Exactly one year ago today, I was in Napa Valley with my mom and older sister celebrating my sister's 30th birthday in style. This got me thinking how much I am craving a visit to some beautiful and tasty vineyards. Fortunately, I am in luck. You see, when I was on the Birthright Israel program a few years back, I was befuddled to see that a visit to a local winery was on the itinerary (see image above). I was even more surprised when we arrived at the winery to discover how utterly beautiful the area was. As it turns out, Israel is home to a number of wineries, probably up to 25 in total. The Mediterranean climate, with its warm, dry days and its cool, crisp nights makes for an ideal setting to grow the most delicious and plump grapes around.
Driving through Israel’s wine country is a bit like driving through Tuscany or Napa. Vines line the hills on each side of the winding road, and wineries are set among the forested rolling landscape, spotted with wildflowers. With a winemaking history that goes back nearly 5,000 years, Israel's wine industry is now undergoing a revitalization. Wine tasting is now a popular weekend activity for locals as well as a common activity for foreign travelers.
Here are a few sneak peeks at just a few of the many wineries situated throughout the entirety of Israel:
GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY
YATIR FOREST WINERY
DOMAINE du CASTEL WINERY
CLOS-de-GAT - JUDEAN HILLS
TISHBI ESTATE WINERY
GALIL MOUNTAIN WINERY
ODEM MOUNTAIN WINERY
DALTON WINERY - UPPER GALILEE
I think I'm ready now for my next wine tasting! Look out for some Israeli wines in your own neighborhood and get a little taste of the sweet grapes from this side of the world.