Stepping back in time at Carmel Winery – Zichron Ya’acov, Israel

By on August 21, 2018
Stepping back in time at Carmel Winery – Zichron Ya’acov, Israel

One would be amiss to not realize the importance of wine in Israel. Historically, since Biblical times the significance of wine is evident as most people globally are familiar with the story of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding feast were he turned “water into wine” (John 2: 1-11).

Archaeologists have uncovered winepresses throughout Israel some dating back to over 2000 years. Less familiar, is the fact that for many years there was a void in the wine industry due to the Ottoman period when Turks ruled Israel.

Remarkably, Carmel Winery was established during this period in 1882. Carmel כַּרְמִיאֵ, in Hebrew, means “God’s Vineyard.” This is the original “Carmel” where all other’s get their name.

Early Romanian Pioneers convinced Baron Edmond de Rothschild owner of the renowned Chateau Lafite Winery in Bordeaux to invest and join their vision. Amazingly, Rothschild persuaded Ottoman rulers it would be to their benefit to take “gratuities” from the profits of the wine industry.

Philanthropist and Zionist – Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) known as the “Father of the Settlement” (Avi ha-Yishuv) is rightfully attributed this honor. He believed in the fruitfulness of the people as well as the beauty of this once barren land.  He poured millions into projects thus not only building a wine culture, but also impacting many settlements at the time.  

While visiting the historic Carmel Winery in Zichron Ya’acov be sure to also experience the stunning Ramat HaNadiv gardens where Baron Edmond de Rothschild and his wife’s tomb is located. Their remains were brought here from France in 1954.  It’s also important to note that originally, the village was named Zamarin and renamed Zichron Ya’acov (Hebrew: זִכְרוֹן יַעֲקֹב) meaning “Jacob’s Memorial” after Rothschild’s father.

At one time Israeli wine was thought to be too sweet and thick. This is no longer the case as seen at Carmel Winery where they have blended old techniques with new industrialization equipment creating something for every pallet from sparkling table wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and much more…

Stepping back in time at Carmel Winery – Zichron Ya’acov, Israel

Carmel Winery – Zichron Ya’acov, Israel

Carmel Winery continues it legacy as a top producer with award wining wines from their four sites including: Kayoumi Winery in the Upper Galilee, Alon Tavor in the Galilee and Yatir Winery in southern Israel’s Tel Arad. Selling over 14 million bottles of wine a year with most being consumed right here in Israel.  

It hasn’t always been an easy road to travel for the Israeli people and that is also true with Carmel Winery for in 1892 they had to destroy their French vineyards due to an infestation of a bacterial disease. Perhaps discouraged, yet still determined to produce a great wine for Israel they brought seedlings from America and where able to continue to grow.

Renowned in the industry, Carmel Winery continues to flourish with over 3,500 acres of vineyards. They blend the “old ways” with new sophisticated “state of the art” methods and equipment.

In the coolness of the cellars I experienced a feeling of pride and celebration for those who worked so hard to develop this great land.

Carmel Winery will always be the historical heart of the “rebirth” of wine industry in Israel and Baron Edmond de Rothschild will be attributed the honor of the “Father of the Settlement” (Avi ha-Yishuv). Experiencing Carmel Winery in Zichron Ya’acov is to experience history. They offer a Wine & Culture Center, tour, and wine tasting in the cellars as you “step back in time”.









About Norine Rae

Norine Rae resides in Redding, California where she is a member of Bethel Church. In 2012 she completed her Master’s in Intellectual Leadership from A.W. Tozer Seminary through Simpson University. She has worked over 30 years in Human Services fields and has done extensive work in ministry, missions, and leadership both foreign and domestic. She is a lifelong learner, international speaker, minister, writer, mother, and friend.

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Stepping back in time at Carmel Winery – Zichron Ya’acov, Israel