Where to go in Israel? | Winemaking and Winery Tours
Everywhere are the valleys and mountains with olive trees, the land of Israel is full of them. But what you will also see are the endless vineyards.
Photo by Dalton Winery, in the Galilee Region
Ancient Winemaking in Israel
Israel has a long history of wine production, dating back to biblical times and continuing to modern day. Hundreds of winepresses are found in the fields, villages and cities of the Holy Land. The ancient winepress was a giant, hallowed out rock where the grapes were brought and crushed by the feet of the workers, extracting the juice to make the wine. Many vineyards and winepresses are found in most of the biblical places and ancient sites, in Galilee in the north, Golan, Shomron, Judean Hills and the Negev Desert, in the south.
Photo by Reader Digest’s Great People of the Bible and How They Lived
The Bible has References to Wine, Winepress and Winemaking
It’s no secret that wine flows freely in biblical stories. Grapes are one of the seven species connected to the land of Israel along with wheat, barley, figs, pomegranates, olives and date honey. Vineyards and winemaking were common in agrarian Israel. Wine was an essential part in the worship of the people of God in both Old and New Testaments. Wine was used in celebrating the Passover. Wine is associated with life and God’s blessing. Wine was used in the Scriptures as symbols of many important truths: Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding and the Passover cup at the Last Supper was filled with wine.
Rediscovering the Promise of the Land
Ancient Israel must have been one of the earliest wine-producing countries. Wine production came to a halt with the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD and did not start up again until the arrival of Baron Edmond de Rothschild in the late 19th century. Israel has gone through ups and downs within the wine industry but today the Holy Land is returning to a world class wine status.
Israel is renowned for its agriculture. Its Mediterranean weather and fertile soil give the wine an ideal foundation of producing the perfect grapes. Israel’s viticulturists are forward-looking. Most of Israel’s wineries are technologically innovative and they engage internationally trained winemakers, with experience in major wine producing countries. Israel is honing the art of winemaking to vie with some of the best in the world. Today, hundreds of wineries, ranging in size from small boutique enterprises to large companies, are producing Israeli wines.
Winery Visit in Israel
Consider a half day or full day trip to discover some of Israel’s wineries – you can enjoy an array of experiences such as wine education, cheese and chocolate tastings, chef restaurants, vineyard tours and beautiful scenery. The winery tour includes wine tasting and takes you to see the winemaking process first-hand. You get to learn about how good quality wine is produced by traditional winemaking techniques combined with new technology and how variations in the soil and climates are reflected in the wines. You get to tour around the vineyard on a jeep, a memorable experience full of scents and tastes in the fresh air of the hills. Call us for your private Israel wine tour on your next visit to Israel. We are happy to provide an itinerary and pricing on just about any tour you would be interested in. Click here if you are interested in organizing a private tour.
Photo by Psagot Winery, in the Judean Hills
Photo by Golan Heights Winery
Photo by Tamar Sokolski – Golan Heights Winery