Carmel Winery, the historic winery of Israel, is going to merge with Clal Beverages, which owns 30% of Jafora Tabori, Israel’s second largest soft drinks company. The value merged company is set at NIS 840 million. The new company will become a public company and trade on the stock exchange.
Carmel was founded in Rishon Le Zion by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux, in 1882. It has made wine over three centuries: the 19th, 20th and 21st, under the auspices of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and the State of Israel. Carmel was by far the largest winery in Israel for over 120 years and a near monopoly for most of that time.
Carmel is producer of wine brands such as Selected, Private Collection, Appellation & Carmel Signature, also Tirosh Grape Juice, King David Kiddush Wine and 777 Brandy. Yatir Winery situated at Tel Arad, is a fully owned subsidiary. Carmel also distribute beer brands such as Jems, Alexander, Krombacher and wines of other wineries such as Delta and Vitkin.
Jafora markets brands such as Schweppes, Spring, Tapuzina, RC Cola and Mey Eden. It is far older than both its main soft drink rivals today, Coca Cola Israel and Tempo Soft Drinks. Jafora was founded in 1933 in Rehovot and Tabori was founded in 1936 in Pardess Hana. In 1990 the two companies merged to form Jafora Tabori.
The new company will be known as Carmel Winery. The CEO will be Nadav Arens Arad, ex Strauss Coffee, who is from a family of wine growers. He has been CEO of Carmel since 2018. The chairman will be Gilad Halevi, partner & founder of the Kedma Foundation. The move will safeguard the future of Carmel and ensure the creation of a total beverage company to compete with the giants. These are the Central Bottling Company based in Bnei Brak (producers/ importers/ marketers of brands such as Coca Cola, Johnnie Walker, Carlsberg , Moet et Chandon and the Israeli Tabor Winery) and Tempo Beverages of Netanya ( Pepsi Cola, Perrier, Chivas Regal, Heineken as well as the Israeli Goldstar and Barkan-Segal.)
Thus, Carmel which spent most of its history as a wine growers cooperative, known as Agudat Hacormim in Hebrew, will now become a public company.
CARMEL WINERY TIMELINE
1882 First vineyards planted
1890 Rishon Le Zion Wine Cellars established
1892 Zichron Ya’acov Wine Cellars established
1896 Carmel Wine Company founded for export
1902 Carmel Oriental (Carmel Mizrahi) name of local company
1906 Formation of Societe Cooperative Vigneronne des Grandes Caves
2000 Founding of Yatir Winery
2004 Name changed to Carmel Winery
2010 Last harvest at Rishon Le Zion Cellars
2013 Winery purchased by Kedma Capital
2016 Rishon Le Zion offices closed. Move to Alon Tabor
2022 Merger with Clal Beverages/ Jafora