Israel. The word conjures up childhood images of the Holy Land and movies I had seen showing dessert-like terrains. My first and recent trip to this impressive country showed me
another side altogether. As the plane landed in Tel Aviv I marveled at the surrounding greenery. In fact, I was told that such verdant and fertile lands extend for hundreds of kms. north of the city.
Although I was eager to see and learn more about this fascinating country, the primary reason for my visit was to attend IsraWinexpo 2010 and familiarize myself with Israeli wines.
Winemaking in Israel
Israeli winemaking began in the triangle that encompasses the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Galillee. In fact, the oldest grape pips found in
Levant date back to 8000 B.C., with the first recorded vineyard planted by Noah in 2000 B.C. Israel’s wine industry further evolved thanks to a threefold revolution which began with the founding of the
modern Israel wine industry when Baron Edmond de Rotschild, owner of Chateau Lafite founded Carmel Winery in 1882. The second phase ‘the quality revolution’ was led by Golan Heights Winery, founded
in 1983, that applied the newest technology both in the vineyards and winemaking sectors. The third took place in the 1990s, when the country’s wine market came of age with an eruption of boutique wineries, wine imports and stores that also led to ‘wine tourism’.
Israel devotes about 12,350 acres to vineyards, the soils for which can range from volcanic in the north, Terra Rossa on the coast, chalk and limestone on the hills and sandy/clay in the south. Such soil conditions,
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