Modern wine-making in an ancient region
When winemaker Hillel Manne moved to Beit El in 1996 he asked about agricultural land. He was told that the shallow Terra Rosa soil on limestone, coupled with harsh winters, made agriculture here unlikely. That was when he got excited.
With his experience managing the vineyard at Israel’s Kibbutz Shaalavim and studying agriculture at the University of California, he had a gut feeling that he was onto some excellent wine territory. He was right. Israel’s warm climate ensures the right sugar level, and the cool evenings of Beit El (altitude: 2,854 feet) produce excellent acid retention. The result is grapes maturing with the perfect balance between sugar and acid, a balance that preserves the wine naturally for years.
Winemaking is hardly new here though. Ancient winemakers poured their fermenting grape juice into clay jugs and stored them in the many caves around Beit El. As Hillel tells his guests, “We have an unsurpassed tradition to live up to.”