Among my different tours, these are the wine tours which I love among the most. First of all, these are the wines - and the wineries. They are so different. And this is a great opportunity, if I travel with the tourists or with the friends, to enjoy the diversity, when a tiny distance between two wineries represent two worlds apart.
Just last month I had an opportunity to take my tourists to wineries at the Central part of Israel. Here the terrain is perfect for the red wines, and we visited Amphorae Winery at Carmel Area, and also Bravdo Kedma Wineries at Judea Hills. Three different wineries, three different stories and three different types of wine, all perfect.
Amphorae is a classic boutique winery, young, like all the Israeli wineries, relatively small, like most of them, and tremendously ambitious. The winery is located at Makura farm, in a magical valley hidden at the midst of an ancient volcano on the Western Carmel Mountains. This area is considered one of the most ancient wine producing areas on Earth, and Amphorae, established only in 2000, is proud to continue ages old traditions of making great wines.
Karmei Yosef Winery (Bravdo) winery is all about wine-making science, and it was built and is run by two University professors. Everything here is scientifically proved, which creates an atmosphere of a real Hi-Tech. The winery is located in the heart of the vineyard at the foot-hills of the majestic village of Karmei Yosef, on the way to Jerusalem. The Professors established the winery in 1999 and have managed to successfully translate their wealth of knowledge to the creation of highest quality wine. The cool summer nights and the limestone rich soil at their 50 acres estate are known to produce fine wine grapes back to the time of the King Solomon’s kingdom. And at Karmei Yosef this tradition was escalated to the top of the most advanced technology.
And Kadma Winery is just the opposite. Its owners have recreated an ancient technology of wine aging in clay casks, instead of the barrels. This alone creates a feeling of going back in ages, to those times when the Promised Land was the homeland not of milk and honey only but the best wines as well. Kadma wines are fermented and Induced in large clay casks that were brought from Georgia, where the tradition of cask making was preserved for thousands of years by local craftsmen. Fermentation in clay casks grant the wine with unique aromas and flavors. Kadma winery is located in Kfar Uriah, deep in the Judea foothills, in an area well known for its great vineyards and wines for thousands years.
There are now well over 200 wineries in Israel – from those producing millions of bottles yearly, to the boutiques making just few thousand. And although rich history of local wines can be traced back to 3000 BC, the first contemporary wineries reappeared only later in 19th century in Jerusalem, where small wineries started producing sacramental wine. However the most recent phenomena of the quality wine making has only started in the 1990s.
Exports of Israeli wines continue steadily growing year after year. It is a vibrant and highly successful industry with a variety and quality that will surprise those who have not visited Israel recently.
Each one of Israel’s wine growing regions awaits your exploration and looks forward to sharing its unique wines with you. And then it will be for you to decide for yourself which is your favorite!
If you want to enjoy the best Israeli wines and to know more about wines and wineries of Israel,you are welcome to book one of our three regional wine tours