Wine from Israel has become more and more in demand both in the country and around the world in recent years. Why? Simply because it is really good.
Israeli wine has actually won in several categories in international wine tasting competitions.
In the last 10-15 years the wine culture in Israel has developed at a very fast pace, and today there are well over 100 wineries in Israel (which is a lot for such a small country). While some of the wineries are small and produce only a few thousand bottles per year, the big wineries are producing several millions of bottles.
Israelis have become passionate about the subject and wine is produced in many places from the Golan Heights in the north and the big wineries of Mount Carmel to the smaller wineries in the desert and the southern part of Israel. For such a small country you get quite a variety in the wine industry and as a tourist there are great opportunities to visit wineries and sample some of the wines.
Wine from Israel has been traditionally grown in the area of Mount Carmel in the beautiful towns of Zichron Ya’acov and Binyamina. In this area you will find the “Carmel” winery, which is the biggest winery in the Middle East, alongside smaller wine producers.
The regions that are considered the best in terms of Israeli wine are the upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. You would probably enjoy visiting the Golan Heights Winery in the town of Katzrin (in the Golan), which offers a tour and tastings of their great wines. I’m not an expert but I was told those wines are similar in taste to wines grown in California.
If you keep kosher please remember that while most wine produced in Israel is kosher, not all wineries (especially the small ones) are keeping with the tradition.
All in all visiting in the wineries and tasting the wines from Israel will definitely add to your experience while traveling in Israel. Just don’t get too drunk…
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