Page 1


Wine Fever in the Holy Land “The Land of Israel staggers beneath its burden of history and myth, and much of that intoxicating scripturally sanctified baggage is wine-sodden. What Christian would not like to drink the wine of Cana or Galilee after a thoughtful afternoon amongst the splintery, fissured olives of Gethsemane? What Jew would prefer a French kosher wine to one from the Land from which (according to the Book of Numbers) Moses’ spies returned bearing an enormous cluster of grapes suspended from a pole?” Andrew Jefford, Evening Standard Wine Guide

Scratch the surface of an Israeli map and you will find a winemaker, making wine with individuality and passion. There are more than 200 wineries, ranging from large commercial operations producing millions of bottles to small domestic ones making a few thousand for friends and family. For the curious tourist and the adventurous wine lover, there is no end to the variety of wineries to visit and wines to taste: from the northern Golan Heights, as high as 1200 meters above sea level, down to the lowest depths of the Negev Desert. There are technologically advanced wineries that would not be out of place in Napa or Barossa, and ones where lack of expertise is compensated for by boundless enthusiasm. There are moshav (cooperative) wineries and kibbutz (collective) wineries. There are wineries run by ultraorthodox Jews and wineries operated by Christian monks. There is even one called Mony, owned by an Arab family, that makes kosher wine and is situated in a monastery! Archeological remains of a rich winemaking past abound in the region, dating back at least 2,000 years before the Greeks and Romans took the vine to Europe. The Israelites’ interest in winegrowing is a recurring theme in the Bible and the Talmud. Of the seven species with which Eretz Israel was blessed, the vine was first among the fruits. For Jews there is no communal, religious or family life without wine. A Jewish boy will have his first taste of wine at his circumcision when only eight days old, and the wedding ceremony includes the bride and groom sipping from the

Wine Cellars in Domaine du Castel



The Book of New Israeil Food  

wine Wine Cellars in Domaine du Castel 283 23 Andrew Jefford, Evening Standard Wine Guide › ›

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you