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by Fred McMillin
for January 12, 2000


Galilee Jubilee


Until the l98Os Israeli wines were of Kosher interest only. But plantings on the Golan Heights from the Sea of Galilee up to 4,000 ft. And importation of California technology produced a Sauvignon Blanc in 1987 that amazed the world.

...Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of Wine

The Golan Heights Winery is situated high up on the Golan overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The "Galilee wine region" is the source of Israel's finest quality wines.

...From the back label of our Wine of the Day

The Rest of the Story

1998 Galilee 2000  
In Roman times, Galilee was the northernmost province of Palestine. The "Sea of Galilee" is a fresh-water bulge in the Jordan River, about 14 miles long and eight miles at its widest. Most important is the fact that it was the site of much of the activities of Jesus Christ. However, it's had some noteworthy secular folks come by, too. Figuratively, Bacchus' ancestors passed that way some seven milllennia ago when winemaking first moved south from the Caucasus region to Egypt. Later, Alexander the Great and his army (35,000 initially) passed by on what must have been a hot day, for it was in July of 332 B.C.

Now, about that 1987 Galilee-region Sauvignon Blanc that "amazed the world." My panel was pretty amazed by a 1998 Galilee-region Sauvignon Blanc, too. Here it is.

Wine of the Day

1998 "Galilee 2000", 70 Sauvignon Blanc, 30 Semillon
Appellation—Galilee region
Tasting—Highly refreshing, no odd herb flavors, more citrus than melon
Price -$8
Rating—HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in its price range
Comment—You should try one bottle to get an idea of the quality Israeli wines can achieve. Furthermore, it is a marvelous conversation piece.
Kosher?—Yes, it is kosher.
Winery's Serving Suggestion—"Stick a bottle in the snow for an after-ski glass of wine."
Contact—(415) 346-2929


About that bottle in the snow. Israeli wines are right at home in the white stuff. Historians tell us that Mt. Hebron was always covered with snow which was carried down the mountain to cool the wines of Solomon. (Sir Edward Barry, 1775)

Credits—Research Assistant Diane Bulzomi.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


This page created January 2000