New regional grouping of wineries more »

A new regional grouping of wineries has been formed in the area around Zichron Ya'acov. It is called Bika'at Hanadiv (Hanadiv Valley) and Shefaya. Rani Bar-Maor of Bar-Maor Winery has gathered together wineries that include Somek, Vitkin, Eyal, Smadar, Shefeya, Vortman. Solomonov, Abaya, Arens and Alona. No sign of the large wineries of the region, Carmel, Binyamina or Tishbi. The criteria for qualification is vineyard led. Those wineries with a vineyard in the region that produce a wine from it are able to be part of the group.

This region is the oldest in modern Israel with the first planting of vineyards by Baron Edmond de Rothschild dating back to 1882. Recently Dr. Yair Margalit planted a vineyard in Zichron Ya'acov to add to his existing one in Binyamina. This was a vote of confidence in this region by one of the founding fathers of the Israel wine quality revolution. The problems of the name of the region still exist though. The official name of the region as registered, is Shomron. The region starts with the Mt. Carmel range then goes into the Menashe Hills and then the central Shomron mountains. Of course the English translation of Shomron is Samaria, which most people associate with being in the West Bank rather than Zichron Ya'acov. So this region which is sometimes referred to as Shomron or Mount Carmel, will also carry the new name chosen by this group of wineries. Confusing, but since when has the administration of Israeli wine not been confusing? However it is a praiseworthy attempt to promote regionality and authenticity of wineries producing wines from the vineyards of the area.

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