Israel Wine Regions

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Israel vineyardIsrael prides itself for being able to manufacture world-class wine in the midst of its interesting terrain. The popularity of Israel’s wine is on the rise and it will surely continue along that path in the coming years.

The different region of Israel where it is able to grow grapes and produce wine is quite amazing. The expanse of the terrain is able to yield world-class wine. Historically, the country’s largest wine-growing regions were the Samson and Shomron regions. This still remains to be true until today but there have been various amazing advancements that are taking place in the wine regions of Negev and in the Galilee.

The reason for this is because there have been several individual wineries which have been set up in the desert. These are the Tishbi and Barkan wineries. For the others, you have the Golan Heights and Carmel. Even though the country is technically in the Middle East, it still follows the EC regulations regarding the distribution of wine. So, without further adieu, we discuss the different wine regions of Israel.

Galilee (Galil) – This area is from the Lebanese border which then proceeds to cover the north of Israel. This is Israel’s premier wine region which has cool breezes from Mt. Hermon, volcanic soil, high altitudes and microclimates where the soil is gravelly and heavy yet well-drained. These are distributed over the different vineyards which are located in the Lower Galilee, Upper Galilee, Golan Heights and Tabor.

Samaria (Shomron) – This region has the largest wine growing region of the country. It benefits from the Carmel Mountain Range and the region’s closeness to the Mediterranean. The vineyards are mainly located in the valleys which surround the different wineries such as the one at Zichron Yaakov, which houses one of Carmel’s very own winery and the Tishbi winery as well. The soils that can be seen in this area are quite limey and medium-heavy.

Samson (Shimshon) – The areas of Adulam, Dan and Latrun make up this area. This region is named after the biblical hero, Samson. This area is mostly coastal plains and rolling hills. Most of Barkan and Carmel’s vineyards are situated here. Soils in the region vary from loam, stone, clay and lime with an added coastal Mediterranean climate which is generally warm in summer and mildly cold in winter.

Judean Hills (Harey Yehuda) – This is quite an underdeveloped wine region which has cool nighttimes. Because of this, the vineyards are grown on terraces and narrow valleys. Soils in this region are limey and stony. The climate varies from being dry to Mediterranean.

Negev (Hanegev) – In ancient times, wine was popularly grown here. This semi-parched area has been planted with new vineyards in the Negev hills. It is situated 600 meters above sea level which gives an obvious shift in the day and night temperature. The success of the Negev desert in producing wines may be of great interest to wineries in hot climates. The types of soil here are loamy and the climate is quite dry with hot summers.