What Defines the “New Wave” of Israeli Winemakers?




A key thing to keep in mind is that the New Wave of Israeli wine really is new, with some of the more interesting wineries no more than five years old. Many of them currently have no estate fruit, though they are developing estate vineyards. While these new vineyards mature, wineries buy grapes from selected established vineyards. Visiting the wineries, it is easy to sum up several of the crushing, fermenting, and bottling operations as Garagistes who are going to the next level. The results of their early efforts, however, are surprisingly outstanding!

We tasted a wide range of wines on the trip, from both newer and well-established wineries, ranging from Benhaim, Dalton, Pelter, Teperberg, Clos de Gat, Montefiore, Galil Mountain Winery, Golan Heights Yarden, Sphera White Concepts, Agur, Tzora Vineyards, Jezreel Valley Winery, Bat Shlomo Vineyards, Flam, Yatir, Amphorae, and Lewinsohn. Among these the Sphera, Tzora, Agur, Bat Shlomo, Lewinsohn, and Jezreel wineries were exceptional.

One of the distinctive elements that characterizes the New Wave of Israeli wine making is that the younger up-and-comers have chosen to innovate through the blending of varietals that emphasize the craftsmanship of their wine making and show off the terroir of their appellations. What does that mean? Have you ever tasted a white wine that is a blend of 60% Pinot Gris, 30% Semillon, and 10% Riesling (2013 Sphera White Concepts First Page)? How about a red wine that is a fusion of Carignan, Syrah, and Argaman (2013 Adumim from Jezreel Valley Winery); or the 2014 Levanim from Jezreel, which is composed of a blend of Chardonnay, Colombard, and Gewurtzraminer?

These wines are excellent!

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