The land of Israel is one of the most ancient winemaking regions in the world. Which country counts as the most ancient wine-making region? This is a matter of debate. Some say the first wine production was in Georgia. This was in the 4th millennia BC. There is evidence that winemaking in Israel started in biblical times, over 4000 years ago. Wine has great importance in Judaism. It carries its own special blessing, called “The fruit of the vine”. This centrality is also found in Christianity, where wine is a part of the Eucharist.
What can you expect on a wine tour?
A wine tour in Israel would include traveling to a wine region. Winemakers call this “terroir”.
There are several grape-growing regions in Israel:
- Judean hills
- Desert height
- Golan Heights
Each of the regions has a unique climate. Therefore, different grape varieties are grown in each. The goal is to get to know the wine region. For example, in the Judean hills, one can find ancient grape presses. They are 1500 years old. This is proof that Judean wine-making was important in ancient times.
What else does a wine tour include?
We will learn about the wine-growing region. This is possible from a viewpoint. Alternatively, we can walk around the vineyards or hike the land. While some vineyards are private and hidden, those who know the industry up close can show you the secret locations of the vines. During the walk, you will hear biblical stories. Famous biblical characters, such as King David, lived and walked in the heart of the Judean hills, just to name one. The famous battle between David and Goliath took place in the Ella Valley. Many vineyards can be found in the vicinity.
When do we taste wine?
It is coming right up. After getting to know the region we will go for wine tasting. This will be accompanied by cheese, bread, and olive oil. We will also meet one of the fascinating people who work in the vineyard. We will hear the story behind wine-making. Be sure to eat something before tasting wine as it is better to taste on a full stomach. We could also choose to go to a second or third winery in the region.
Do wineries offer food?
Unfortunately, wineries in Israel do not have restaurants. They do offer some snacks to accompany the tasting. These usually amount to bread and cheese.
What is the layout of a Wine Tour?
For example, our chosen day tour will focus on the Judean Hills wine region. We will pick you up in the morning. The van can hold up to 7 people excluding the tour guide. The region is between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and the driving time is less than an hour. We will start with a viewpoint of the Ella Valley. You will hear about biblical stories that took place in the region. Then we will walk around one of the hilltops. In spring there are beautiful flowers everywhere. We will see how this region is suited for making wine. Afterward, we will drive to an amazing boutique winery. We will have a conversation with one of the workers. Of course, we will also taste some fabulous wine. Bread, olive oil, and cheese will accompany the tasting. After this, we will decide if to drive for a late lunch or visit another winery. This all depends on your preferences and how leisurely we are with our wine tastings.
Is a wine tour appropriate for all ages?
Yes. You can take your whole family. Children will also enjoy the tour and the atmosphere. A special occasion is always an opportunity for a wine tour. Anniversaries, birthdays, a fun outing with friends, team building for employees, a romantic couples tour, and more. Above all, anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of the wine industry would benefit. After such a day, you’ll be more confident to order wine in an Israeli restaurant. Choosing wine at a store for a meal will be easy too.
How much does a wine tour cost?
A wine tour costs $900-$1200 for up to 6 people, depending on itinerary and wineries. Please consult us to get the final costs.
Can You purchase wine and ship it abroad?
This depends on the winery and the customs in your country. Another way to purchase wine is in the duty-free store at the airport.
What are the best wineries in Israel?
That depends on the definition of “good wine”. In Israel, there are more than a few wineries that received rankings in international magazines. Tzora winery and Yatir winery have been consistently receiving great rankings. Golan Heights Winery, for example, is well-loved by Wine Spectator magazine. Read more about their favorite wineries here. Other famous quality wineries include Barkan, Carmel, Flam, Margalit, and Castel. There are other boutique wineries that produce exceptional wines but are less known on the international scene. It would be our pleasure to suggest them.