You can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine from one of Israel’s big five wineries — Carmel, Barkan, Golan Heights, Binyamina, Teperberg — or from other well-known brands whose consistent quality has earned them a solid place on American retail shelves, such as Tishbi, Dalton, Galil Mountain and Recanati.
"Quietly and without attracting much consumer attention," said wine critic Mark Squires, "Israel has developed a wine industry that will confound preconceptions."Only in the past 25 years has there been any real quality wine produced in the Promised Land that deserved attention. But now the plot -- though thankfully not the wine -- thickens. A growing number of boutique winemakers have turned the corner qualitatively and are making some superlative wines. Indeed, there is one Israeli wine that plays on the world stage and merits inclusion in any great cellar: Domaine du Castel.
Profile of winemaker Eli Ben-Zaken, owner of Domaine du Castel winery, a family operation in the Judean hills in Israel.
Judd's parents, Art and Bunnie, have been making wine in Napa Valley for 25 years, first creating the Whitehall Lane label, then Judd's Hill.