Israeli "Regions"

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Israeli "Regions"

Postby Menachem S » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:28 am

2 Questions, general and specific:

What are the "main" or "correct" Israeli "regions"? How many are there?

And, more specifically, should Ella Valley have the region of "Ella Valley", or is that Judean Hills?

Is Judean Hills the region and Ella Valley the appellation?

Thanks!
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:07 pm

Menachem, Hi.....

You ask a short question but, with apologies, are going to get a rather drawn-out answer.

First with regard to specifics - there are five general vinicultural areas within the country (those detailed following), and within that wineries can use sub-regional headings on their labels so long as the grapes came from there. For example, The Ella Valley Vineyards winery is located in the recognized area of the Judean Hills and the Ella Valley is part of that region. The same can be true with single vineyards - e.g. Barkan's wines made from grapes grown in the Galilee can be categorized as coming from the Manara Vineyard.

The present categorization is judged by many (including myself) as inadequate and often inaccurate. Moves are underway to update and improve the system but so many groups are working in this direction that the committees involved are now more concerned with their "status" than with change that little is being accomplished.

At the request of one person that I respect in the government, I have also drawn up an outline for what I believe might be a workable system. I am not at liberty at this time to present that plan in public... Will be able to do so in January though.
Following, from my book, is a description of the vinicultural regions as they stand currently

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The country is divided into five vine-growing regions, the names of which are generally accepted by the European community and appear on all labels of varietal wines that are designated for sale both locally and abroad. Each region is divided into sub-regions, encompassing specific valleys, mountains or other locales. Although various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies are considering imple-menting a more stringent appellation controlee system, the major regions today remain as follows:

Galilee: Located in the northern part of the country, this area extends to the Lebanese border and incorporates the Golan Heights. It is the region most suited for viticulture in Israel. The high altitude, cool breezes, marked day and night temperature changes and rich, well-drained soils make the area ideal for the cultivation of a large variety of grapes. The area is divided into four sub-regions: the Upper Galilee, the Lower Galilee, Tabor and the Golan Heights. Some of the wineries located here are the Golan Heights Winery, Galil Mountain, Chateau Golan, Dalton, Saslove and Tabor. Development of new vineyards continues apace in the area, many of these owned by wineries located in other parts of the country.

Shomron (Samaria): Located near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa, it including the Carmel Mountain Range and the vineyards surrounding the towns of Zichron Ya’akov and Binyamina. This region remains the largest grape growing area in the country. The area has medium-heavy soils and a Mediterranean climate, with warm sum-mers and humid winters. Wineries in the area include Mar-galit, Tishbi, Binyamina, and the Zichron Ya’akov branch of Carmel, all relying at least in part on grapes grown in other areas for their better wines.

Shimshon (Samson): Located between the foothills of the Jerusalem Mountains and the Mediterranean coast, this re-gion encompasses the central plains, including the area around Rishon Letzion and Rehovot. Although the area boasts many vineyards, the limestone, clay and loamy soils and the coastal Mediterranean climate of warm, humid summers and mild winters do not offer ideal conditions for the cultivation of fine varieties, and many of the wineries in the area rely on grapes from other parts of the country. Among the wineries located here are Carmel, Barkan, Kar-mei Yosef, and Soreq.

Jerusalem Mountains: Sometimes referred to as the Judean Hills, this region surrounding the city of Jerusalem offers a variety of soil conditions and a cool Mediterranean climate due to its relatively high altitude. For many years the region served as home primarily to wineries that specialized in sweet sacramental wines, but about a decade ago it became clear that this area could prove excellent for raising noble varieties. The area underwent strenuous revitalization with the major planting of sophisticated vineyards and the open-ing of several medium-sized and an increasing number of small wineries. More than twenty-five wineries are found in the area, including Castel, Clos de Gat, Sea Horse, Flam, Ella Valley Vineyards, Mony, Tzora and Teperberg. It is clear that a true route de vins is developing in this region.

Negev: Ten years ago, few would have thought this semi-arid desert region appropriate for growing grapes, but now, sophisticated computerized drip-irrigation systems have made it possible to grow high quality grapes here, including among others Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardon-nay. The region is divided into two sub-areas: Ramat Arad, which is situated 600–700 meters above sea level and has impressive night-day temperature changes, where results with noble varieties have been excellent; and the Southern Negev, a lower, more arid area where sandy to loamy soils and very hot and dry summers offer a special challenge to grape growers. Carmel was the first to plant extensive vine-yards at Ramat Arad. More recently, Barkan has begun wide-ranging development of vineyards at Mitzpe Ramon in the heart of the Negev. Among the wineries found here, some rely entirely on desert-raised grapes. Others that draw as well on grapes from other areas are Yatir and Sde Boker.
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Menachem S » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:24 pm

Very helpful, I think I knew the answer would be longer than the question . . .

How should one clasify Yatir?

Negev, with what sub-region?
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:10 pm

Menachem, Hi.....


Yatir could be one of three categories, depending on the location of the vineyards. (a) Negev, (b) Negev, Ya'ar Yatir (Yatir Forest), (c) Negev, Ramat Arad (Arad Heights)

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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Menachem S » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:58 pm

I presume the Yatir Forest wine would come from "Negev, ya'ar yatir"?
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Avi Hein » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:25 pm

Menachem S wrote:I presume the Yatir Forest wine would come from "Negev, ya'ar yatir"?


As far as I understand (and feel free to correct), most (all?) of Yatir's vineyards are in the Yatir Forest (incidentally, Israel's largest forest and entirely manmade... an example of how Israel reverses the desertification process)
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Gary J » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:13 am

Not only does all of the Yatir fruit come from their own vineyards, but they had for several years sold a lot of fruit.

Last I heard they were keeping most (if not all) of their fruit these days. Their vineyards are vast and quite impressive...
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:09 am

Definitive with regard to the Yatir Winery:

-The winery itself is located at Tel Arad in the North-East Negev
-The Yatir Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from the Ramat Arad Winery (500 meters above sea level and a stone's throw from the winery) and the appelation for the wine is Negev
-All of the other grapes come from Yatir Forest (up to 900 meters above sea level) and in the southern Judean Hills. The appelation is therefore Judean Hills.

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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Menachem S » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:06 am

Yatir Forest should be

Region: Negev
Apelation: Judean Hills?
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Re: Israeli "Regions"

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:38 am

Menachem S wrote:Yatir Forest should be

Region: Negev
Apelation: Judean Hills?



Nope.... Keeping in mind that we do not yet have formal appellations in Israel the label might be: Judean Hills/Yatir Forest


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