Advancing Brand Israel

The formation of the IWPA in America.
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The United States is Israel?s largest export market for wines, with over 50% of all Israel?s exports going there. It is also the country with the largest potential for Israeli wine. The USA has something like 5.5 million Jews. More than 140,000 US residents were born in Israel and there are between 500,000 to 800,000 Israelis living in America, depending on who you ask. The East Coast in particular is very cosmopolitan in its choice of wines and is open to the smaller wine producing countries.

Until now, Israeli wineries have not worked together to advance the Israel wine brand, apart from the pioneering ?Handcrafted Wines of Israel?, a consortium of ten wineries, which was set up and managed by Carmel in the early 2000?s. This was the first time Israeli wineries worked together.

Now Royal Wine Corp., from Bayonne, New Jersey, has set up the ?IWPA?. This is an abbreviation for The Israel Wine Producers Association.
The IWPA includes fifteen Israeli wineries, from A to Z, of every size and type, from large to small and old to new. It takes in wine regions from the north to the south of the country, covering every terroir in Israel. The largest wineries in Israel, Carmel and Barkan, are involved, along with some of the finest quality boutique wineries, such as Castel and Yatir.
The IWPA?s mission statement states: ?The purpose of IWPA is to represent Israeli wines with a unified voice. To communicate, educate, market and expose US customers and consumers to Israel as a world class wine region.?

Royal Wine, situated in Bayonne, New Jersey, is owned by the Herzog family. They are owner of two wineries, Herzog Wine Cellars in California and Kedem Winery in Upstate New York. They are not only the largest importer and distributor of Kosher wines in the world, but also the largest importers of wine, spirits and food from Israel.

Joshua Greenstein is the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the IWPA. He is the 5th generation of his family to work in the wine and spirits trade. He worked in the past to advance mega brands such as Gallo and Yellow Tail, as well as for Royal/ Kedem. His goal is to put Israeli firmly on the map. He refers to Israel as an ?Ancient land, with Modern wine.?
He says: “It?s my goal to increase the awareness and tell the story of each individual winery and thereby build awareness for the category as a whole, to a whole new level”.

The fifteen wineries that are partners in the IWPA, provide a cross section of Israel?s wine industry, covering every possible angle of interest.

Largest Wineries.
The IWPA includes some of the largest wineries in Israel, including:
Carmel Winery, Barkan-Segal, Binyamina and Zion. Carmel is the largest winery in Israel, producing 15 million bottles a year. It is the largest winery producing kosher wine in the world and is owned by SCV des Grandes Caves. Barkan is the second largest winery in Israel. It is owned by Israel?s largest brewery, Tempo Beer Industries and may currently be Israel?s largest exporter. Binyamina is Israel?s fifth largest winery in Israel and is owned by the Hezi Hinam supermarket chain. According to the harvest returns of 2010, Zion Winery is the seventh largest winery in Israel. These four wineries on their own shared no less than 60% of Israel?s wine grape harvest in 2010.

Best Boutique Wineries.
The IPWA also includes some of Israel?s finest small wineries including:
Domaine du Castel, Yatir Winery and Flam Winery. Over the years they have been recognized in publications like Hugh Johnson?s Pocket Wine Book, Robert Parker?s Wine Advocate and Daniel Rogov?s Guide To Israeli Wines. They are regarded as being part of the elite and amongst Israel?s very finest boutique wineries.
Castel, situated in Ramat Raziel, is owned by Eli Ben Zaken and managed by him with the help of his sons. Yatir Winery, situated at Tel Arad in the north eastern Negev, is owned by Carmel.
Flam is owned by the Flam brothers, sons of Israel Flam, who was winemaker of Carmel for many years.

Historical Wineries.
The IWPA includes some of Israel?s most historic wineries. These include Zion, Carmel, Segal and Binyamina, which each have a place in the story of Israeli wine.
Zion Winery is owned by the Shor family. Their descendants founded the first recorded winery in 1848, in the Old City of Jerusalem. Today the ninth generation manages Zion Winery.
The historic winery of Israel is of course Carmel, which was founded in 1882 by the same Rothschilds that owned the famous Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux.
The Segal family of distillers came to Israel in 1925, and founded their winery in 1950. Recently Segal Wines was taken over by Barkan. Eliaz was founded in 1952 following the founding of the State of Israel. It was later renamed Binyamina Winery.

New Wineries.
The list also contains some of Israel?s newer, younger wineries.
For instance, Alexander, Bazelet Hagolan, and Flam were founded in the 1990?s. This was the period the boutique winery boom began in Israel.
Psagot, Tzuba, Shiloh and Yatir were founded in the 2,000?s ? and Domaine Netofa was founded as recently as 2009!
Behind each winery is an owner, who is likely also be the winemaker, making wine with commitment and passion. The resulting wines are highly individual creations representing both the personality and terroir. The quality and variety are in no doubt.

Covering All Regions,
The wineries in this consortium cover the map of Israel from the Golan Heights to the Negev. To understand the difference of the terroirs, in the Golan the main pest is wild boars that eat the grapes. In the Negev, it is roaming camels that can devastate a vine in seconds. The IWPA wineries represent all the main wine growing regions.
Bazelet Hagolan is to be found in the central Golan Heights, in the northeast of Israel. Domaine Netofa is in the Upper Galilee and Gamla wines are made primarily in the Galilee.
Carmel and Binyamina are both situated on the southern slopes of Mt. Carmel, south of Haifa, whilst Alexander is in the Sharon Plain, near Netanya.
Barkan & Segal are located in the central Judean Plain, south west of Tel Aviv.
Shiloh, Psagot and Zion are in the central mountains. Shiloh is in the Samaria region, whilst Psagot and Zion are placed north and east of Jerusalem respectively.
Both Castel & Tzuba are situated in the Judean Hills, west of Jerusalem.
The southernmost winery is Yatir, which is situated at Tel Arad, in the northeastern Negev Dessert.

Wide Range of Expertise.
The expertise these wineries bring with them is wide and varied. They include winemakers with all sorts of backgrounds, who have studied at the world?s premier wine universities and have had experience in the world?s major wine regions.
For example, Lior Lacser, Carmel?s chief winemaker, studied in Beaune in Burgundy. Ed Salzberg, Barkan?s chief winemaker, graduated from the University of California at Davis in the United States. Assaf Paz, winemaker of Binyamina Winery, studied in Bordeaux. Golan Flam, winemaker of Flam Winery, studied in Italy. Eran Goldwasser, winemaker of Yatir Winery, is a graduate of Adelaide University in Australia.
The two winemakers who have contributed most to Royal?s world wine portfolio are also represented. Pierre Miodownick, was for 25 years the winemaker of Royal Wine Europe. He has now has founded his own winery in the Galilee called Domaine Netofa.
Also Californian Peter Stern, ex-winemaker of the Herzog Winery, and legendary wine consultant to both the Golan and Carmel, is involved. He was the architect of the quality revolution in Israel. He is now responsible for making the Gamla wines to be imported to the USA by Royal Wine. Within America, Gamla is a negociant brand producing wines primarily from the Galilee.

So the IWPA is a grouping of Israeli wineries which is able to give the color, variety and flavor of the Israel wine scene. It includes some of the largest and best Israeli wineries, along with the most exciting new wineries.

Gary Landsman, Director of Marketing at Royal Wine, is an Israeli wine specialist. He has travelled through the vineyards, worked at some of the wineries and tasted with the winemakers. He says: ?Israel wines offer something else in a globalizing market place. There is a combination of Old World and New World terroir. Ripe fruit flavors combine with earthy wild herb characteristics to make wines of interest to connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.?

Israel is a New World country, in one of the most ancient wine growing regions. It is situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, the cradle of the grape, where wine culture began. Before the Greeks and the Romans of ancient times, and well before the Italians and French of today, they were making wines in Ancient Israel.
The renewal started in the 1880?s due to the finance and vision of a Rothschild. The recent quality revolution has ensured that Israel is one of the newest of the quality wine producing countries. Now, the quality matches the rich history. The IWPA provides a platform to showcase the best of Israel. congratulates both the fifteen Israeli wineries and Royal Wine Corp. on their joint initiative and wishes the IWPA, B?Hatzlaha! Good Luck!

The IWPA – Wineries and Brands.
Bazelet Hagolan
Domaine Netofa


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