Wines tours in Israel and Israel Wines are a secret hidden gem that is slowly becoming known to the world. This is the kind of secret that we don’t want to keep to ourselves.
In the last 18 years the number of boutique wineries has jumped from 7 to just under 300. Many of these wineries are catching the eyes of the top connoisseurs worldwide and are starting to earn themselves top awards.
This – in the Israeli spirit of succeeding ‘against all odds’ – is quite a fete. For a country scarce in land and water these creative, innovative and determined wineries are able to produce top-quality Merlots and Sauvignons and more.
Similar to the rest of the world, a huge majority of these boutique wineries are family owned business where you see two maybe three generations working side by side. It certainly makes the experience more pleasurable when you hear family members telling about their passion for wine making and how the grandfather or father gambled (in most cases it was a gamble) their livelihoods from being farmers to wine makers to fulfill a dream.
Israel although small in size is split up into 5 wine regions, each unique in its quality, land type and growing techniques.
Israel Wineries and Wine Tours in Israel
This area includes the Mt. Carmel and Sharon areas.
Israel’s largest wine growing region, the area enjoys the benefits of being near the Carmel Mountain Range and close to the Mediterranean.
The main concentration of vineyards is in the valleys surrounding the winery towns of Zichron Yaakov and Benyamina with the Carmel, Tishbi and Benyamina wineries and plenty more smaller boutique wineries dotted around.
Judean Hills (Harey Yehuda)
Judean Hills (Harey Yehuda) includes the areas of Beth-El, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron.
This is a relatively underdeveloped wine region with cool nighttime temperatures on the hills. Many of the vineyards are grown on terraces or in narrow valleys. There are small areas of vineyards north of Jerusalem and the boutique wineries of Castel and Efrat are located to the east and near the entrance to Jerusalem.
A popular area for growing vines in ancient times, this semi-arid area has been planted with new vineyards in the northern Negev hills. It is a particularly dry area, relying solely on innovative computerized watering methods for irrigating the land. As in all desert areas there is a marked difference between day and night temperatures.
Carmel was the first of the bigger wineries to establish vineyards in the Negev with interest in Yatir Winery to name one. They also have a boutique winery at Ramat Arad. Vineyards have been planted by Tishbi at Sde Boker and by Barkan at Mitzpe Ramon — both in the Negev desert. Wine producers from other hot countries will be looking with great interest at their success.