A new, online wine store Israeli Wine Direct opens this month with a focus on hand-selected, artisanal, mostly non-kosher wines from Israel. Based in Chicago, Israeli Wine Direct stocks an inventory of top-rated wines, each hand-selected from Israeli wineries, and ships direct to customers in key states where allowed by law.
Israel currently has over 150 wineries. Wineries represented within the Israeli Wine Direct selection are Margalit, Flam, Pelter, Meishar, Tzora, Yaffo, Bravdo, Somek, and La Terra Promessa, among others. Wines from Pelter Winery and Tzora Vineyards recently earned ratings of 90 points or higher.
Israeli Wine Direct is also sponsoring a series of audio podcast interviews with leading Israeli winemakers and wine experts and hosting Israeli wine house parties across the U.S. Israeli Wine Direct is also partnered with leading Napa Valley wine marketing and Internet e-commerce firm Inertia Beverage Group. Israel Wine Direct even has their own blog.
Here are some interesting facts about wine and Israel.
● Israel is located in the Eastern Mediterranean where wine culture was born thousands of years ago.
● After centuries of Muslim rule, winemaking was reestablished in what is today Israel by Baron Edmond de Rothschild and Sir Moses Montefiore in the late 19th Century.
● In the past 20 years, more than 100 small, artisan wineries have been established in Israel using modern techniques learned from experience in leading wine regions from around the world.
● A small handful of large commercial Israeli wineries account for 80% of the wine exported to the U.S. and are mostly kosher.
● The remaining 20% are made up of boutique "long tail" producers focused on making world-class wines that are mostly non-kosher.