The Woman Who Started a Viticulture Revolution in Israel

Published: July 30, 2019

Considered the first official viticulturist in Israel, Michal Akerman is a pioneer in supporting ecological balance in the nation’s vineyards—and is now leading a revolution in vine health, biodiversity, and organic agriculture. She is also the winemaker at Tabor Winery, the fifth largest producer in Israel, where, in the Lower Galilee’s Kfar Tabor village, the same families have been growing grapes uninterrupted for five generations.  First established in 1901 by the Rothschild family of the famed Bordeaux house Château Lafite Rothschild, Kfar Tabor is not just an auspicious site for viticulture because of its founding story; it is also a terroir where four important soil types—terra rossa, loess,  limestone, and volcanic basalt—come together. Akerman now works with the Society of the Preservation of Nature in Israel (SPNI) to lead the charge to promote and protect eco-balance. At Tabor, she has instituted a complete ‘cycle of life’ in the vineyards, doing away with herbicides and unnatural practices while also welcoming back a complete cast of animals and insects that help to maintain environmental balance. The results have been nothing short of revolutionary—and a promising sign not just for Tabor’s wines, but for the whole trajectory of Israeli’s wines in general.

Forbes. July 30th , 2019: