The land of Canaan, the origin of modern-day Israel, is one of the oldest wine-growing regions. The "Promised Land" was under Abraham about 2000 to 1900 and under Moses about 1300 to 1200 BC. BC settled by the Israelites. But the two events were not exactly the same area because the boundaries were fluid and constantly changing. Canaan stretched from Sidon (now Sayda in Lebanon) to Gaza and encompassed the coastal strip along with the hinterland on the east coast of the Mediterranean with today's Israel and parts of Lebanon. Jordan and Syria, The current name of Palestine (not to be confused with the much smaller Palestinian autonomous area in the West Bank) was created only in the 2nd century AD under Roman rule. At the time of Moses lay north to northeast Phenicia (Syria, Lebanon), the Hittite Kingdom (Armenia) and Assyria (Iraq), as well as in the south Egypt (Upper Reich). In these countries viticulture occupied an important position and the landscape Mesopotamia is considered one of the cradles of wine culture.
The vineyards between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea yielded large quantities of wine, which was also delivered to the Egyptian court. For the Israelites, wine played an important role and was part of the religious and cultural life. In the Bible There are numerous examples of the former drinking culture, Some Jewish kings gave Bottle sizes their names, so for example Salomon. Jeroboam and Rehoboam, By the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II. (605-562 BC) was 586 BC. Conquered Jerusalem. Even after the destruction of Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews under Emperor Titus (39-81) in 70 AD, wine cultivation continued in this area under Roman rule. After the Arab conquest around 650 AD were due to the Muslim alcohol ban most vineyards cleared. Only by the crusades there was between 1100 and 1300 again temporarily a modest viticulture. After the final expulsion of the Jews, however, he finally came to a standstill for more than 600 years.
In ancient times, the freely growing, tree-like vines were often raised on other trees, the fig tree was very popular. Near the vineyards there was a stone tread (1 x 2 m, 20 cm deep), in which the grapes were trampled; Only in Roman times were tree presses used. From this tread several tubes led to a lower reservoir, where the fermentation took place. In the hot climate fermentation took place very quickly and then the wine was filled in earthenware amphorae that you sealed with bad luck. For the Jews, wine was an important medium in sacrificial rituals in which wine was spilled to thank God. The wine for daily use was filled into small bags of goat skin. According to a written report "there was more wine in Canaan than water" and it was also mainly wine drunk. Mostly it was mixed with water and often with aromatic herbs and other ingredients flavored, An important center of wine production was the city of Gibeon (now Al Djib) near Jerusalem. According to archaeological finds there was in the 7th century BC. For the wines from Gibeon on the amphorae a name of origin and the name of the vineyard owner Chr. There were numerous cellars where wine could ripen for many years at a constant temperature.
The first documented winery of modern times was founded in Jerusalem in 1848 by Rabbi Shore. Beginning in 1880, Jews from the Diaspora retreated to Israel and there were attempts to revive viticulture, which failed due to lack of experience. In 1882, by Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) revived viticulture through a foundation of 60 million gold francs. That was a tremendous sum and he received the honorary title Hanadiv (benefactor). From the Rhône valley and the Midi were introduced by French oenologists vines and supported the local winemakers in viticulture and winemaking. For now, however, only kosher wine produced, which was exported to Jewish communities around the world. In 1906, Rothschild handed over to the winegrowers the cellars of Rishon LeZiyyon near Tel Aviv and Zikhron-Yaacov near Haifa. Both together form a cooperative winery with the brand today Carmel, After the Six-Day War in 1967, a new wine-growing region was developed on volcanic soil at the conquered Golan Heights at 1,000 to 1,200 meters above sea level.
Israel divides into five wine regions. The largest is Shomron (Samaria) near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa. It includes the vineyards around the Carmel Mountains and the two cities Zichron Ya'akov and Binyamina. The northern region of Galilee includes the area around the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights. The lowland Shimshon (Samson) between the Judean highlands and the Mediterranean coast includes the vineyards around Rishon Letzion and Rehovot. The Harei Yehuda region (Judean Mountains, Hebron Mountains) includes vineyards around Jerusalem and the West Bank. The southern desert region of Negev is divided into the subregions Ramat Arad and South Negev. The climate is characterized by two long seasons. There are dry summers from April to October with no rain and rainy winters from October to March.
Despite these extreme conditions, there are very good conditions for viticulture. In most of the vineyards there is an artificial one irrigation, Especially in the south of the country, the large temperature difference between day and night promotes a high acidity of the grapes. The dry climate prevents fungal diseases, There is none autochthonous Grape varieties. Most French are grown; From the beginning of the 2000s, a changeover to suitable for the special, Mediterranean climate took place. In 2012, the total vineyard area was 8,000 hectares, of which 3,000 for Blackboard- and 5,000 for wine grapes. The Wine production quantity was 270,000 hectoliters. The Blend 2010 (Statistics Kym Anderson ):
Synonyms or Israeli name
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The wine production is still often under religious supervision of a rabbi, the specifications for a kosher wine to ensure. The Israeli wine names are often of Hebrew origin. Traditionally, full-bodied, sweet red wines, nutmeg wines and white sweet wines were produced in the past. Dry or semi-dry wines now account for around 70%. From Chardonnay sparkling wines are produced by the champagne method. There are about 250 commercial wineries that are well-known Avidan. Barkan Wine Cellars, Binyamina, Carmel, Castel, Cesarea, Clos de Gat, Dalton, Efrat, Flam, Galil Mountain, Golan Heights Winery, Har-Meron, Margalit, Nachshon, Pelter, Recanati, Sde-Boker, Segal, Soreq, Tabor, Teperberg 1870, Tishbi. Tulip. Vitkin and Yatir. The main export markets are Germany, France, Great Britain and the USA.