Mount Carmel, the Menashe Hills, the Shomron Hills and the Judean Hills make up the Central Mountain Region. They start in Haifa and then run down the spine of the country. The main concentration of vineyards is in the valleys north east of Zichron Ya’acov benefiting from the southern Carmel Mountain range and cooling breezes off the Mediterranean Sea.
Central Mountain vineyards: 11%
This was one of the first regions planted with vineyards by Baron Edmond de Rothschild at the end of the 19th century. Elevations rise from 0 to 500 feet above sea level. Soils vary from calcareous clay, terra rossa, limestome and chalk. The climate is typically Mediterranean. Annual precipitation is 16-24”.
Wineries in the Mount Carmel region: Carmel, Tulip, Maia, Somek.
Many new vineyards have been planted in the Shomron Hills. Here the shallow soils on a limestone base and the high altitude, between 2300 to 2800 feet, prove ideal for growing wine grapes. The sparse, stony hills look very Biblical. Vineyards have only been planted here in modern times, since the beginning of the 2000’s.
Wineries in the Shomron Hills: Gvaot, Tura.
The Judean Hills rise towards Jerusalem. Warm days, cooling winds from the Mediterranean and cool nighttime temperature characterize the region which sharply rises from 1650 feet elevation, west of Jerusalem. Directly north and south of Jerusalem elevations reach up to 3300 feet. The soils are thin terra rossa and stony, on a bedrock of limestone. Vineyards have been planted here since the beginning of the 1990’s. They tend to be in nature reserves, surrounded by garrigue and wild Mediterranean herbs. Fossils, found in vineyards, show the ancient history of this region.
Wineries in the Judean Hills: Ella Valley, Five Stones, Hayotzer, Jerusalem, Teperberg.
The southern tip of the Central Mountains is Yatir Forest, Israel’s largest planted forest, which is the meeting place between the mountains and the desert. Elevations rise from 2000 to 2800 feet.
In the Central Mountains, the higher areas receive snow in winter. Annual precipitation is 20”, apart from Yatir Forest where it is 10”. Average winter temperatures are 32-65 0F, while summer temperatures can range from 59-86 0F.
Benefiting from the southern Carmel Mountain range and cooling breezes off the Mediterranean Sea