Wines of Israel Campaign Increases National Visibility for Israeli Wine in 2019

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Promotional campaign reports successful first year of educational initiatives in United States

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Wines of Israel, a national campaign to promote Israeli wine in the United States, is proud to report a year of remarkable success for Israeli wine in the US market. While Israel is one of the world’s oldest wine producing regions, its modern wine industry is relatively young, and has not previously had a uniform campaign dedicated to the promotion of its wines in the US. Wines of Israel launched in 2019 as a full-fledged media, trade, and consumer relations campaign to increase awareness on behalf of 27 participating wineries, organized by the Israel Export Institute.

As part of a strategy to position Wines of Israel as a Mediterranean wine region and promote the category through educational experiences and trial opportunities for the wine trade and media, Wines of Israel hosted tastings and masterclasses in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago in September 2019, attended by hundreds of wine professionals. The campaign also hosted seminars at numerous wine trade conferences throughout 2019, including SommCon in Washington, DC and San Diego, the Society of Wine Educators Annual Conference in Washington, DC, and the Full Circle Beverage Conference in Chicago. Seminars were hosted by Master of Wine Sandy Block, Advanced Sommelier Erik Segelbaum, Cathrine Todd DipWSET, Erika Frey DipWSET, and Advanced Somme-lier Rachel Driver Speckan.

Wines of Israel partnered with GuildSomm, a nonprofit international membership organization for sommeliers and wine professionals, to develop a study guide for members on the wines of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean. GuildSomm staff writer Bryce Wiatrak also presented three master-classes on the wines of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean in New York, Orlando, and Los Angeles. A video filmed in Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus by GuildSomm is currently in production.

To increase consumer awareness of Israeli wine, the campaign held a Grand Tasting in New York and participated in the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival and the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. Wines of Israel also curated a selection of Israeli wines for a dinner by James Beard award-winning chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav, attended by over two hundred guests.

“We are incredibly pleased to have been able to introduce Israeli wine to thousands of beverage professionals and consumers in less than one year,” said Yaara Shimony, manager of the wine sector at the Israel Export Institute. “We are excited to continue revealing the nuances of Israeli wine in 2020, reaching new corners of the US market.”

In the media, Mike Colameco’s Real Food PBS television show aired three episodes about Israeli wine and food in November, coordinated by Wines of Israel. Feature stories in publications such as Forbes, the Boston Herald, The Tasting Panel, The SOMM Journal, and Beverage Media Group have hailed Israel as a burgeoning Mediterranean wine region worth paying attention to.

Israeli wines have increasingly received critical acclaim. At Wine Spectator’s prestigious New York Wine Experience, held in October 2019, three Israeli wineries were invited to participate with wines that received over 90 points from Wine Spectator reviewers. Golan Heights Winery, Recanati Winery, and Tabor Winery represented the Israeli wine industry, pouring alongside the best wines of the world such as first growth Bordeaux, top Napa Valley estates, and famous Champagne houses. In Wine Spectator and beyond, Israeli wines have received numerous 90+ scores from a variety of key wine publications in 2019. Most recently, Wine Enthusiast named Israel’s Barkan Winery to the Enthusiast 100 Wines of 2019 list.

Wines of Israel looks to build on the successes of the campaign’s first year with a wide presence in markets across the US in 2020, with further expansion on the West Coast. For more information, please visit, visit the Wines of Israel YouTube channel, or contact Josh Zoland of Colangelo & Partners (

About Wines of Israel -
Wines of Israel is a promotional campaign organized by the Israel Export Institute and financed by the government of Israel and select producers to educate the US wine trade and general public about the quality and universal appeal of Israeli wine, with the aim to gain wider recognition of Israel as a fast-growing and significant wine region on the world stage.

About the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute -
Established and funded by the government and the private sector, IEICI is the premier gateway for doing business with Israeli companies. Its expertise in technology and product scouting, joint ven-tures and strategic alliances with Israeli companies spans more than half a century.

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Josh Zoland
Colangelo & Partners
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