Golan Heights Winery takes Italian first prize
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Golan Heights Winery takes Italian first prize

ROME (JTA) — An Israeli winery for the first time won the grand prize at Italy’s leading international wine competition.

The Golan Heights Winery, founded in 1983 in Katzrin, beat out 3,720 wines from more than 1,000  producers in 30 countries to take home the so-called "Wine World Cup" — the Gran Vinitaly Special Award granted ahead of Italy’s annual Vinitaly wine trade fair in Verona, one of Europe’s top wine events, which opens Friday.

International wine experts and journalists were among the members of the 105-member jury.

Though it was the first grand prize given to an Israeli winemaker, Golan Heights had already won grand gold medals at Vinitaly in 2004 and 2006.

The chief winemaker for Golan Heights is Victor Schoenfeld, a graduate of the University of California, Davis.

Golan Heights wines are marketed under the Yarden, Gamla and Golan labels.