BOOKS ON ISRAELI WINES

08/10/2012
Reviews of the current books about Israeli wines.
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Books on Israeli Wines

There are four books on Israeli wine currently available. Each of them are very different and provide differing views on the Israel wine scene. One is more focused on wines, another two on wineries and a fourth on the Israel wine scene. The wine lover and connoisseur will want each one of them in their library.

Wines of Israel by Eliezer Sacks & Adam Montefiore.

This is the newest addition to the range of Israeli wine books. It is edited by by Eliezer Sacks, of Cordinata Publishing.

Eliezer Sacks, is a modest ex commando who was involved with the likes of Ehud Barak, Binyamin Netanyahu, Danny Yatom and Uzi Dayan in the daring rescue of the Sabena Airline in 1972. In a drastic change of life intensity, he now publishes leisure books. His greatest success has been with wine books, but he has also published books on honey, olive oil and the Seven Blessed Species. His wine books include Shvill HaYayin and Yayin Israeli in Hebrew and The Wine Route of Israel in English. Wines of Israel is the newest book in the portfolio. It is a condensed version of the Wine Route of Israel, but presented in a different way.
Adam Montefiore has written the foreword and the introductory background information covering history milestones, grape varieties, wine regions etc. He has worked over 30 years in the wine trade in both the UK and Israel and also writes on wine for the Jerusalem Post and Jewish Chronicle.
Wines of Israel is a compact, concise, practical guide to 100 wineries, both large and small, established and new. There is a page on each winery including the winery story, details of the vineyards, winemaker and wines. Each winery is accompanied by a large page sized colored photograph of a wine chosen to represent the winery. The book represents great value.
Wines of Israel by Eliezer Sacks & Adam Montefiore, was published in 2012 by Cordinata, Tel Aviv. Retail Price: NIS 99
Rogov?s Ultimate Guide To Israeli Wines by Daniel Rogov.

Daniel Rogov was the legendary wine and food critic, who passed away in 2011. He was the food & wine writer for the??Jerusalem Post in the 1990?s and for Haaretz in the 2000?s. He was particularly well-known for his series of Israeli wine guides, which British wine expert Tom Stevenson described as one of the best of all the country guides. He also managed his own forum which had an international following. Rogov set the standard for wine within Israel, and was also an effective ambassador for Israeli wine because of his international following.

The Ultimate Guide is the last in the series, which was only published after his death. It is still relevant because many of his tastings were futures or from the barrel. The book has a thumbnail sketch of more than 150 wineries, which are rated from one to five stars. There are thousands of wines listed, each with Rogov?s exhaustive tasting notes and a data base of scores going back quite a few years. So it remains an excellent guide to Israeli wines.
Rogov?s Ultimate Guide To Israeli Wines by Daniel Rogov, was published in 2011 by Toby Press, Jerusalem. Retail Price: NIS 129
The Wine Route of Israel by Eliezer Sacks, Yaron Goldfisher & Adam Montefiore.
This book is presented by the Cordinata Publishing House. It is edited by Eliezer Sacks, the ex- Israeli commando who owns Cordinata. The original project was initiated by Yaron Goldfisher. The introductory essays were written by wine trade veteran Adam Montefiore, and there are also contributions from winemaker Dr. Arkadi Papikian, soil scientist & researcher Professor Amos Hadas and Michal Dayagi-Mendels of the Israel Museum. The Forewords are written by winemaking consultant Peter Stern from California, ex importer Dr. Peter Hallgarten from England and industry insider Adam Montefiore from Israel.
This is the third edition of Wine Route of Israel, which has been revised and updated. It provides the most comprehensive overview of the Israeli wine industry to date. This coffee table book contains over 250 pages in full color, with photographs of wineries, winemakers, vineyards and wines. The wineries listed range from A to Z, or Adir to Zion, covering Israel?s largest wineries to small garagistes. They also cover the map of Israel from Odem Mountain in the northern Golan, to the deepest Negev. There are maps and the wineries are listed geographically to make it useful for the wine tourist. The comprehensive introduction provides substantial? information on every aspect of Israeli wine, including history, industry statistics and explanations.
The Wine Route of Israel by Eliezer Sacks, Yaron Goldfisher & Adam Montefiore, was published in 2012 by Cordinata, Tel Aviv. Retail Price: NIS 149.
The Bible of Israeli Wines by Michael Ben Joseph.
It was Michael Ben Joseph?s first book in Hebrew, published in 1990, which brought many Israelis to wine. He then followed this with another one. These were the first comprehensive, well presented books on wine in Hebrew. Countless wine professionals and experts today attribute their learning about wine for the first time to these two books.

Mimi Ben Yosef, as he is known to Israelis, was a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. He participated in the legendary Entebbe rescue mission. He later became an airline Captain with the Israel national airline, El Al. During this time he learnt about wine on his travels, and in the 1990?s he was arguably Israel?s most distinguished wine writer. He is today the wine writer for Cigar Magazine.

The Bible of Israeli Wine is out of print, but copies may still be found at Gefen, Tsomet Sefarim or Amazon. This was the first modern book on Israeli wine in English. It paints the colors of the Israeli wine scene well and has some good stories and anecdotes. It has excellent chapters providing the background to Israeli wine, touching on viticulture, geography, archaeology, history and religion. The section on wineries is more out of date, but is interesting to read about the main wineries a mere ten years ago and to see how they have developed. The forward to the book is written by the highly respected Professor Amos Hadas.
The Bible of Israeli Wines by Michael Ben Joseph was published in 2002 by Modan, Ben Shemen. Retail Price: NIS 160
Books on Kosher Wines

In addition there are a few books on kosher wines which touch on Israel. These include: ?Rogov?s Guide To Kosher Wines? by Daniel Rogov, ?Fruit of the Vine? by Maurie Rosenberg and ?The Kosher Grapevine? by Irving Langer. Rogov?s book is similar to his books on Israeli wine. He scores wines and rates wineries. The 2010 edition includes Israeli wines. Rosenberg and Langer are very enthusiastic amateurs whose books will appeal to those that they are written for. The three books, all mention Israeli wineries but of course, only those producing kosher wines.

??Websites

However if it is Israeli wines you want and you don?t read books, there are two websites that provide an excellent service. The most prominent is www.wines-israel.com

?This was founded by wine website pioneer, Israel Preker. It is the most comprehensive English speaking website covering Israeli wine. It provides regular articles, news items and masses of information. Israel Preker founded the israelwines website and then followed this by creating the www.wines-israel.co.il website. It is the leading website in Hebrew & English covering the world of Israeli wine. Israel Preker is an engineer working in the electronic field by day. At night and at the weekend, he updates and maintains the website with all the latest news and articles. The result of his effort has been an enormous contribution to Israeli wine.
The main wine blog on Israeli wines is www.israeli-wine.org This is created and maintained by Avi Hein, a canny marketer using social media. Here there are regular articles of interest.
It is probable that Israeli wines are better now than they have been for the last 2,000 years. Also there is arguably more written information on Israeli wine today, from these recommended books and websites,? than at any time since the Bible was written.

One Response to BOOKS ON ISRAELI WINES

  1. Linda Lipschitz says:

    I am trying to get hold of Eliezer Sacks (The Wine Route of Israel). Do you have contact details for him.
    It is a personal matter and would be grateful for an email or phone number.
    Thank you

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