Fine wine from Israel. Israel is located in the western Middle East, at the very eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. The Jewish state’s famously controversial borders, created in the wake of WW2, abut those of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
Despite a long, turbulent history, this region is often cited as one of the ‘cradles of civilization’, the birthplaces of man’s agricultural and urban development. Modern-day Israel occupies the land described in the Bible as ‘flowing with milk and honey’, a phrase analogous with our current concept of the Fertile Crescent. Once the seeds of civilization had been sown in these fertile lands, it was only a matter of time before man began to turn them first into grapes, then into wine. The Bible progresses just nine chapters before mentioning wine, citing the moment some hold to be the dawn of winemaking: 'Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard' (Genesis 9, 20-21).
Although tiny compared to most modern wine-producing nations, Israel's annual wine production has attracted attention from all corners of the wine world in recent years. This is not only due to the development of new cooler-climate terroirs such as the Golan Heights, but also to the quality-conscious approach of the nation's wine producers.