However one area of great interest and a surprise to those who don’t know about it is the thriving wine industry, which is now producing wines of real interest to connoisseurs and wine lovers alike
Israel is situated in the Eastern Mediterranean or Near East an area, which in Bible times, was the France of today, leading the world’s wine culture. If the art of winegrowing began somewhere in between the Black & Caspian Seas and worked its way south, the Levant (including Ancient Israel) must have been one of the first wine producing regions (long before the Greeks & Romans got into the act.)
Today it may be said that Israel is a New World wine country from one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world.
The modern Israeli wine industry was founded in the 1880’s by a Rothschild who was no less than a part owner of Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux! Not surprisingly therefore, the initial influence was French. The quality revolution began in the 1980s with the import of expertise from California and today Israel’s young winemakers study all over the world with perhaps Australia taking over from California as the main influencing country.
Israel is already famous for its advanced technology & innovative agriculture. Both these qualities come together in Israel’s vineyards. Whether it is growing vineyards in the desert, the latest drip feed irrigation or having meteorological stations in the vineyards, Israel is a leader in viticulture. Also like many long thin countries (such as Chile & Italy), Israel has a wide range of different micro-climates from the snow covered Mount Hermon in the north to the Negev desert in the south.
As far as wineries concerned, there are over 150! Amongst these are ten wineries producing over 500,000 bottles a year and a further ten producing close to 100,000 bottles a year or more. Many of the rest are small boutique wineries and garagistes spread throughout the country.
Today it is no longer a surprise that one Israeli winery is invited to the New York Wine Experience, and another to the Decanter Fine Wine Show. These are by invitation only, to the finest wineries in the world. Yet another winery finds itself in the list of the Hundred Most Exciting Wines in the World. Other wineries regularly win gold medals in international competitions.
Israeli wine has arrived. It is exotic, high quality but largely unknown to many. This website will introduce you to the World of Israeli Wines.