The next edition of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Guide will be published at the end of the month. It is the forty third year of publication.
This annual mini encyclopaedia of wine was first published in 1977. It is the largest selling wine book in the world. It has no rival as a comprehensive annual guide and is sold in a dozen different languages.
Israel merits just two pages of this small but densely filled book. The country is featured in the section called ‘Eastern Mediterranean & North Africa’. However whereas twenty years ago there were only six Israeli wineries listed, today there are forty, and whereas no Israeli wineries were awarded stars then, Israel has two wineries with the maximum four stars this time.
Of the listed wineries, Barkan-Segal, Dalton, Feldstein, Jezreel Valley and Tulip wineries have each improved their position over the previous year. Ortal, Nana and Tzuba wineries are listed for the first time and Amphorae has returned after a gap of a few years.
Englishman Hugh Johnson is the world’s most famous wine writer. His classics include The World Atlas of Wine, The Story of Wine, Art & Science of Wine and A Life Uncorked.
The Israelis who advise on the Israeli section are Adam Montefiore (winery veteran & wine writer of the Jerusalem Post) and Gal Zohar (sommelier & WSET educator at the IWSI school).
Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine 2020 is published by Mitchell Beazley, which is part of the Octopus Publishing Group. The RRP is £12.99 in the UK.
Photo of Hugh Johnson: Esa Korjula