It has been announced that Carmel Winery, the historic winery of Israel, will distribute the wines of Vitkin Winery from 2022. This is the latest addition to a portfolio of small wineries that Carmel has been gathering together in the last year. They already have disclosed their plans to distribute Arza-Hayotzer and Delta Winery.
Vitkin Winery is one of Israel’s finest small wineries. It is family owned and was founded in 2001. Sharona Paz-Blogolovsky is the CEO and her brother, Assaf Paz is the winemaker. Assaf worked for Carmel for a few years in the early 2000’s. He is most well-known for fronting the ABC movement in Israel. He was the pioneer of quality Carignan and Petite Sirah amongst others. The winery is situated at Kfar Vitkin. Their wines range from entry level Masa –Israel Journey, to the mid-range Vitkin label and the prestige Shorashim. They previously worked with the importer-distributor Hacarem.
Carmel was founded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Chateau Lafite in 1882. The first vineyards were planted in 1882 and their first winery was built in 1890. They were Israel’s largest winery for 120 years, but are now behind Barkan. The main brands of ‘Carmel the Winery’ are Yatir-Carmel Signature-Private Collection-Selected-King David Kiddush- Carmel Tirosh. Nadav Arens is the CEO of Carmel and Yiftah Peretz is the Head Winemaker.
Carmel have made moves to become more a drinks distributor than just a winery, in order to challenge the total beverage package of Tempo and Coca Cola Israel, by beginning to market beers and spirits as well as wines.
The gathering of small wineries is reminiscent of the Handcrafted Wines of Israel initiative back in 2003. It is not the first time Carmel have attempted to distribute beers and spirits. Previous attempts were not long lived. Some of the other distribution agreements recently made by Carmel are difficult to understand, but this definitely makes sense. The fact they will be offering their Vitkin wines, alongside their own Yatir wines, will mean they will be taken seriously, by restaurants and wine shops.