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A Brief on Israeli Wines and Wine Tasting


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Title: A Brief on Israeli Wines and Wine Tasting

A Brief on Israeli Wines and Wine Tasting
  • JCRC
  • March 27, 2014

  • About Us
  • Introduction
  • Brief History of Israeli Wines
  • Quality of Israeli Wines
  • Climate and Geography
  • The Five Wine Regions
  • Grape Varieties
  • Kosher Wines
  • Tasting Wines

About Us
  • Gail Beth Appleson
  • Communications Editor, Armstrong Teasdale LLP
  • Freelance Writer
  • Wine Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • A wine story ___
  • Guillermo A. Rodríguez
  • Director, Intl Projects Study Abroad, Webster
  • Hispanic Leader (Shalom Amigos, etc.)
  • Wine Consultant
  • A wine story ___

  • Wine has been produced in the Land of Israel
    since biblical times.
  • Israeli wine is produced by hundreds of wineries,
    ranging in size from small boutique enterprises
    to large companies producing over ten million
    bottles per year.
  • In 2011, Israeli wine exports totaled over 26.7
    million a growing industry. U.S. is largest
    export market.

  • Today, less than 15 of Israeli wine is produced
    for sacramental purposes.
  • The three largest producersCarmel Winery, Barkan
    Wine Cellars and Golan Heights Wineryaccount for
    more than 80 of the domestic market.
  • As of 2012, Israel had 12,355 acres of vineyards.
  • Annual wine consumption in Israel averages 4.6
    liters per person in the U.S. it is 10.5 liters.

Brief History of Israeli Wines
  • In the book of Deuteronomy, the fruit of the vine
    was listed as one of the seven blessed species of
    fruit found in the land of Israel(Deut. 88).
  • And behold this vine...was planted in a good
    soil by great waters that it may bring forth
    branches and that it may bear fruit, that it
    might be a goodly vine. Ezekiel, 17.7

Brief History of Israeli Wines
  • In Roman times, wine from Israel was exported to
    Rome with the most sought after wines being
    vintage, dated with the name of the winemaker
    inscribed on the amphora.
  • In the 7th century, the Islamic conquest of the
    Middle East virtually wiped out the region's wine
    industry with wineries closing down and
    vineyards, planted with now lost indigenous grape
    varieties, pulled out.
  • Winemaking was temporarily revived in the
    Crusader states from around 1100 to 1300 but the
    return of Islamic rule and the subsequent Jewish
    Diaspora extinguished the industry once again.

Brief History of Israeli Wines
  • In 1848, a rabbi in Jerusalem founded the first
    documented winery in modern times but its
    establishment was short lived.
  • The root of the modern Israeli wine industry can
    be traced to the late 19th century when the
    French Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of the
    Bordeaux estate Château Lafite-Rothschild, began
    importing French grape varieties and technical
    know how to the region.
  • In 1882, Baron Rothschild helped establish Carmel
    Winery with vineyards and wine production
    facilities in Rishon LeZion and Zikhron Ya'akov
    near Haifa.

Quality of Israeli Wines
  • The Israeli wine industry was based predominately
    on the production of Kosher wines which were
    exported worldwide to Jewish communities.
  • The quality of these wines were varied, with many
    being produced from high-yielding vineyards that
    valued quantity over quality.
  • Many of these wines were also somewhat sweet or
    very sweet.

Quality of Israeli Wines
  • In the late 1960s, Carmel Winery was the first
    Israeli winery to make a dry table wine.
  • In1980s the industry at large saw a revival in
    quality winemaking, when an influx of winemaking
    talent from Australia, California and France
    brought modern technology and technical know-how
    to the growing Israeli wine industry.

Climate Geography
  • Distinctly Mediterranean climate.
  • Two primary seasons
  • A hot, humid summer season (April to October)
    with very little precipitation
  • A cold, rainy winter season (late October to
  • Dry growing season
  • Drip irrigation is essential to sustaining
  • Vineyard managers use pruning and canopy
    management techniques to maximize shade
    production from the sunlight.

The Five Wine Regions
  • Galil / Galilee / Golan - The most northern
    region and produces many of Israel's top wines.

The Five Wine Regions
  • Shomron / Samaria - Largest grape growing area
    Includes the Sharon plain located near the
    Mediterranean coast and just south of Haifa.

The Five Wine Regions
  • Shimshon / Samson - The most widely planted
    region of Israel with almost 40 of the nation's
    grapes being grown here.

The Five Wine Regions
  • Judean Hills - Higher elevation region west of
    Jerusalem. The nights are cool and crisp.

The Five Wine Regions
  • Negev - A more arid, desert region of Israel.
    Popular in biblical times for growing grapes, it
    has redeemed some of its popularity thanks to new
    watering technologies.

Grape Varieties
  • Main Varieties
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot,
    Sauvignon blanc

Grape Varieties
  • Emerging varieties
  • Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat
    Canelli, Riesling Syrah.
  • Other varieties planted to some significant
  • Emerald Riesling, Muscat of Alexandria and

Kosher Wines
  • Kosher wine is grape wine produced according to
    Judaisms religious law, specifically, Jewish
    dietary laws (kashrut).
  • To be considered kosher, a wine may only be
    handled by observant Jews from the time the
    grapes are crushed.
  • However, if the wine is boiled or pasteurized, it
    may subsequently be handled by anyone without
    losing its kosher status.

Kosher Wines
  • Kosher wine cannot contain any non-kosher
    ingredients or fining agents such as isinglass,
    gelatin or casein.
  • None of the ingredients that make up wine
    (alcohol, sugars, acids and phenols) is
    considered non-kosher.
  • Kosher for Passover wine must have been kept
    free from contact with grain, brad and dough.

Kosher Wines
  • The kashrut laws specify that wine cannot be
    considered kosher if it might have been used for
  • These laws include
  • Yayin Nesekh (??? ???) -- wine that has been
    poured to an idol
  • Stam Yainom -- wine that has been touched by
    someone who believes in idolatry or produced by

Kosher Wines
  • When kosher wine is yayin mevushal ("??? ?????" -
    "cooked" or "boiled"), it becomes unfit for
    idolatrous use and will keep the status of kosher
    wine even if subsequently touched by an idolater
    or non-Jews.
  • While none of the ingredients that make up wine
    (alcohol, sugars, acidity and phenols) is
    considered non-kosher, the kashrut laws involving
    wine are concerned more with who handles the wine
    and what they use to make it.

Kosher Wines
  • When kosher wine is produced, marketed and sold
    commercially, it must have the hechsher ("seal of
    approval") of a kosher supervising agency or
    organization, or of an authoritative rabbi who is
    preferably also a posek ("decisor" of Jewish law)
    or be supervised by a beth din ("Jewish religious
    court of law").
  • Although not all Israeli wine is kosher,
    virtually all of the large producers in Israel
    have kosher certification.

The Wines to Taste Today
  • Dalton Canaan While
  • Dalton Unoaked Chardonnay

The Wines to Taste Today
  • RED
  • Barkan Merlot, Reserve Series
  • Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Series

Tasting Wines
  • Sight
  • Look at 2 things in your glass
  • What is its appearance?
  • What is its color? Its shades?

Tasting Wines
  • Smell
  • Your nose is the key 2 things to notice
  • Aroma Related to the grape
  • Bouquet Resulting from the wine making
    (fermentation, aging, etc.)

Tasting Wines
  • Smell
  • Process
  • Smell the wine without swirling the glass.
  • Swirl the wine and smell. This liberates aromas
    and helps the wine develop with exposure to
  • Evaluation What does the aroma remind you of?
    Can you identify any different scents you know?
    Do you like the way it smells?

Tasting Wines
  • Taste
  • Sip the wine and move the wine around in your
    mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.
  • Let it reach all of your palate and even suck in
    some air to help further liberate its flavor.

Tasting Wines
  • Taste
  • Evaluation
  • Focus on the wines characteristics, such as,
    sweetness, tartness, bitterness, fruitiness, and
  • How does it taste?
  • What types of flavors do you detect?
  • How would you describe the texture of the wine on
    your palate?

Tasting Wines
  • Touch
  • Evaluation of weight and body of the wine
  • How does it feel in your mouth?
  • Is it, light, watery, thin?
  • Is it medium in body 2 milk?
  • It is full bodied, like cream?

Tasting Wines
  • The Aftertaste
  • Swallow the wine
  • Evaluation
  • Pay attention to the finish, or aftertaste.
  • Is it pleasant or awkward?
  • Does it entice you to take another sip?
  • Do the flavors linger on your palate or does it
    disappear quickly?

Tasting Wines
  • The Aftertaste
  • Type of Aftertaste
  • Short - No aftertaste
  • Long - Lingering aftertaste - Notable for a long
  • Clean - Pleasurable, free from defects
  • Unpleasant - Too bitter or too sweet

Tasting Wines
  • Overall Impression
  • Your evaluation. All tastes are different, No
    right or wrong answer
  • Simple - Did you enjoy the wine?
  • Mentally combine your impressions of the wine's
    appearance and color, aroma and bouquet, taste,
    body, and finish.
  • Evaluate the harmony among the various aspects of
    the wine.
  • An outstanding wine will have balance among all
    these elements, and each aspect of the wine will
    be well-integrated.

The End
  • Thanks. Gracias.
  • "Wine can be considered with good reason as the
    most healthful and hygienic of all beverages." -
    Louis Pasteur
  • "Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried,
    with fewer tensions and more tolerance." -
    Benjamin Franklin
  • "A meal without wine is like a day without sun" -
    Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
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