Craig Winchell wrote:Interesting question, Gabe, and one where there is no easy answer. I think the comparison with Switzerland is erroneous because of Switzerland's unfavorable climate.
So it is realy not surprising at all that Israel is becoming a player in high quality kosher (and to a lesser extent nonkosher) wine. In fact, it is to be expected. The only question is whether it will continue, as the inevitable boom and bust periods of the market take their toll.
Hi Craig, shavua tov! The comparison was only for consumption and production rates, both countries have, if at all, very little in common indeed.
As to your question, whether will Israel continue or not to increase both production and quality of its wines, I've great confidence it will.
I'm able to notice that myself: the average Israeli is slowly (well, yeah, perhaps a little too slowly) becoming more and more interested into wine and looking for new, exciting and good stuff! As a matter of fact, a few Israeli guys here read our posts on this forum and mine in particular on a regular basis, some are even calling me once or twice a week just to chat about wine and exchange tips and advice.
The number of wine related websites in Hebrew just keep growing and so are the people here more and more subscribing to wine classes, attending wine tasting events. It's not just a fashion, it's a social evolution and Thank God for that!
If I didn't believe in that myself I would have never become involved in this industry on a domestic level. Due to my relatively young age, I've not followed this industry for as long as Yossie Horwitz, David Raccah and certainly not Rogov zl or Adam Montefiore but I've been there for long enough to be able to state that. While in some European countries such as France or Switzerland where I grew up and received most of my (non-formal) wine education, the tendency is for a lower consumption and the focus moves toward less expensive wines, here it's the other way around.
A few years ago when you mentioned the price of a bottle as 50 shekels (about $15), most people were saying "wow that's crazy expensive! Why would you pay so much money for a bottle of wine?! I buy Carmel Selected, 5 bottles/100 shekels!". Today 50 shekels is considered by many if not most as inexpensive and you will start to "impress" someone with a price tag that would be not under 150 shekels or so. Putting money on good wine, enjoying wine in restaurants or at home at a dinner with friends on a regular weekday or with a good BBQ, is now becoming a common thing in Israel, even in a conservative city like Jerusalem. We're on the right path!