Golan Heights Chardonnay (OU Kosher) 2002
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Soil. Topography. Climate. These are the three distinct grape growing conditions for producing quality wines on an international level. In Israel, such optimal conditions exist in the Golan Heights. Everything in this magical strip of land begins with the right conditions in the Golan, a combination of volcanic basaltic soil, suitable topography and high altitude resulting in cool climate. This is what gives the Golan Heights its second name: "Wine Country." Over the years, the distinctive wines of the Golan Heights Winery have placed Israel on the world wine map.
Founded in 1983, Golan Heights Winery has played a significant role in developing and nurturing Israel's modern wine culture. Golan Heights Winery encompasses three brands Yarden, Gilgal and Mount
Hermon that are considered Israel's leading premier wines. The winery is a leader in technological innovation and precision viticulture, best practices which have fueled the development of Israel's modern wine era. Since 2007, Golan Heights has also driven replanting initiatives throughout Israel to ensure the health of the vine, and is the official partner for ENTAV, the world leader in vine propagation and nursery. Likewise, as a result of its commitment to sustainability along with Galil Mountain Winery, the winery’s vineyards have been the first to be certified sustainable internationally under the rigorous and renowned LODI RULES program.
With a rich history of wine production dating back to biblical times, Israel is a part of the cradle of wine civilization. Here, wine was commonly used for religious ceremonies as well as for general consumption. During Roman times, it was a popular export, but during Islamic rule around 1300, production was virtually extinguished. The modern era of Israeli winemaking began in the late 19th century with help from Bordeaux’s Rothschild family. Accordingly, most grapes grown in Israel today are made from native French varieties. Indigenous varieties are all but extinct, though oenologists have made recent attempts to rediscover ancient varieties such as Marawi for commercial wine production.
In Israel’s Mediterranean climate, humidity and drought can be problematic, concentrating much of the country’s grape growing in the north near Galilee, Samaria near the coast and at higher elevations in the east. The most successful red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, while the best whites are made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Many, though by no means all, Israeli wines are certified Kosher.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.