Wine Tasting and Touring in the Galilee and Golan

August 5th 2012

The north of Israel is one of the most picturesque regions to visit, and it also produces some of the country’s finest wines. Throughout the Lower Galilee, Upper Galilee and Golan Heights, there’s plenty to see and taste on your tour of Israel.
With a state-of-the art production plant and five vineyards, Galil Mountain Winery fills about 1,000,000 bottles per year, 90% of which are red wines. Their sleek visitor’s center in Yir’on is worth checking out for the views alone. Of course, you can also take a guided tour of the winery, including a look at the winemaking process from start to finish, and sample some of their fine wines. There’s plenty more to do in the area, especially for outdoors lovers. Check out the Keshet Cave, which is great for rappelling.

Overlooking the Hula Valley and Hermon Mountain in the Upper Galilee, and just a stone’s throw from the Lebanese border, the Dalton Winery is well worth a visit. Established in 1995, the family-owned winery produces some 80,000 bottles of wine every year. Take a tour of the winery, which includes a look at the barrel room and bottling line, and of course tastings of their highly celebrated wines. Explore the surrounding Moshav Dalton, where there are ancient ruins and an old synagogue with Aramaic inscriptions.

Next, head to the nearby Rimon Winery. Rimon means “pomegranate” in Hebrew, and as the name suggests, they produce exquisite and unusual pomegranate wines. From a rich pomegranate port to pomegranate dessert wine, they offer a range of libations that will delight your palate and make for great gifts to bring home. A beautiful place to visit, the Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra-based facility offers tastings of wines and samples of a variety of other pomegranate-infused products, like jams and cosmetics. While you’re in the area, visit the nearby artists’ town of Tsfat, the center of kabbalah and mysticism in Israel.

One of the most well-known wineries in Israel, the Golan Heights Winery in the Golan Heights area of Katzrin is a must visit for wine lovers. They produce wines under three labels (Yarden, Gamla and Golan), all of which have won multiple international awards. The tour of the winery includes a short informative video, a journey through the oak barrel center, a viewing of the bottling line and wine tastings. Head to the gorgeous Sea of Galilee to relax at the ancient waters or see the surrounding sites.

Named for founder Tal Pelter, the boutique Pelter Winery was established in 2002 and is located on Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Golan Heights. While they grow grapes in several locations around the country (including the southern desert area of Mitzpe Ramon), their wine production and visitor’s center can be found at the kibbutz. Sample their sparkling wine, three varieties of white wines and multiple reds. From Pelter, head to the enchanting town of Rosh Pina, where you can enjoy the picturesque houses and charming cafes.