Only Available in Israel


One of the greatest pleasures of travel is experiencing the local culinary treats. While Despite plenty of traveling around the world for both business and pleasure, seeking out exotic locales, the gastronomical aspect of traveling is usually lost on those observing kosher. There is one destination where total immersion in the local culinary scene is possible – Israel. And, as with food, the diversity and availability of kosher wine in Israel is the largest on the planet, proving most wine aficionados with real dilemmas as to how much stuff can they jettison in order to make room for wine before the rest of the family starts to suffer.

As the Israeli wine industry continues to expand at a breakneck pace and more Israeli wines are imported into the United States, the list of wines that are available only in Israel (making them worthy of schlepping back (or paying around $15 a bottle to have them shipped) to the United States is dwindling. Thankfully there are still plenty of wines available only in Israel, helping to seriously enhance those pleasurable hours to be spent browsing through a good Israeli wine shop.

At the request of many readers, I have attempted to put together a partial list of recommended wines available only in Israel and worthy of bringing back with you. As the dynamics of importing/exporting Israeli wines changes pretty rapidly, despite my best intentions of keeping this list as up to date as possible, it may be slightly inaccurate from time to time and I would appreciate any new input you may have in this regard. As always, please feel free to send me an email with any questions about the availability of any particular wine or winery.

This list includes both wineries not imported at all into the US and specific recommended wines of wineries that are imported. As a general matter, the majority of wines from the 2008 vintage are not available in the United States and most of them are really good, 2008 having been one of Israel best vintages in recent history so, in addition to the specific wines included on this list, the 2008 vintage for most of the “better” Israeli wines are likely not sold in the United States and are worth seeking out.

List of Wineries / Wines available only in Israel

Adir
Adir, “a”, 2009
Adir, Blush Port, n.v

Agur
Agur, Blanca, 2010
Agur, Special Reserve, 2007 or 2009

Asif (no official kosher certification)

Bashan
The world’s only fully organic kosher winery (recently shuttered its doors – wine is still available at steep discounts)

Bustan
Everything is good, the Syrah is incredible

Domaine Herzberg
The Malbec is of particular interest

Domaine Netofa
Domaine Netofa, Fine Ruby Port-Style, 2010

Ella Valley
Ella Valley Vineyards, Vineyards Choice, 32/35, 2008
Ella Valley Vineyards, Vineyards Choice, Petite Sirah, 2008
Ella Valley Vineyards, Personal, 2008
Ella Valley Vineyards, Rose, 2012

Eyal (kosher from 2009 vintage)
Eyal, Shiraz, 2010
Eyal, Carignan, 2010

Gat Shomron
Gat Shomron, Carignan, 2007
Gat Shomron, Icewine, Viognier, 2009
Gat Shomron, Icewine, Gewurztraminer, 2009

Golan Heights Winery
Golan Heights Winery, Gamla, Nebbiolo, 2008
Golan Heights Winery, Gamla HaShmura, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Noble Semillon (Botrytis), 2007

Katlav

Katz (kosher from the 2008 vintage)

Luria
Luria, Gewurztraminer, 2012

Katamon

Odem Mountain
Odem Mountain, Alfasi, 2007

Ramot Naftaly (kosher from 2009 vintage)
Ramot Naftaly, Barbera, 2009 and 2010
Ramot Naftaly, Malbec, 2011
Ramot Naftaly, Petit Verdot, 2010

Trio (kosher from the 2010 vintage)

Tulip (kosher from the 2010 vintage)
Tulip, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011

Vanhotzker
Vanhotzker, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

Yaffo (kosher from the 2009 vintage)
Yaffo, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 + 2010
Yaffo, Carignan, 2009 + 2010

Yatir
Yatir, Shiraz, 2009
Yatir, Petit Verdot, 2008