Israeli Red Wine
Wine has been produced in the Land of Israel since biblical times and is produced by hundreds of wineries, ranging in size from small boutique enterprises to large companies producing over ten million bottles per year. The modern Israeli wine industry was founded by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, owner of the Bordeaux estate Château Lafite-Rothschild. Today, Israeli winemaking takes place in five vine-growing regions: Galil (Galilee, including the Golan Heights), the Judean Hills (surrounding the city of Jerusalem), Shimshon (Samson), the Negev (a semi-arid desert region where drip irrigation has made grape growing possible) and the Sharon plain near the Mediterranean coast, which is the largest grape growing area in Israel. The most widely planted varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Emerging varieties that have recently been increasing in popularity include Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Riesling and Syrah.