Wine has been produced in the Holy Land for millennia but local production underwent a revival at the end of the 19th century, thanks to Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a French Jewish billionaire philanthropist who owned the iconic Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux.
Rothschild planted the first major modern vineyard at Rishon LeTzion near Tel Aviv in 1882, establishing the Carmel Winery, which today produces more than 25 million bottles a year and holds a major share of the domestic market.
A century later, the Golan Heights Winery was founded. With the help of international experts, the winery began to innovate, shifting away from Israel’s image as a producer of sweet wines for use in religious rites.
Within a decade, as Israelis began travelling overseas more frequently, getting a taste for French and Italian gastronomy and wine, the first boutique wineries were set up, although by the turn of the century, there were only about a dozen.
Today, Israel boasts more than 320 boutique establishments.
Read more here in the article published in the Daily Mail.