Notable Israeli wines:
the fascinating new comer.
Not that many know that Israel produces wines. But the Israeli wines are getting more and more attention in the wine world today.
In Israel, there are currently about 60 large-scale commercial wineries and about 300 small, garage wineries: with the ideal sunshine condition of the Mediterranean climate as well as the great terroir, they are producing wines in diverse variations. Main production areas are: Galilee, Samaria, Samson, Judean Hills in the north and Negev in the south. The grape varieties they use for red are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah; for white they mainly use Riesling. Both red and white has elegant flavor, which surprise many wine lovers for them being made in Israel.
Israel is located in the Eastern Mediterranean region where wine making culture originated, and is one of the oldest countries to practice wine making. Wine has long been considered as the blood of Christ and should have been a very common drink among ancient Israeli people. Wine making in Israel lasted more than 3 thousand years but was terminated in the 7th century as the Islamic states gained power in the region. Yet in the 1880’s, Edmond de Rothschild, the owner of Chateau Lafite, planted grape trees in Israel and succeeded to produce wine in Israel by bringing the French wine making method. The past ten years saw incredible growth of the industry, and in 2015 the export to Japan doubled in both quantity and amount of money.
The intriguing movement in Israel wine making is that they are trying to restore the ancient grape varieties such as Jandali and Marawi (both white). Today, they use international varieties, but many are expecting for the wines made from Indigenous wine varieties will appear soon. Those new world wine from the world’s oldest wine making region will gain more and more attention in the coming years.
(Text: Kimiko Anzai)
©THE ISRAEL EXPORT & INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION INSTITUTE