"The size of the wine press attests to the fact that the quantity of wine that was produced in it was exceptionally large and was not meant for local consumption," Ad said in a release.
The wine was probably intended for export to Egypt, then a major export market, or to Europe, he said.
An identical wine press was previously uncovered 12 miles (20 kilometers) away, north of Ashkelon, he added.
The shape of the press' collecting vats was impractical because sediment would collect in the corners, Ad noted. They must have been built in this manner, and not in the customary circular or square shape, for aesthetic reasons, he concluded.
"This is a complex wine press that reflects a very high level of technology for this period, which was acquired and improved on from generation to generation," he said.
The entire apparatus originally measured 49 feet by 54 feet (15 meters by 16.5 meters) and included a central treading floor with a mosaic pavement where the grapes would be trod on. The juice produced from the grapes would flow from the treading floor to a distributing vat and from there through holes into two collecting vats located on either side, he said.