08/09/2012 14:34–Thirty years ago the symbols of Israel were the kibbutz and the Jaffa orange. Today, they are wine and hi-tech.
But you can’t give a bottle of hi-tech as a gift, so wine has become Israel’s finest ambassador. It is the most Israeli of all products because of its connection with a place (the area where the vineyard is situated) and a person (the artist-scientist who makes it).
The thriving wine industry today combines not only the attributes of successful Israel in terms of agriculture, technology, creativity and innovation but also the thread with which it connects Israel to biblical times and the birth of the Jewish people.
Internal wine tourism is crucial for the wine industry to increase consumption and to bring more people to experience wine. Wine tourism from overseas is no less important to brand Israel as a quality wine-producing country.
For the tourist, wine offers 5,000 years of winemaking history. Israeli agriculture, archeology, gastronomy, history, religion and Zionism may all be better understood through visiting the country’s wineries and vineyards. It is possible to really get to know Israel through its wines.
Wine tourism is built upon two models.
Firstly, the Italian model, known as agritourism.
In Italy, wine is present where you happen to be. You visit a walled town in Tuscany, stop at the restaurant you pass by on a bus and visit the winery on the way back to the small hotel you found on arrival. Wine is never at the forefront, or the prime objective, but it is ever-present.
The second is California’s Napa Valley.
This is wine Disneyland. A special visit is required, and it is all laid out in an organized route. The wineries are highly individual and creative in thinking up ways to attract and hold the attention of the tourist. The idea of combining arts and food with wine began there, and this was the first place a winery became a tourism center and not just a production center…Read More>>