Guildsomm Chronicles the Rebirth of Israel’s Ancient Varieties

Published: February 12, 2020

In a high-profile, long-form piece for Guildsomm entitled “Indigenous Grapes: Our Past, Our Future?” top wine writer Bryce Wiatrak devotes an entire section to examining the Eastern Mediterranean, centering his study of that area on the wines of Israel. Somewhat ironically noting that Cabernet Sauvignon—an international varietal—acted as the focal point of two of the most pivotal moments in the development of Israel’s modern wine culture, Wiatrak goes on to consider the relatively new phenomenon of the country’s native grapes, of which 120 have so far been identified.

Dr. Shivi Drori, noted Ariel University professor and proprietor of Israeli winery Gva’ot, is quoted throughout the piece to discuss his groundbreaking work discovering, documenting, and disseminating the most promising native Israeli vines. Key examples of these uniquely Eastern Mediterranean varieties include Marawi, Dabouki, Jandali, and Bittuni, with Drori defining his work as “the rebirth of the ancient varieties” of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean.