The historic winery of Israel closes its doors.
The last employees of the Rishon Le Zion Winery have packed up and left. The historic winery of Israel has finally closed its doors after 127 years. It was the source of many famous wines and brandies.
This is the place which sent wines in 1900 to the Paris Exhibition to win the first gold medals ever received for an Israeli wine. The first dry wines and the first varietals produced in Israel, also came from Rishon. The first wine made and aged in small oak barrels, the legendary Carmel Special Reserve 1976 was also made at Rishon. Carmel 100, the 9 year old Brandy that won the prize of Best Brandy Worldwide in 1998, was aged in Rishon’s famous brandy cellar. The Carmel Limited Edition, the winery flagship, which symbolized the quality revolution at Carmel was first produced from the 2003 vintage, with a drawing of Rishon Cellars on the label. The 2006 Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz, which won the Decanter International Trophy, was bottled at Rishon. The Carmel XO Brandy, the final quality product from Rishon was released in 2016.
The timeline of the birth and decline of Rishon Le Zion winery is as follows:
1882 First experimental vineyards planted in Rishon Le Zion.
1890 First commercial winery founded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild: Rishon Le Zion Wine Cellars.
1896 Export company launched called Carmel Wine Company
1902 Carmel Oriental (Carmel Mizrahi in Hebrew) launched
1906 Formation of Societe Cooperative de Grandes Caves by Rothschild. Traded as Carmel.
2004 Company named changed to Carmel winery.
2010 Last harvest received at Rishon Cellars. Production moved to Zichron Ya’acov Cellars.
2013 Carmel Winery bought by Kedma Captal.
2016 Bottling plant moved to Alon Tabor
2017 Offices moved to Shoham.
Carmel finally leaves offices at Rishon.