Here at Delicious Israel, the bustling markets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are essentially our offices. But sometimes even we like to leave the busy streets of our two biggest cities behind for some peace and quiet — and a nice glass (or few) of wine certainly adds to our relaxing excursions.
Lucky for us, our tiny country is home to five different vine-growing regions, so the perfect glass and country breeze are never too far from our reach. Israeli wine has made a name for itself around the globe, and for good reason: Israel is home to hundreds of wineries, ranging from one-man operations to a world-famous factory up in the Golan Heights.
Here are some of our favorites across the country:
Located at the quaint and pastoral Kibbutz Lotem, the Lotem winery is a boutique winery with reds, whites and blends that make it worth the drive to Israel’s north. Their incredible view over the Sea of Galilee and much of the region should absolutely not be missed. Run by winemaker Jonathan Koren, the organic wine (one of Israel’s only) enjoys a 24/7 music list during the time it is aging in the barrels. Sounds kitschy? Music has been proven to make happier drinking wine! The weekend restaurant offers a full food menu, and we recommend allotting at least two hours to sit back with their wines, something to eat, and enjoy the breathtaking view.
Located near other of Israel’s top-rated wineries, Pelter is located in the Golan Heights, a region especially suited to wine-making. Pelter offers a wonderful selection of their red and white wines, all served with delicious cheeses and bread at their tastings, which we recommend you reserve in advance. If you are looking for a Kosher winery, the Pelter family opened up a fully Kosher section called Matar Winery in the adjoining space. Other great tastes at the winery are the cognac, brandy and arak, all distilled in-house.
Sphera Winery is a boutique winery specializing in white wines, a risky move given Israelis’ tendency to prefer bolder reds. That said, Israel’s hot climate, means that savvy wine drinkers are realizing the potential for excellent locally produced and refreshing whites. They produce both single varieties and blends, and more than half of their yearly production is found in high-end restaurants. The winemaker himself, Doron Rav Hon, is known to offer thorough explanations to visitors with a little advance planning.
The Nevo Winery is located in the picturesque Judean Hills region, a short drive from neighboring Jerusalem that feels very far removed from the bright lights and big city. Nevo is Kosher-certified and family-operated, and offers wine and cheese tastings in a beautiful, rustic space. You can combine your visit with foraging, vegan food catering, a belly dance experience (!) and other adventurous excursions nearby.
Domaine Du Castel
Domaine du Castel is one of our favorite boutique wineries anywhere in Israel. Located on Kibbutz Yad Hashmona, the winery emphasizes its connection to nature and all elements of wine-making, and of course, a real love of wine. We are particularly fond of their rosé! With vines planted well before Israel’s recent wine renaissance, Eli Ben Zaken has been part of paving the way for Israel’s wine success globally, including many international awards for their Bordeaux style Grand Vin.
We love to hear from you. If you are excited to learn about more winery visits, please write to us at email@example.com!