SIDEBAR: Did you know? Fun facts about Israeli wines

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Click photo to download. Caption: Israeli wines. Credit: Gilabrand/Wikimedia Commons.

Tulip Winery certainly isn’t alone in the growing market of Israeli kosher wine. Here are some fun facts you may not know about the industry:

—Kosher Israeli wines, known for their warm taste, are increasingly bringing home awards in international competitions, prompting the slogan: “Not just for kiddush anymore.”

—Israel’s wine industry, revived after a gap of 2,000 years, was founded by the Baron Rothschild family. The company he founded, Carmel, is Israel’s largest winery, accounting for 40 percent of its wine market.

—Much of Israel is hospitable to growing grapes, including the Galil, Shimshon, the Negev, the Zichron Ya’akov region and the Judean Hills.

—Greek and Roman emperors imported their wine from here. Drip irrigation, insulated tanks developed specifically for Israel climates and agricultural “know how” allows cultivation of many grape varieties throughout the diverse land and maximizes that quality of every wine.

—Of the 33 million bottles of wine produced each year in Israel, the vast majority of them are kosher.

—Israeli wines include such classic varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and rarer varieties such as Old Vine Carignan, Petite Sirah, Argaman and Viognier.

—Israeli wines have won gold medals and trophies in major international competitions, and increasingly bring home high scores from the world’s leading wine critics. Israel’s red, white, sparkling and dessert wines have all received international recognition.

—In 2007, recognized wine critic Robert Parker’sThe Wine Advocate awarded 14 Israeli wines its highest wine rating of “outstanding.”

Information cited in this story from the Israel Wine Producers Association (www.iwpa.com) and Tulip Wines (http://tulip-winery.co.il/english.html)

Posted on February 3, 2013 and filed under Israel.