Six Wineries and Breweries to Explore in Israel
Whether you prefer wine or beer, Israel is a great place to explore new options amid growing industries. Consider these wineries and breweries as you plan your Israel vacation.
Due to its elevation, the Galilee is a popular location for wineries. Here are three wineries to visit the next time you’re in Israel or the Galilee.
Established in 1882, this historic winery has more than 3,400 acres of vineyards from the Upper Galilee to the Negev Desert. The vineyard produces millions of bottles every year. Carmel has four wineries on site and offers six product lines from fine wines to single vineyard varietals. Carmel also has kosher wine options available and prides itself on the kosher wine-making process which does not reduce the wine's quality. In addition, both kosher and non-kosher wines are considered suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The Carmel Winery is also home to the Center for Wine Culture which includes a wine shop, a restaurant, two tasting rooms, a small cinema, and a barrel room. There are a number of tour options which ranges from an hour to four hours. The hours are 9:30AM to 5PM Sunday through Thursday, 9AM to 2PM Friday and holiday eves. Please make your reservations in advance.
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The winery was established in 1995 and moved to Dalton Industrial Park in Merom Haggalil four years later. The family-owned winery offers more than two dozen different wines and produces 800,000 bottles of wine annually. The visitor’s center is open every day (except for Shabbt and festivals) from 10AM to 4PM with exception of Friday with the hours 10AM to 1PM. On the visit, one may take a guided tour of the winery, barreling room, and bottling line. A tour and a tasting would around 45 minutes. Members of the Dalton Club – the winery’s members club – can tour the winery and indulge in tastings of the company’s many varieties of wine for free. Please call ahead to book a guided tour.
Golan Heights Winery
Found in 1983, Golan Heights Winery is one of Israel’s largest wineries and the recipient of many accolades. Due to its presence in the wine world and its worldwide acclaim, Golan Heights Winery plays an important role developing Israel’s wine culture and changing worldwide perception of Israeli wines. With an annual production of 5 million bottles, the winery operates a very modern and advanced facility, with computer controlled rollers and stainless steel vats. The grapes come from the Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and other vineyards in Israel. They are fermented and processed into four different series of wine: Yarden, the premier label and flagship brand, Gamla, Hermon, and Golan. The visitor center is open Sunday to Thursday from 8:30AM to 6PM. Friday and holiday eves are from 8:30AM to 2PM. Please call ahead to make reservations to tour the facilities and learn about the wine production process with access to the wine cask hall, wine cellar and wine tasting.
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The rest of the article on breweries continue below, download our "Free Time in Israel" Guide for more activities.
If beer is more your style, consider these popular breweries.
The Alexander Brewery was established in August 2008 by Ori Sagy, who was joined by friends Aviem Sela, Yoram Yarzin and Ari Yarzin and is one of Israel’s unique boutique breweries. Located in Emek Hefer, near Alexander Stream, the brewery offers four varieties: Alexander Black, a seasonal dark brew; the Alexander Ambree Ale is the brewery’s interpretation of the French Biere-de-Garde style of brewing; the Alexander Blonde Ale is their take on Belgian Blonde ale, with a low alcohol content; the final variety is the second of Alexander’s seasonal beers – Alexander Green, a combination of hops, grapefruit, guava and other fruits.
Dancing Camel Brewery
Established in 2008, Tel Aviv’s Dancing Camel Brewery is relatively new, and the first microbrewery in Tel Aviv. In 2011, the Dancing Camel Pub opened inside the brewery which serves all of their beer, 13 different kinds, on tap. Soon after, they opened another pub in Florentin, which carries all of their beers as well as a selection from other Israeli microbreweries. The brewmaster, David Cohen states their goal is to make “exciting beer”, which makes drinkers think and smile” with a distinct Israeli style. David aims to help define Israeli beer and will not rest until he hears people all over the world excited over Israeli beers. With special events such as Dancing Camel Thanksgivukkah and regular jazz nights, Dancing Camel Brewery or one of its pubs is an experience to have in Tel Aviv.
Lone Tree Brewery
Founded in 2010, the Lone Tree Brewery is a kosher microbrewery located in Abu Cleib Park in Gush Etzion. The brewery currently produces 6 types of beer, Extra Oatmeal Stout and several ales. There is a seasonal Pomegranate Date Ale which is only available in September and October, around Rosh Hashanah. Everyone can tour the brewery but tasting is reserved for visitors over 18 years old. Each tour lasts between 30 to 45 minutes where visitors can see the brewing process. Reservation is required for touring the facilities.
When you think of Israel, alcohol may not come as readily to mind as its culture and history, but the region’s wineries and breweries are expanding in both popularity and production and are worth a visit during your stay in Israel.