In fact, 2000 years ago the Romans exported wine from here to places as far away as Britain! After the Arab conquest in 638, wine production slowed (Islam does not permit alcohol) until eventually rearing grapes was officially outlawed. However, with the large waves of Jewish immigration at the end of the 19th century, there was a return to grape cultivation and wine making, as the Jews were aware of the local wine heritage and also needed wine in order to perform certain ritual ceremonies.
For a long while, Israeli wines were not much to speak of (one does not restore an ancient tradition overnight!) but today many of Israel’s wines are highly praised by international wine critics, and have been the recipients of sophisticated international wine prizes. This is largely the result the favourable Mediterranean climate and sophisticated technologies adapted by Israel’s wine makers in around 300 small and boutique wineries.
Winery & Vineyard Tours
The Golan wines are particularly well known, but there is a plethora of large and small boutique wineries and we have hand-picked our favourites where you can enjoy a wine tasting as part of your Israel tour. From the Golan and the Galilee to the Jerusalem hills and even the Negev desert, we know all the best wineries and will introduce you to the vintners themselves who will regale you with stories about their life’s passion and their creative process. We can also arrange wine tastings and rustic outdoor meals at some beautiful vineyards where you can again taste wines and meet the people behind them. Luckily for those who enjoy the wine they taste, Israel is now a serious exporter of wines, and many of the wineries we work with have streamlined processes for shipping cases of wine to the USA, UK and other countries.
Food and wine were all excellent – I don’t think we had an average meal the whole trip.
Sandra F, New York
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