Wine has been produced in Israel since ancient times. Various vineyards are already mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. Of the thousands of old wine presses that have been found, the oldest is estimated to be more than 6,500 years old. After Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, most of the land lay fallow, although there has probably been common wine growing throughout the centuries. At the time of the Crusades, monasteries were founded by Christians in Israel. Grapes were also grown and wine was produced at these monasteries. Later, in the Ottoman period, viticulture declined again because alcohol and Islam did not mix. Only since 1880 has serious investments in viticulture been made again, thanks to Baron Edmond de Rothschild (Lafite). There are different types of climate in Israel. In the south a desert climate, along the coast a warm, Mediterranean climate and in the north a steppe climate. There are large temperature differences in the regions between them. It gets hottest in July and August, it can easily reach 40 ° C or higher. The areas in the north are quite dry and cool, but more to the south it is drier and irrigation is required.
Wine is important in the past and present Israeli culture. There are many references to this in the Torah. Only kosher wine is consumed in worship services, wine that complies with the Jewish dietary laws.
Israel has approximately 6,000 hectares of vineyards, some of the wines of which are exported to the US, Europe and Canada. Wine-growing regions in Israel are: the Carmel Mountains (the Hebrew keremel means vineyard of God), Samson the Negev, Galilee (the most northerly) and the Golan Heights (Golan Heights). From the latter region we at Grandcruwijnen have wines from winery Golan Heights Yarden, which are classified as 'cool climate' due to the high location. This, in combination with the volcanic soil, makes their wines among the top in the world.