Something has happened to Israel in the last decade. Once tourists came to Israel purely for the Holy sites of Jerusalem, as Christian pilgrims visiting Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, to visit the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, or the Mediterranean Sea Front hotels of Herzliya & Tel Aviv, the business hotels of Tel Aviv, or the winter Red Sea resort of Eilat.
Now, suddenly, tourists are visiting Israel for its gourmet scene, its gastronomy and wine. Tel Aviv has become one of the most sought after new culinary destinations. Israeli chefs continue to draw attention of foodies and connoisseurs worldwide. They are popping up everywhere, from New York, to London, Paris and Berlin, getting rave reviews, winning awards and gaining notice for their adventurous, innovative Israeli / Eastern Mediterranian fusion cuisine. Israeli wine continues to receive increasing international respect, winning awards & trophies and gaining high scores and third party recognition at the very highest level.
Wine lovers are now starting to identify and explore different wine regions. This includes the established quality high elevation regions of Golan Heights, Upper Galilee, Judean Hills; the comparatively new regions of the Central Mountains and the Negev Desert; and the more tradition regions of the Coastal Plain and Judean Foothills, where Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Chateau Lafite, first planted vineyards in the late 1880’s.
The traditional tourists are still visiting Israel for the same reasons, but now they are more likely to add a winery, an artisan cheese producer or olive oil press onto their visits to the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem or the Dead Sea. They are many returning tourists who have ‘done’ Israel. For them, wine & gourmet opportunities offer the chance to do something different next time. There are also new tourists who are foodies, wine lovers and connoisseurs. Israel offers a wealth of fascination and interest for them.
A new book, just published, is the ideal guide for all tourists to Israel. It is called: A Wine Journey – An Israeli Adventure. It lists nearly 200 Israeli wineries, large and small. The only prerequisite to enter the book is that they have a visitors’ center or receive guests & visitors. Some very large wineries, like Teperberg Winery, Zion Winery – 1848 Winery and Arza – Hayotzer Winery, are not in the book because they don’t fulfill the criteria. It is a book to accompany the curious tourist, or a bedside book for the wine lover wanting to learn more about Israeli wine. It is full of snippets of information and is designed in an easy to read style. The book in paperback and will handily fit into any ruck sack.
A Wine Journey – An Israeli Adventure is by four musketeers, who are leading the new generation of Israeli wine. Guy Haran is a sommelier – educator – wine tourism expert. He is founder of Vinspiration, Israel’s leading wine tourism company, host of a popular podcast called ‘Wine is Basic’ and a WSET approved teacher. He is the number one wine tourism authority in Israel.
Roni Saslove is a winemaker – educator – communicator. She was winemaker of Saslove Winery and now teaches innovative sensory enhancement workshops and a variety of wine courses, at the Seren DPT wine venue in Jaffa. She is much in demand as a representative of Israeli wine in the media. Whether on television or radio, she conveys professionalism & enthusiasm and is one of the leading wine communicators in Israel.
Itamar Gur is a wine lover – designer, with a leaning towards wine. Studio Gur has designed numerous labels and branded many wineries over the years. His clients include some of the leading wineries in the country, and also some of the largest. It would be fair to say that his is one of the very few studios that are specialists in wine design.
Last but not least, is David Silverman who is the unofficial wine photographer of Israel. His photographs have won international awards at the highest level. He may be found at dawn, camera in hand, in the vineyard during the harvest, and then late at night at wine tastings. He is a fixture at all wine events, recording the people, vineyards, wineries and wines of Israel for posterity.
The book, retailing at NIS 96, is in both Hebrew and English. It will be sold at wineries, in visitors’ centers, or may be purchased on line: https://israeladventure.wine/en/