World Class Israeli wine?
With over 300 wineries and microbreweries in Israel and over $200 Million in sales, wine in Israel is serious business. Just a visit to your local market in the States or other locations worldwide and I am sure you will discover fine wine from Israel on the shelf.
In the past 20-30 years, the quality and popularity of Kosher wines from Israel have improved dramatically and are produced in Israel, Napa Valley California, and France.
Interesting Facts about Israeli Wines
- $200 Million dollar annual revenue
- Over 300 Wineries and 100 Micro-Breweries
- Per capita consumption is about 4 liters or 1 gallon (roughly)
- Over 70% wine produced in Israel is red wine
- U.S. is the primary importer(over 55%) followed by France and Holland
Interesting Fact: Although not all Israeli wines are kosher, almost all of the large wine producers in Israel have kosher status.
Kosher Wine by strict definition:
- Grape wine produced according to Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut).
- May only be handled by observant Jews from the time the grapes are crushed. (unless the wine is boiled or pasteurized).
- Cannot contain any non-kosher ingredients or fining agents such as isinglass, gelatin, or casein.
Israel wine making since the 1980’s has improved tremendously. Israeli wine is produced by literally hundreds of wineries throughout Israel, ranging in size from small boutique enterprises to large companies producing over ten million bottles per year. In fact, wine has been produced in Israel since biblical times. In 2009-2010, Israeli wine exports totaled over $50 million. A significant proportion of wine is produced right in our backyard (Lisa’s anyways) between Zichron Yaakov and Binyamina. There are three very prominent wineries located in this area:
- Binyamina Winery
- Carmel Winery – please refer to my Zichron Wine tour
- Tishbi Winery
- For a complete listing of all wineries in Israel, please refer to this comprehensive wine map produced by Yossi, a local wine lover who writes a blog about Israeli wines at Yossi’s wine page.
- Read about Wine Tours in Israel
- Experience My Golan Heights Wine Tour
I have visited and toured all of them and in addition to excellent wine, they offer wonderful restaurants with outstanding food. When I toured these wineries, I was amazed to learn about the wine making process and the special equipment that is used. There are special wooden barrels that cure the wine and even a machine that separates the grapes from the vines. The end of the tour is something to look forward to . . .
I had a choice of three wines to taste, usually a few of the best featured wines served with olives and some other tasty morsels like French chocolate! You can also purchase the wine and other food and gift type items in the winery’s shop. You won’t want to go home empty-handed after a memorable winery tour!
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