A wine tour of the Judean Hills
Modern winemakers reviving an ancient tradition in the region
The Judean Hills area of Israel has become a tourist attraction not only for nature lovers, but also for wine buffs.
"We believe in the wine industry. It's a growing industry in Israel," says Niv Wissel, head of the Judean Regional Council.
"We made it official. This recognition allows us to keep the land and to develop the land in this region."
The history of wine-making in the Judean Hills goes back thousands of years, including an impressive wine press at the 2nd century CE site of Horvat Itri.
"Wine was one of the main products of the ancient industry and you can find wine presses all over the area," Shayke Lender, archaeologist and owner of Zafririm Winery, tells i24NEWS.
Lender, who excavated the site, says that we can see similarities between ancient and modern wine-making in the Holy Land.
"Nothing has changed. Only the technology has changed," he says.
Dozens of small boutique wineries are spread across the picturesque area, but there are also bigger industrial wineries.
All winemakers agree that producing wine in the Judea area can be challenging, but it is certainly a rewarding experience which bears fruit.