For the first time, the grand prize at Italy’s leading international wine competition has been awarded to an Israeli winery.
The Golan Heights Winery, founded in 1983 in Katzrin, beat out 3,720 wines from from more than 1,000 producers in 30 countries to take home the so-called “Wine World Cup”—the Gran Vinitaly Special Award granted ahead of Italy’s annual Vinitaly wine trade fair in Verona, one of Europe’s top wine events, which opens Friday.
It was the first time that the grand prize was given to an Israeli wine-maker, although the Golan Heights Winery had already won Grand Gold Medals at Vinitaly in 2004 and 2006.
The 105-member jury included international wine experts and journalists.
The Golan Heights Winery’s chief winemaker is Victor Schoenfeld, a graduate of the University of California at Davis.
The wines are marketed under the Yarden, Gamla and Golan labels.