Israel Wine Country
Israel wine country in biblical times is called the “cradle of vines and wines”. Wine from Israel was popular even with the Greeks and Romans and the meaning of the grape juice becomes clear at the latest when you see that the word “wine” appears 207 times in the Bible alone. Today, Israeli wine regions produce powerful, mineral, and lavishly expressive wines.
Israeli Wine Regions – From Higher Elevations to Deserts
As in Lebanon, most of the vineyards here are located in the north, where Israeli wine regions such as Galilee, Judea, occupying higher elevations. But there are also wine-growing niches in the Negev desert. The total area under vines is around 7000 hectares, of which only 5000 hectares are intended for wine production. The area under vines is steadily increasing. On the one hand, because the vine is more economical to irrigate than other types of fruit, and on the other hand, because high prices are paid for Israeli wine.
Expressive Israeli Wines
The climate of the country is well suited for viticulture: winter (October – March) is cool and rich in rainfall, spring and summer are hot and almost rainless. The grape varieties Mazuelo, (Carignan) and Cabernet Sauvignon thrive best. But as well the international varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are also grown with great success.
Israel at 700 meters altitude (Jerusalem Mountains) is similar in climate to the Napa Valley in California. The mountains of the Negev are also above 800 meters. The upper Galilee northwest of the Sea of Galilee is already 800 to 900 meters high; the Golan Heights go up to 1200 meters, comparable to Napa’s peaks up to Sonoma. Mostly volcanic rock can be found on the Golan Heights.
Powerful, mineral, and lavishly expressive wines are created here. In the upper Galilee, there is a wider range from volcanic rock to slate to granite and limestone rocks, the wine expression ranges from expressively strong to finesse rich and elegant. In the Jerusalem Mountains, similar to the Carmel Mountains in southern Haifas, the vineyards mainly consist out of limestone, and some chalk. The wines of Jerusalem in particular are a blend of finesse, here the comparison with Santa Cruz in southern San Francisco can be drawn.
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