Land of Milk, Honey and Wine: Get Familiar with Wine Funds and Israeli Wineries

Have you heard of “Wine Funds”? Today you can invest in fine wines through offshore funds based on the principle is that fine wines come in limited supply and increase in price in short bursts based on scoring or trends, rather than linearly over time. As the quantity of these wines is quickly reduced, price increases. The wine funds research the space, study the weather, soil conditions and critics trends and essentially bet on future production of a winery.

There are plenty of wine funds out there and like any other investment, it would be wise to do a thorough due diligence. I only became familiar to it after To name a few of these wine funds: BWB Wine Growth Fund, The wine investment fund, Premium wine fund, Wine Asset Managers, Vinum Wine Funds and many more.

Now that you’re familiar with the concept of wine funds, perhaps you’ll understand why it is important to understand Israeli wine. Israel wines  have been increasingly climbing in the ratings and critiqued as ‘arguably the best quality in the Eastern Mediterranean’. Others suggest that Bordeaux varietals is what Israel makes best. Israel has also a few boutique wineries, which have pioneered new levels in quality and variety, and not only in the ‘Kosher Wine’ category.

Take a look at the leading Israeli wineries and remember, each of these is reviewed by wine funds as a ‘ticker’ – can you spot a winner?

Barkan Wine Cellars -As the second largest winery in Israel, Barkan receives over 8000 tons of grapes during the harvest. The winery’s two partners – Yair Lerner and Shmuel Boxer – share the vision of making Barkan Wineries a national center for wine education.

Binyamina Winery – Binyamina Winery is the fourth largest winery in Israel and it produces some 2.8 million bottles annually under several labels. These are delivered to specialty wine stores, marketing chains, hotels, catering companies and restaurants in Israel and abroad. The winery currently produces wine under four main labels – The Chosen, Binyamina Reserve, Yogev and Teva, as well as special limited edition wines and liqueurs. We regard each of our wine labels as reflecting a part of an entire enterprise that strives for and ultimately achieves product perfection.

Carmel Winery -Carmel Winery is the historic winery of Israel. It was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux. Carmel owns the two largest wineries in Israel, at Rishon Le Zion, south of Tel Aviv and at Zichron Ya’acov, south of Haifa. Each has deep underground cellars built by Rothschild in the 19th century. Carmel also has two small, state-of-the-art wineries close to key vineyards, to allow production of small quantities of handcrafted wines. These are Kayoumi Winery, situated in the Upper Galilee, and Yatir Winery, in the northeastern Negev.

Dalton Winery – The Winery was established in 1995 when the Haruni family from England came to settle in Israel. Initially the winery was situated in makeshift premises in Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra and produced some 20,000 bottles, but now it occupies its own home overlooking the Hula Valley and currently makes about 800,000 bottles annually.

Domaine du Castel – The Domaine du Castel winery is located on the Judean hills in the vicinity of Jerusalem. It sits in the Ramat Raziel moshav (collective farm) the place of a former chicken farm.

Flam Winery – The winery is situated in the picturesque view of the Judean Hills, at the origin of the Kisalon Creek and at the foot of the Kdoshim Forest, merged with the natural scenery, and combines high quality wines with Flam’s second generations’ refreshing attachment to the land.

Golan Heights Winery – The Golan Heights Winery produces premium varietals, proprietary blends and traditional method sparkling wines, marketed under the labels “Yarden”, “Gamla” and “Golan”. The winery was founded in 1983 and is located in the small town of Katzrin, high up on the Golan Heights. Produces 380,000 cases of premium varietals, proprietary blends and champagne method sparkling wines.

Hevron Heights & Noah Winery – site was down.

Margalit Winery – Margalit Winery is a family owned winery founded in 1989. The owners and winemakers of Margalit Winery, Yair Margalit and his son Asaf Margalit, have a special interest in Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet-Franc) and therefore the winery focuses on producing those red wines. The production grew gradually from 80 cases in 1989 vintage, to the current annual production of about 1,600 cases.

Recanati Winery -The Recanati Winery was founded in 2000 by a group of wine lovers led by Lenny Recanati. The Winery established its home in the Hefer Valley and is furnished with state-of the-art wine-making equipment. Many award winning wines.

Rimon Winery (pomegranate wine) – Rimon Winery is owned and operated by the Nachmias family, a third generation farming family who were among the founding fathers of Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra in Israel’s Upper Galilee. The father and son winemaking team of Gaby and Avi Nachmias, a farmer and a businessman respectively, were inspired by a love of their land and wine, to create a unique style of wine—made from special pomegranates developed in their own orchards.

Teperberg WineryThe Winery is focused on increasing its production to 7 million bottles a year and the construction of a visitors’ center.
Israel’s forth largest winery, Teperberg 1870 exports first class wines to more then 22 countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, France, England, Australia and more.

Tishbi Estate Winery – Jonathan Tishbi founded the Tishbi Estate in1984, which produces four series of wines, each offering consistent quality and flavor ,as well as value and style within its class.

Tulip Winery – Tulip Winery, established on Kfar Tikva, near Kiryat Tivon, is an unusual workplace. Marketing director Neta Mintz, vintner Arzy, and owner and founder Roy Yitzhaki would undoubtedly be the first to admit that. All are under 30, but they are already the leaders of a successful boutique winery. Very interesting coverage in Haaretz by Daniel Rogov, Israel’s leading wine critic.

Vitkin Winery – Vitkin winery was established on the Rutenberg-Belogolovsky farm in Vitkin Village, Israel, during the 2001 harvest. Merges the veteran old French Colombard grape with the new immigrant
Viognier and the exotic Gewürztraminer. Approximately 40,000 bottles annually.

Yatir Winery – a joint venture with the Carmel winery. produces boutique wines.

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Israeli wines are increasingly receiving awards and high scores, partly due to the climate and geography in Israel but also thanks to the increased sophistication of wine growers in the country. So next time you’re about to get a bottle, try one of these and tell me what you think!

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Eze Vidra

General Partner, Google Ventures at Google
Eze is a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before joining GV, Eze started Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and led Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Follow me

Eze Vidra

Eze is a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before joining GV, Eze started Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and led Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.

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