I have been many years in the Israeli wine industry and been in many vineyards, but I had never been in Dabouki vineyard. Until now that is. I recently drove up to Givat Nili, to see one of the few vineyards still growing Dabouki. It is a big vineyard with all sorts, but when I arrived in the area of the Dabouki vines, I had the feeling as though I was peering into history. I felt like saying: “Ah, Dr. Dabouki I presume!”
I was confronted by 50year old vines, flailing in all directions, with thick gnarled trunks and arms waving in grotesque shapes. Each vine had its own shape and personality, as if screaming about its own individuality. You go to Cyprus and 100 year vineyards are here, there, and everywhere. In Israel, I don’t think I have seen a fifty year old vineyard before. I had the feeling I was entering a vine museum. It was as though I was seeking remains of something that once flourished, but now is a rarity. The vines did not look that healthy. They in fact appeared to all intents and purposes to be dead. If I brush too hard by a branch and it would snap like dead dry wood.