Israel Re-Visited

Published: August 1, 2019

Quality wine production is rapidly rising in Israel, but challenges still impede the adoption of the country’s wine exports by American consumers. For starters, Israel is quite small—even smaller than New Jersey—and is home to only 14,000 acres of vines, which is less than a third of Napa Valley alone. Moreover, Israel is home to only about 300 wineries, and most are boutiques that do not export their products. Beyond questions of availability, perception has been a key challenge for Israeli wine. There is a need for more communication and better articulation of the web of attributes that make the country a winemaker’s paradise. Making wine this close to the equator requires ultra-high elevations, a pointed shift in day and night temperatures, and a careful balance of rocky soils (which the country has in abundance) and judicious water use, so as to keep vines hydrated in the Mediterranean sun yet also stressed just enough to coax the very best from the fruit. And while the history of wine in Israel predates Europe by a few thousand years, the country is completely up-to-trend with all major currents of the wine trade: planting the exact right varieties, cultivating at high elevations, and employing the expertise of internationally-trained winemakers.

Massachusetts Beverage Business. August 1 st , 2019: