Israelis buy forty percent more wine in the month leading up to Pessah than they do during the other months of the year due to a combination of increased orders from hotels, gifts of bottles of wine and the liberal use of wine at the seder, according to a poll released Monday by Business Data Israel. The group also reported that Israel's wine sales totaled NIS 730 million in 2006, representing four percent growth from 2005. Israeli wineries produced 54 million bottles of wine in 2006, which is also 4% more than in 2005. Israel has 250 wineries in operation, five of which - Carmel, Efrat, Binyamina, Barkan and Golan Heights - account for approximately 85% of the grape harvest in the country. Red wine controlled 60% of the local market, and BDI noted in its report that 51% of total wine exports were shipped to the United States. Israelis also seem to have a particular affinity for less expensive wines, as 55% of all wine bottles sold in the country were sold for less than NIS 25, the study found. In addition to wine, Israelis tend to purchase new furniture during the period ahead of Pessah. The Manufacturers Association of Israel reported Monday that furniture sales over the past two weeks have totalled some NIS 450m., more than 30% above furniture sales during the rest of the year, with particular growth coming in the sales of armchairs as well as bedroom and furniture for children's rooms. Haim Herman, chairman of the Union of Furniture Producers noted that approximately 70% of purchases were of Israeli-made furniture. The Manufacturers Association also said sales of linen, bedding products and tablecloths have risen 70% over the last few weeks in preparation for Pessah, topping more than NIS 60m. According to the Chairman of the Union of Textile Manufacturers, Adi Livna, this sales increase has been generated in part due to the discounts Israeli manufacturers have been offering on their products.