Israeli researchers cultivate Bible-era grapes to make wine

Earlier this month, Recanati Winery presented first bottles of white wine grown from indigenous grape species.

By JTA
October 29, 2015 16:58
white wine

A glass of white wine [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

A team of Israeli researchers has created a white wine made from grapes indigenous to ancient Israel.

The researchers, based at Ariel University in the West Bank and headed by Dr. Elyashiv Drori, have been trying since 2011 to find grape varieties indigenous to the land using research about the biblical era and teams of field researchers, Drori located a living sample of the indigenous Marawi grape species.

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Israel's Recanati Winery then grew the grapes, and has now produced nearly 2,500 bottles of Marawi wine. The bottles were first presented on October 18 at the International Milan EXPO, a world’s fair in Italy whose exhibits focus on food production.

Before the production of Marawi wine, Israel’s wineries largely produced wine from grape varieties indigenous to Europe.

“It’s not interesting to make chardonnay in Israel because there’s chardonnay that comes from California,” Drori, the agriculture and oenology research coordinator at the Samaria and Jordan Rift Center of Ariel University, told JTA last year. “But if you can make wine in Israel that isn’t elsewhere and that connects to the history here, that’s much more interesting.”


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