Israel the Beautiful: Land of grapes and wines

GALLERY: A photo essay shows how Israel's booming local wine industry has changed the country's landscape.

!!!!!!!!!!!DO NOT REUSE!!!! (photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi)
!!!!!!!!!!!DO NOT REUSE!!!!
(photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi)
Nothing has changed the Israeli landscape more in the past 10 years than the burgeoning wine industry. New vines have been planted across the country, on hillsides and in valleys from the Negev to the Golan.

The many different varieties of grapes now growing in Israel give color and character to the landscape, and offer a year-round opportunity for photographers as they grow and alter personality with the change of seasons.The photographs in this gallery were taken over a three year period, in vineyards in the Judean Mountains, the Golan Heights and on the coast near Ashdod. The fruits look their best when they are ripe and still on the vine, just prior to picking, such as the Red Globes (photo 3) I found and photographed the day they were cut and brought to market. Vines are deciduous and lose their leaves in a spectacular explosion of fall color (photos 5 and 9), with the peak occurring in mid-November. Vines are carefully pruned after the harvest, but some tendrils remain and offer an artistic rendering after a light snowfall in the Judean Mountains (photo 6).Join Yehoshua Halevi for a two-hour, instructional Photo Walk in Jerusalem on the following dates: Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 9 a.m.: Machane Yehuda; Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 5 p.m.: Jewish Quarter and the Kotel. Friday, Aug. 30 at 9 a.m..: Yemin Moshe.All tours are NIS 80. For registration and information, please call 054-637-2170.