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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Golan Heights Mt. Avital Galilee 1998

Other Red Blends from Israel
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    Golan Heights

    Golan Heights

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    Golan Heights, Israel
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    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. Since its founding in 1983, the Golan Heights Winery has marketed three leading brands: Yarden, Gamla and Golan. The winery has plaed a significant role in nurturing the country's current wine culture, and has altered the way Israeli wines are perceived worldwide.

    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.

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    With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    HPR279745_1998 Item# 74920