Sunday, October 22, 2017

On Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, Jews all over the world turn to Israel with pride. We hoist a glass in toast to the country we love. For 69 years, Israel has been at the forefront of world innovation, proving its critics wrong and stepping onto the international stage with pride.

This year, even the wine in your hand is something to be proud of. In ancient times, Israel was a wine empire. In the modern era, within a relatively short period of time, Israel has been privileged to restore wine to its past glory by tailoring internationally acclaimed wines. Expert winemakers are already predicting that this is only the beginning, and the future of the Israeli wine industry promises to shine bright.

Indeed, the Israeli wine industry has long been a key ambassador for Israel on the world stage, and this year took it to new heights.

Today, more than 250 Israeli wineries represent all the country’s wine-growing regions with many different vintages of the extremely high quality.

Israeli wines were selected by Andreas Larsson, dubbed the “world’s best sommelier,” to be part of the wine cellar within the world’s biggest wine museum in Bordeaux, France, La Cité du Vin, which opened in June 2016.

The chief sommelier, Serge Dubs, came specially to Israel during the past year to visit Golan Heights and Galil Mountain wineries, which are featured on the wine menu of his three-star Michelin restaurants in Alsace, France.

The list of Israeli wines that have been entered in international competitions is dizzying. Israeli wines swept the international Mundus Vini Competition held in March 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany, winning seven gold medals and two silver medals. Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from the Golan Heights Winery won the ‘Best Israeli Wine’ award at the competition, which reinforced the value of Serge Dubs’ wine menu.

Gold medals went to Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Yarden Malbec 2013, Yarden Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Yarden Pinot Gris 2016, Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Galil Mountain Yiron 2013 and Galil Mountain Meron 2013.

Israeli wines also made their mark at the most prestigious international trade fair for wines and spirits, known as Prowein, in Dusseldorf, Germany, at the end of March, among more than 6,500 exhibitors from 60 different countries.

Israeli wineries have gained recognition on the other side of the ocean as well. Four gold medals were awarded to Israeli wines recently at the largest international competition in North America, the Sélections Mondiales des Vins, held in Quebec, Canada.

So, this Yom Ha’atzmaut fill your glass with an award-winning Israeli wine. And revel in another level of pride in the country you love. L’chaim!