TEN THINGS YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT ISRAELI WINES
1. Israel is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world.
2. The modern Israeli wine industry was founded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux.
3. There are today more than 300 Israeli wineries.
4. Vineyards cover Israel from the mountains in the north, to the desert in the south.
5. Israel is famous for its advanced technology and its wineries are state of the art.
6. Israel’ is famous for its agriculture, which shows in its viticulture.
7. Most Israeli winemakers are young & internationally trained.
8. Israeli wines win high scores from Robert Parker, recognition from Hugh Johnson and trophies in the world’s leading wine tasting competitions.
9. Not all Israeli wines are kosher.
10 . Kosher wine is harvested, fermented, aged and bottled in the same way as a non kosher wine. The kosher designation is irrelevant to a wine's quality.
The leading web site on Israeli wines is the one created by Mr. Israel Preker. There you will find news items, articles and all the information you will need to learn more about Israeli wine and wineries.
ISRAEL: A NEW WORLD COUNTRY FROM ONE OF THE OLDEST WINE PRODUCING REGIONS ON EARTH
Fast Facts/ Israeli Wine (2016)
Israel is usually regarded as being part of the Middle East. It may be more accurately considered as being situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, a region also referred to as the Near East or ‘The Levant.’
CLIMATE: Mainly Mediterranean. Long, hot dry summers; short wet winters; snow on higher ground. Semi-arid & desert conditions, in the Negev.
SOILS: Volcanic in north; sandy red soils on coast & chalk & limestone on the hills.
HECTARES: 5,500 hectares (13,585 acres; 55,000 dunams).
HARVEST (METRIC TONS):
2014: 60,054 2013: 55,693 2012: 52,873 2011: 46,079 2010: 46,258
VINTAGE: August to end of October - (often begins late July & occasionally ends early November); Machine & hand harvested.
2014; 2013; 2012; 2008; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2000; 1997; 1995; 1993; 1990;
1989; 1985; 1979; 1976
Israel’s traditional volume varieties, Carignan & Colombard, apart from some quality old vine Carignans, are usually only used in inexpensive blends. They are gradually being replaced by international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc. Shiraz is proving both popular & suitable for Israel’s climate. Bordeaux varieties have been most successful to date, yet Mediterranean varieties may be more suitable in the longer term.
VARIETIES – METRIC TONS %:
Cabernet Sauvignon 18%; Carignan 17%; Merlot 13%; Shiraz/ Syrah 7%; Petit Verdot 5%; Colombard 4%; Muscat of Alexandria 4%; Argaman 5%; Chardonnay 3%; Petite Sirah 2%; Sauvignon Blanc 2%; Emerald Riesling 2%; Cabernet Franc 2%; Malbec 2%; Tempranillo 1%; Mourvedre 1%
LESS THAN 1%: Pinotage; Muscat Canelli; White Riesling; Pinot Noir; Semillon: Sangiovese; Tempranillo; Gewurztraminer; Barbera; Muscat Hamburg; Chenin Blanc; Zinfandel; Grenache; Nebbiolo.
HECTARES OF VINEYARDS BY REGION (%)
GALILEE 41% - mainly Upper Galilee & Golan Heights
SAMSON 27% - vineyards in central coastal plain, Judean Lowlands, Judean Foothills
SHOMRON 17% - southern Mt. Carmel - mainly in valleys around Zichron Ya’acov
JUDEAN HILLS 10% - Jerusalem mountains, Gush Etzion & Yatir Forest - southern Judean Hills
NEGEV 5% - mainly Ramat Arad, Sde Boker & Mitzpe Ramon
OFFICIAL WINE REGIONS
Region in Hebrew / Name in English
Galil / Galilee
Shomron / Samaria
Shimshon / Samson
Harey Yehuda / Judean Hills
Hanegev / Negev
Wine regions in bold type are registered with the TTB (USA) and the European Community.
WINE MARKET IN ISRAEL: US$ 315 million annually
IMPORTS: 20%, mainly from 1. Italy; 2. Chile; 3. Argentina; 4. France; 5. Spain
CONSUMPTION: 5 liters a head
MARKET SHARE: 63% red; 16% white; 8% sparkling; 2% rose;
11% sweet (moscato style, dessert & sacramental)
EXPORT OF ISRAELI WINES ($ m.)
2014: $ 40 (2001: $ 8.01 m.)
MAIN IMPORTERS OF ISRAELI WINES
1. U.S.A; 2. France; 3. U.K; 4. Canada; 5. Poland, 6. Germany; 7. Holland
55+ % of exports to North America; 35+ % to Western Europe. Remainder to more than 30 countries in 5 continents.
There is a great deal of domestic and international wine tourism. Larger wineries are more likely to have visitors’ centers. Smaller wineries are more likely to be open on Shabbat- Saturdays.
The main wine routes are the Upper Galilee & Golan (north), Mount Carmel (northern coast) and the Judean Hills & Foothills regions (center). These days there are also wine routes in the Negev (south) and the Central Mountains too.
Autor: Israel Preker