The visitor’s center at Israel’s Yiftah’el Winery may look like a rustic cabin built on the grounds, but its origins actually extend back to 1800’s America.
Originally built in in the 1840’s in West Virginia by a Scottish immigrant, the rustic cabin was subsequently purchased by a local Jewish man by the name of Allen Radley. The original cabin sat on the historic Appalachian Trail and when Israel developed the Israel National Trail (INT) based on the sprawling American hiking path, Radley saw an opportunity. In order to give the comparatively new trail a feel for its inspiration, Radley dismantled the old cabin and shipped the whole building piecemeal to the village of Allon Hagalil. After keeping the broken down building in storage for a number of years, Radley oversaw its reconstruction at the Yiftah’el Winery as their new visitor’s center, even helping to physically reconstruct the cabin.
Today the oak and chestnut cabin houses a small store and information center on its first floor. Visitors can purchase the wine and honey that is produced in the vineyard and learn about its cultivation and creation. The second floor is used as a rotating gallery space that houses the work of local artists. Homesick American travelers along the INT can stop by the cabin and feel a little piece of home and Israeli locals can get a taste of Western frontier architecture.
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