thin out individual dessert grapes on the bunches to allow the berries to ripen fully and to improve air circulation. Use scissors to remove berries when they are small, removing about one in three per bunch.

Grow Your Own Fruit,
Carol Klein

"I Am the Vine, Ye Are the Branches"

John 15: 5

It is the branch that bears the fruit,
That feels the knife.
To prune it for a larger growth,
A fuller life.

Though every budding twig be lopped,
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf,
Be lost a space.

O thou whose life of joy seems reft,
Of beauty shorn;
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,

Rejoice, though each desire, each dream,
Each hope of thine
Shall fall and fade; it is the hand
Of love Divine

That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That thou, whose life has borne some fruit
May'st now bear much


Poems of the Way


The purple grape must be crushed
To make the sweet, red wine,
And furnace fires must fiercely burn,
The drossy gold to refine;
The wheel must cruelly grind,
Elsewhere the jewel's light?
And the steel submit to the polishing,
Or how would the sword grow bright?

How then, my soul, wilt thou
The Spirit's fruits possess,
Except thou lovingly yield thyself
To the Hand that wounds to bless?
Then patiently let the fire
Consume all earthly dross—
Thou canst not hope to wear the Crown,
If thou refuse the Cross!

Poems of the Way

At harvest time, the best way for an amateur to tell when wine grapes are ready is by tasting them—only when they're at their sweetest, containing maximum sugar, will they be ready.

Grow Your Own Fruit,
Carol Klein

Encourage grapevines to send their roots downwards to seek out their own nutrients, but do treat nutrient deficiencies individually depending on the type of soil. Grapevines can be prone to magnesium deficiency

Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ satisfies, the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus—as the hart pants for the water brooks, so will you pant after deeper quantities of His love.

Extract 'The Way to Peace'