Featured Israeli Kosher Wines
About Kosher Israeli Wine
Israeli Wine Regions
Israel is a small country where the climate has a significant impact on the quality of wines. Although only about 5 percent of the size of California, Israel experiences a variety of climate and altitude changes, resulting in various soil types and wine varietals. Israeli wine is produced in five major wine regions: Galilee (or Galil), Shomron (or Samaria), Shimshon (or Samson), Jerusalem Mountains (or Judean Hills) and Negev. More than 80 percent of the vineyards planted in Israel are located in the Shomron, Samson and Galilee regions.
Galilee Wine Region
The Galilee region extends south from the Lebanese border and covers the north of Israel. Galilee has become one of Israel's premier wine regions for their First Label and Reserve Wines. This region features high altitudes and cool breezes from Mount Hermon, where the soils are often well-drained. Some popular Israeli wine producers in the Galilee region include Dalton, Galil Mountain, Golan Heights Winery and Barkan.
Shomron Wine Region
The Shomron region is Israel's largest wine-growing region, with medium-heavy soils and a predominantly Mediterranean climate. Shomron consists of various winery towns in Zichron Yaakov, which house some of the best kosher Israeli wine producers, including Tishbi Winery, Binyamina Winery and one of Carmel's wineries.
Shimshon Wine Region
The Shimshon region houses many of Carmel's and Barkan's vineyards, where the warm Mediterranean climate produces warm, humid summers and mild winters. Shimshon is made up of the central coastal plain and the rolling hills of the Judean Lowlands around Latrun and Adulam. This region is named after the well-known biblical hero, Samson.
Judean Hills Wine Region
The Judean Hills is an underdeveloped but quality wine region with the highest amount of recognized boutique wineries in Israel, one of which is the boutique winery Castel, situated at Ramat Raziel. The Judean Hills' climate is perfect for the wine process with warm days and cool nighttime temperatures. With over 20 wineries in the Judean Hills area, each can tell a story behind the wine and biblical connection to the region.
Negev Wine Region
The Negev region is located on the southern part of Israel and is a mountainous desert on the Spice Route. Although a popular area for growing vines in ancient times, Negev only recently became a popular region among wine growers as new vineyards have been planted in the higher regions of central Negev, as well as around the semi-arid northeast Negev. Carmel was one of the first larger wineries to establish vineyards in Negev. Tishbi and Barkan soon after planted viable vineyards in the region.
90+ Point Israeli Wines
According to Robert Parker's wine tasting system, a wine scoring over 90 is ”an outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character.” Today, Parker is the world's most influential wine critic, and he awards points based on a wine's appearance, color, aroma, body, flavor, overall quality and other characteristics. An April 2015 edition of Wine Enthusiast included over 30 Israeli wines, 16 of which received 90+ scores and none rated lower than 85. The highly-rated wines come from virtually all of Israel's wine-growing Regions. In 2016 Wine Spectator's Kim Marcus tasted over 120 Israeli wines, placing close to 30 of them at a 90+ rating. You can read more on that article by clicking here!
Boutique Wineries In Israel
There are many wineries in Israel, ranging from small boutiques to large commercial production plants. Since 1995, the number of boutique wineries in Israel has grown from just seven to nearly 300. These high-quality wineries are attracting wine connoisseurs from around the world. Below are a few boutique wineries in Israel that produce high-quality kosher wines.
This family-run winery was established in 1998, and the vineyards are at an average altitude of 700 meters in the Judean Hills. Domaine Du Castel has had much success during its short span of existence thus far, with 13 of its wines being awarded with 90+ point rankings or more. A popular wine from this winery is the Domaine du Castel Rose du Castel 2014, which has enchanting floral and berry aromas leading into a wonderful soiree of tart citrus and red fruit flavors on the palate.
The Tzora vineyards reside in the Judean Hills, which rise sharply from the coastal plain and exhibit ideal growing conditions for growing wine grapes. Vineyard owner Ronnie James spent years allocating the finest terroirs in the Judean Hills, and they now own several vineyards in the Judean Hills, each with varying soils and meso-climates. The great quality and diversity of Tzora's three vineyards ensure a rich palette of flavors and complexities. The Tzora Vineyards Judean Hills 2013, for example, represents this local terroir and is made from selected plots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Bazelet HaGolan was founded in 1998 in Moshav Kidmat Zvi in the Golan Heights. Bazelet refers to the volcanic soil of the Golan Heights. The various vineyards are situated at different locations with varying elevations from 500 to over 1000 m above sea level. The vineyards produce a yield resulting in the productions of some 70,000 bottles a year. All of Bazelet HaGolan's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay grapes are grown in Golan Height's rich, basalt soil. Bazelet HaGolan produces many Special Reserve and Bronze versions of their wines, like the Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, which is unfiltered in aged in French and American oak barrels.
History Of Israeli Wine Making
Wines have been made in Israel for thousands of years. There are many references to wine and winemaking found in the bible, whether you call it the Tanakh, Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. Winemaking is thought to have originated in the area between the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Sea of Galilee, and Noah is stated to be the first recorded viticulturist, who "planted a vineyard" after the flood. In ancient times, wine was also used as a commodity of trade, as Israel was on the trade routes of Egypt and Mesopotamia. However, with the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century, the wine industry ended, and the existing grape vines were ripped out. Ruins of ancient wine presses over 2,000 years old can still be visited in Israel.
The modern era of Israeli wine making began in the late 19th century, when the Carmel Winery near Haifa was established and produced sweet kosher wines. This sweet style of wine quickly became synonymous with kosher wines. It wasn't until the late 1980s when smaller, boutique wineries entered the scene, and the growth continues to this day. Starting in 2000, the number of wineries in Israel doubled in just five years, with most producing a significant number of kosher wines. Today, Israel produces nearly 36 million bottles of wine annually.
Explore Kosher Wine from Israel
Kosher Israeli Wines Shipped To You!
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