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Der Kosovo und seine Weine    Nicht nur 'Amselfelder'

Die Weinkultur im Kosovo geht bis in die Antike zurück. Zeichen für eine erste Verarbeitung von Trauben und Traubenweinen kann man aus den eingravierten Abbildungen auf den Stelae-Grabsteinen ablesen. 




Fast Facts Israeli Wine 2016


1. Israel is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world.
2. The modern Israeli wine industry was founded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux.
3. There are today more than 300 Israeli wineries.
4. Vineyards cover Israel from the mountains in the north, to the desert in the south.
5. Israel is famous for its advanced technology and its wineries are state of the art.
6. Israel’ is famous for its agriculture, which shows in its viticulture.
7. Most Israeli winemakers are young & internationally trained.
8. Israeli wines win high scores from Robert Parker, recognition from Hugh Johnson and trophies in the world’s leading wine tasting competitions.
9. Not all Israeli wines are kosher.
10 . Kosher wine is harvested, fermented, aged and bottled in the same way as a non kosher wine. The kosher designation is irrelevant to a wine's quality.
The leading web site on Israeli wines is the one created by Mr. Israel Preker. There you will find news items, articles and all the information you will need to learn more about Israeli wine and wineries.


Fast Facts/ Israeli Wine (2016)


Israel is usually regarded as being part of the Middle East. It may be more accurately considered as being situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, a region also referred to as the Near East or ‘The Levant.’

CLIMATE: Mainly Mediterranean. Long, hot dry summers; short wet winters; snow on higher ground. Semi-arid & desert conditions, in the Negev.

SOILS: Volcanic in north; sandy red soils on coast & chalk & limestone on the hills.

HECTARES: 5,500 hectares (13,585 acres; 55,000 dunams).

2014: 60,054 2013: 55,693 2012: 52,873 2011: 46,079 2010: 46,258

VINTAGE: August to end of October - (often begins late July & occasionally ends early November); Machine & hand harvested.

2014; 2013; 2012; 2008; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2000; 1997; 1995; 1993; 1990;
1989; 1985; 1979; 1976

Israel’s traditional volume varieties, Carignan & Colombard, apart from some quality old vine Carignans, are usually only used in inexpensive blends. They are gradually being replaced by international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc. Shiraz is proving both popular & suitable for Israel’s climate. Bordeaux varieties have been most successful to date, yet Mediterranean varieties may be more suitable in the longer term.

Cabernet Sauvignon 18%; Carignan 17%; Merlot 13%; Shiraz/ Syrah 7%; Petit Verdot 5%; Colombard 4%; Muscat of Alexandria 4%; Argaman 5%; Chardonnay 3%; Petite Sirah 2%; Sauvignon Blanc 2%; Emerald Riesling 2%; Cabernet Franc 2%; Malbec 2%; Tempranillo 1%; Mourvedre 1%
LESS THAN 1%: Pinotage; Muscat Canelli; White Riesling; Pinot Noir; Semillon: Sangiovese; Tempranillo; Gewurztraminer; Barbera; Muscat Hamburg; Chenin Blanc; Zinfandel; Grenache; Nebbiolo.


GALILEE 41% - mainly Upper Galilee & Golan Heights
SAMSON 27% - vineyards in central coastal plain, Judean Lowlands, Judean Foothills 
SHOMRON 17% - southern Mt. Carmel - mainly in valleys around Zichron Ya’acov 
JUDEAN HILLS 10% - Jerusalem mountains, Gush Etzion & Yatir Forest - southern Judean Hills
NEGEV 5% - mainly Ramat Arad, Sde Boker & Mitzpe Ramon

Israel wine map

Region in Hebrew / Name in English  
    Vineyard Areas
Galil / Galilee
    Upper Galilee
    Lower Galilee
    Golan Heights
Shomron / Samaria
    Mt. Carmel
    Shomron Hills
Shimshon / Samson
    Central Coastal 
    Judean Lowlands
    Judean Foothills
Harey Yehuda / Judean Hills
    Gush Etzion
    Yatir Forest
Hanegev / Negev
    NE Negev
    Central Negev

Wine regions in bold type are registered with the TTB (USA) and the European Community.



WINE MARKET IN ISRAEL: US$ 315 million annually

IMPORTS: 20%, mainly from 1. Italy; 2. Chile; 3. Argentina; 4. France; 5. Spain

CONSUMPTION: 5 liters a head

MARKET SHARE: 63% red; 16% white; 8% sparkling; 2% rose;
11% sweet (moscato style, dessert & sacramental)

2014: $ 40 (2001: $ 8.01 m.)

1. U.S.A; 2. France; 3. U.K; 4. Canada; 5. Poland, 6. Germany; 7. Holland

55+ % of exports to North America; 35+ % to Western Europe. Remainder to more than 30 countries in 5 continents.


There is a great deal of domestic and international wine tourism. Larger wineries are more likely to have visitors’ centers. Smaller wineries are more likely to be open on Shabbat- Saturdays.
The main wine routes are the Upper Galilee & Golan (north), Mount Carmel (northern coast) and the Judean Hills & Foothills regions (center). These days there are also wine routes in the Negev (south) and the Central Mountains too.

 Autor: Israel Preker

Take a look at the wine region Istria, housing both the tradition and the love of experimentation


Dorf-Istrien-April15 (Small)

Mr. Markežić, please tell us a little about the history of your winery. When did you and your family start to cultivate wine in Momjan und which varieties have you specialised on?

MM: Markežić family’s wine story dates back to 1891 and the Muscat of Momjan. I am the third generation to pick up the tradition of wine production and I’m creating the Kabola brand. Although few bottles of Muscat of Momjan vintage 1891 are still to be found in our archives, we consider 1981 to be the founding year for the Kabola brand. Back then wines were simpler; the production was not as sophisticated as it is today.
Our vineyards are located on a hill called Štancija and in the vicinity of our winery in Kanedolo, Momjan. The soil is clay rich in marl which adds certain characteristics to our wines. We are located at Istrian peninsula’s north-west, at 275m altitude. The view stretches to Alps and Dolomites on one side and green landscapes and sea panorama on the other.
All this encouraged me to continue the tradition and to create a well-known Kabola brand. Kabola winery has 20ha of vineyards and is producing 11 different wine labels going from sparkling to dessert wine. Istrian Malvazija comprises 70% of total wine production in Kabola winery. Three different styles are being produced from this indigenous variety; fruity and fresh Malvazija, aged Malvazija and Malvazija from Amphorae. The basis for our sparkling wine is also Malvazija. Two more indigenous varieties are used; Muscat of Momjan and Teran. Oaked red is produced from Teran as well as rose called Rosa and one red from Amphorae which is yet to hit the market. Next to a well-known and well-accepted Muscat, there’s a dry version; Secco, and a dessert Muscat; Dolce.

MM: Both wine and amphorae were always present in Istria. We take much pride in our amphora wines. Through an extended fermentation in amphorae and resting on skin and sediment until late spring, Malvazija acquires a whole new dimension. We are among very few winemakers in Croatia to do these prolonged macerations. We believe that Malvazija can give a serious and complex wine with great longevity and a different overall taste. When wine is being produced in amphorae it stays in contact with skin and sediment for up to 7 months. Clay vessels of various sizes are placed outside. Our first amphora wine was back in 2005. We are trying, to the best of our knowledge, to make wine as close as possible to the wines ancient Romans and Greeks used to make. When we first started this, it was a novelty in winemaking. Today it is recognized and the market seems to be interested in this type of wine.
I had strong faith in prolonged maceration even before I went into this venture. Maceration adds complexity and a different feel opposing those fresh and fruity, floral wines. They have elegance and longevity and the aftertaste is extraordinary and quite long.

Another question regarding your customers: Do you produce mainly for the Croatian market or does export play an important role for Kabola wines, too? If so, are you cultivating different wines for different markets?

MM: Kabola brand is well recognized in the domestic market and neighbouring countries. It is a common choice among demanding and informed customers in retail as well as in restaurants and hotels. Export and foreign markets positioning, on the other hand, is still something we work on very hard. We are present in 15 foreign countries with 25% of our production going to export and it’s still growing. We believe that all our wines are top quality and that our winemaking philosophy and terroir distinction can reach everyone regardless of which country of export they live in.

Your wines are eco-certified. Do you see a tendency towards ecological vinification in Croatia?

MM: Comparing Croatia and countries we export our wine too, there’s a long way ahead of us. Eco production in Croatia is still in the background. Consumers are still not buying a wine because of its eco-certificate, they choose the brand or the price. This is why we still have to educate our customers, teach them what exactly are they getting when buying eco-wine and equally important what is the benefit for the environment. This should be the task of eco-producers in Croatia.

And finally: We found a sparkling wine in your portfolio, which is rather rare in Croatia. Is there a reason for the fact, that Croatian sparkling wine is mainly found in Istria? We have heard of this old love story….but there’s probably another explanation, isn’t there?

MM: Sparkling wines are close to my heart. This is why I wanted to prove you can make decent bubbly in Istria. This idea came to me during my visit to Champagne. After going through all the details on the production of sparkling wine, I realised that I have certain micro-locations suitable for sparkling production.
One year after I tried to prove this by making first sparkling wine mainly from Istrian Malvazija variety, I wasn’t very pleased with the results, so next year I decided to add 10% of Chardonnay and 10% of Pinot.
This time, the result was good and our “natural sparkling wine Re” came into being. Few years after the first batch we received the silver Decanter for Re. We took this as a final confirmation that you can make top sparkling wine in Istria if you have the right locations.

Thanks so much for your time, Mr. Markežić. We wish you the best of luck and success and are excited about the next Kabola vintages.

 Further information about the wine culture in Croatia




Adonis Dourakis about Cretan wine, Greece’s indigenous grape varieties and his wishes for 2016


Debt crisis, political upheavals, controversial tax increases – news from Greece have been strongly marked by economic developments during the last years, which affect the entire nation, and of course the wine makers of the country. Despite the trouble, Greece is and remains one of the biggest winegrowing nations in Europe which creates a symbiosis between preserving the ancient wine-making culture and opening to modern varieties and styles like hardly any other. The result is an incredible diversity which is still little known over here. Cretan Dourakis Winery – despite the crisis – shows stable export figures and focuses quite stringly on the Greek autochthonous vines, along with international grape varieties.

Together with his son Adonis and his daughter Evi, Andreas Dourakis has established his winery, located in Cretan Alikampos, as one of the most successful private vineyards on the island. Located at 330 meters above sea level, in the foothills of the White Mountains, each Dourakis vineyard has its own microclimate, unique soil quality, and grape variety, all of which generate juice of distinctive quality, ideal for wines of character.

The Dourakis family is a regular participant in the annual PAR® wine Award Greece – organized by WINE System AG – which offers an important platform for the broad wine qualities of this country on the European market. The event goes to its sixth round on the 20th of February 2016.

In our interview, Adonis Dourakis tell us, how he has experienced the past year, what the family business means to him and he shares his Christmas wishes for the coming year:

Mr Dourakis, your family vineyard is going to celebrate the 30th anniversary next year. Today, it counts among the most successful wineries of the island. Was it always clear to you that you would join the family business?

Ask any Cretan they will all tell you that where we come from, family comes first! Family members should stick together, so that they can help each other when in trouble. For me, it was clear from the begging that after my studies in Geisenheim, I would return one day to Crete to take over -with my sister-our winery. I honestly feel blessed, that we have the opportunity to live on this beautiful island of Crete all year round and work with something so interesting as vines and wine!

You produce not only for the domestic market, but you also export to Europe and China. Does this influence the way of wine production or rather do you sell abroad other varieties and styles than to the home market?

Every market is different. Chinese people love strong red wines, Greek people like white fruity and aromatic wines and Europeans are looking for the local Cretan grape varieties! This makes our work even more difficult but till now we have accomplished to be successful in each market with different wines.

For sure this makes influence on the cultivated grape varieties. Which regional or rather autochthonous grapes do you grow? How do they relate to the international varieties?

We work a lot with local grape varieties like Vidiano, Vilana, Romeiko, Kotsifali and Mandilari. Those grape varieties have some similarities with international grape varieties but in the end they are all unique. For example we can use Vidiano grapes to create white wines that we can keep for some years until they reveal their true character. The aroma is very exotic (papaya, passion fruit, mango), with medium acidity and well balanced body. Furthermore, we use Romeiko grapes to produce either dessert wines with an intense aroma of dry fruits and nuts, or dry „sherry-like“ wines. Mandilari , on the other hand, has a lot of tannins which can lead to make the wine a perfect pair to meat plates. Sometimes I find similarities with the grape variety Carignan here.

Is there any typical Cretan wine? If yes, how would you describe it?

Well, Crete is a big island and every corner has another specialty. For example here in Chania we have the traditional Romeiko wine, which is a long-aged wine, with a typical Amber color. Someone could say that is similar to dry Marsala. In Heraklion area the blend of Mandilari with Kotsifali used to be for many years one of the most popular wine. An elegant wine with ruby red color and from time to time medium to high concentration of tannins.

A short question on economic environment: what were your experiences last year? Did the recent developments influence the export of your products? Or did your business relationships (for example to Germany, where your father and you have studied) remain stable?

Last year was actually a really good year although there were problems because of the troubles with the capital control. People did support us by coming and visiting the island of Crete but also by buying our products. Most of our customers have met us and they trust us, they trust our wines.

Because Christmas is coming close…….and if you could make a wish for 2016 : what would you wish for yourself and for Greece, the oldest European wine country?

Well…first of all, my family and I wish happiness and health to the world and the rest can come…! Every year is a new adventure for everybody…so we just need positive spirit and strength to fight all the troubles on our way!

Many thanks for taking the time to do this interview. We wish you continuing success and look forward to the next vintages.

Thank you so much! And of course Happy 2016 to everyone! :)