With its borders smaller than the state of New Jersey, it’s incredible to imagine the exponential way the Israeli wine industry has grown. Israel’s climate and various topographies offer an abundant advantage to vineyards which are scattered throughout the country. From the heat of the Negev desert, to the cold and snowy Hermon mountain, each wine region in Israel provides its own unique kind of quality and flavor.
Last week, the annual Jerusalem Wine Festival took place for its 14th anniversary, where over 50 wineries attended. While high quality flavors are a must, what makes the Israeli wine industry more secure is the sense of community which forms around the art of wine, and communication and collaboration between winemakers are a strong part of the culture. The wine festival breeds a perfect opportunity to constructively critique and explore each other’s flavors, and share insider tips and ideas.
There are currently five strong known wine regions in Israel with up to 400 wineries scattered throughout. The regions include the Northern Galilee, the Negev desert, the Judean Hills, the Samson region and the Samaria region. About forty kinds of grapes exist and about 18 countries import Israeli wine from around the world.
In a small country with a small supportive community, there is no doubt the grapevine will continue to grow and flourish into tasty sips of wine to share with the world.