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A quiet revolution has been taking place in the cellars and vineyards of Israel, where demand for local wine is unfortunately so enthusiastic that the wines seem unreasonably expensive if they manage to reach export markets. For some time the Golan Heights winery's Yarden wines were the unchallenged leaders of Israel's modern wine offering, but there is now an increasing number of others, from vineyards being planted in several different regions. Castel makes some fine copies of red bordeaux and white burgundy in the Judean Hills. Dalton manages a very creditable Sauvignon Blanc from fruit grown in Upper Galilee, where Margalit produces a terrific Merlot. And all over the country some well-balanced, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon is grown. California can seem to be the model.

For many outsiders, sweet red kiddush wine represents all Israel has to offer the wine drinker, but this is an outmoded view. Indeed, many of the new boutique offerings are not even kosher, and are aimed at the country's most modern restaurants.

For more information, visit Wines of Israel.

In a nutshell

Kosher and more.