For wine lovers, there is no perfect place to be than in the Golan Heights. The region’s high elevation, volcanic soils, and black basalt stone make the perfect factors for growing high-quality wine grapes. Viticulture industry in the Golan Heights began pretty recently, during the 1970s. Today, the Golan Heights is home to about twenty wineries.
One of the most successful industries that has been developed on the Golan Heights is the Golan Winery – it has become a brand name in Israel and abroad winning several prestigious prizes. Most of the grapes are grown on the Golan.
Also known as Golan Heights Winery, Golan Winery was founded in 1983, but the first vines in the area were first planted a few years before. It produced its first vintage in 1984.
In 2008, production reached about six million bottles a year, 30 percent of which was exported. Golan Winery is the parent company of Galil Mountain Winery, located in the Galilee. The sixteen vineyards from the Golan Heights and one vineyard in the Upper Galilee provide the source of Golan Winery’s products.
The Golan Winery carries the wine hopes not only for the Golan Heights region, but for the entire country as well. Its sophisticated wine-making technology (which include pneumatic membrane presses, must chiller and computer-generated cooling of stainless steel tanks) and introduction of new varietals have made the Golan Winery one of the world’s most pioneering wineries.
The Golan Winery even has an elaborate “experimental winery” for the purpose of research and quality control of new wines as well as improvement of current wine products.
The company’s role is crucial to the growth of the Israeli wine industry. Because of its pioneering winemaking techniques, The Golan Winery has spurred the “quality revolution” to the Israeli wine, building a brand identity for the country’s vintages. This leads to the creation of new wineries and motivating existing wineries to improve the quality of their wines.
Wines produced from the Golan Winery are marketed under several brands: Yarden, Gamla, Hermon, and Golan.
The Golan Winery has won several prestigious awards, including the Best Foreign Winery at the Prague Trophy 2008 international wine competition, the Gran Vinitaly Special Award in 2011, as well as two gold medals for its 2009 Yarden Chardonnay Odem Organic Vineyard and 2008 Yarden HeightsWine.
The Golan Heights is a gem for not just for tourists, but also for wine lovers. And among the wineries in the region, the Golan Winery is truly the king of the hill.
Check out the visitors’ center (above photo) to learn about the production and then enjoy the samples.
See the website – Golan Winery
Just outside Katsrin on Road 9088.