Israeli Wine Culture: the new frontier
Modern Israel is the home of innovation. Whether in hi-tech, agriculture, or the newest environmental technology, Israel has risen to the top of a global revolution. And in the world of wines, things are no different.
Israeli wineries have gone through a revolution of sorts of their own over the past century, beginning to produce world renowned wine, and steering away from that sweet Kiddush wine we all know and love. In fact, many of Israeli wineries have won awards among some of the top international wine critics. Israeli wineries like Barkan, Recanati, Golan Heights, and Carmel are acclaimed worldwide, leaving behind the stigmas of Kosher wines, and stepping into a whole new arena.
With hundreds of different types of grapes grown in Israel, most of them are international varieties, coming in from all around the world. However, in recent years, Israeli wine has been making more of a name for itself, as winemakers and researchers have begun to discover new and unique indigenous grapes. Today, about 120 different indigenous grape varieties have been found in Israel, some ancient and some modern. Of those 120, twenty of them have been identified as having the potential in being internationally acclaimed among the wine connoisseur world.
Today, Israel boasts over 250 boutique wineries, and an impressive 70 wineries harvesting 50 tons or more of Israeli wine each year! And with Israel being such a small country, that number is definitely a remarkable one. But what makes Israel so unique, is the different types of wineries in and around the country. There are large, commercial wineries harvesting acres upon acres of vineyards, and there are private homes with small patches of vines growing in their own backyards, making wine for their family and friends!
Winemaking has become somewhat of a culture here in Israel.
Not only have Israeli wineries become successful through exporting tons of quality wine all over the globe, but many of them have made winery tours a real experience, for both tourists and Israelis alike. Today, most wineries have the option of touring the facility, for a real high-class and immersive experience. Start your tour with a drive through the beautiful and colorful vineyards, learning about the harvesting process, with an up-close look at the grapes in all of their glory. Take a walk through the fermentation process, and into rooms full of barrels upon barrels. And last but not least, enjoy the luxuries of wine-tasting some of the top wines of the winery!
Many wineries in Israel actually produce other delicacies along with wine, like gourmet dairy products, chocolates, or freshly baked breads and pastry delicacies. Places like Adir Winery in Israel’s northern region, has both wine and cheese tastings, and boast of their high-quality goat cheeses and yogurts. You can even see the goats and sheep as you walk in! Tishbi Winery pairs gourmet chocolates with each specific wine you taste, and the Golan Heights Winery even has its own distillery, where you can sample its highest quality gin, whiskey and arak!