Little Israeli Wineries Trying To Make Big Splash

 


Boutique wineries are the fulcrum of the Israeli wine industry and their winemakers are ready to bring the country's wines to the international stage.
 
This past week The Daily Mail published an Agence France-Presse (AFP) story about Israel's tight network of boutique wineries, emphasizing the role the small operations play in the overall big operation that is the Israeli wine industry. Tzora Vineyards' winemaker Eran Pick was featured in the story.
 
“For 3,000 years wine has been produced in these hills,” Pick said in the Mail article. “We have renewed this tradition in order to make a typically Israeli wine which will be at the level of the world's best wines.”
 
According to The Daily Mail, the small winery is representative of other estates similar in size.
 
“The vineyard produces 80,000 bottles annually, of which 15,000 are sold abroad,” the article said. “Its output accounts for just a fraction of the 40 million bottles Israel produces each year from its 350 wineries, the vast majority of which are boutique enterprises.”
 
The article pointed out that the face of today's Israeli wine industry is etched in the form of French influence from years past. 
 
None other than Baron Edmond James de Rothschild himself planted in 1882 the first vines of Carmel Winery, the biggest producer of wine in Israel today.
 
The country's network of wineries continued to grow over the next 100 years, but it wasn't until the late 20th century that small wineries started to pop up.
 
“As Israelis began travelling overseas more frequently, getting a taste for French and Italian gastronomy and wine, the first boutique wineries were set up, although by the turn of the century there were only about a dozen,” the article said.
 
This international exposure and the growth of boutique wineries increased general awareness about the country's taste for vino.
“Wine culture has grown in Israel with the boutique wineries boom, so many Israelis decided to open their own,” wine expert Gabriel Geller told The Daily Mail. “It has also become sort of a trend among foreign investors and businessmen to own a winery, so many Jewish millionaires, mainly Americans, have either acquired part or full ownership in such ventures.”
 
Though not known for its world-class wines, Israel's winemakers are starting to make their mark, the story said.
 
Israel's Flam winery produces seven different labels. Their wines were featured in state dinner during President Barack Obama's visit to Israel in 2013.
 
“When we taste the wines of Flam and sometimes of wineries less well-known to the general public we realise the enormous potential of Israeli wine,” Geller said.
 

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