The holiday of Passover is a perfect opportunity to support Israel and drink Israeli wines during the Seder. Israel is filled with great wineries and we have compiled the recommended Passover wines from some of the best ones in the country. What makes this list unique is the fact that you can plant a grapevine in each of these wineries through Wine on the Vine, an organization that allows for the virtual planting of grapevines in Israel. For each vine planted ($18 per vine), you also choose an Israeli charity to receive the majority of your donation. It is quite simple: choose your winery, choose your cause, plant your grapevine in Israel. Visit www.wineonthevine.org to plant a vine for Passover today. Go even further and plant a vine for each guest who will be attending your Seder!
The Seder wouldn’t be complete without a wine from legendary Israeli winery Carmel. Carmel recommends its Mediterranean blend and single vineyard Malbec Admon for the holiday. The Mediterranean blend boasts a variety of grape types and aromas of black plum, raspberry and ripe cherries. It is full-bodied and rich with a long and balanced finish. This wine will pair well with dishes such as roast goose and casseroles. Carmel’s single vineyard Malbec Admon is 100% Malbec and has a rich, deep fruit flavor. It will pair well with lamb dishes.
The Spring River Bordeaux is the suggested Passover wine from Gush Etzion. With a bold red color, a powerful, rich nose of ripe fruit, and a sophisticated bouquet that expresses tobacco and chocolate, this is a decadent wine to indulge in during the Seder.
Yatir Winery suggests its Forest and Petit Verdot wines for the Passover Seder. The Yatir Forest, its flagship wine, displays a deep purple color with rich aromas and flavors. It has received many high accolades from wine critics. Yatir’s Petit Verdot reflects the wineries pioneering of this varietal in Israel as it was first planted in their vineyards in 2002. The 2015 vintage has aromas of violets, forest berries, and rose water. It is medium-bodied with moderate astringency.
Jezreel Winery recommends its Argaman Reserve wine for Passover. This original Israeli wine is a complex, balanced and spicy red wine perfect for those seeking a unique and special wine to break out during the Seder.
From Tabor, there are a variety of wines to fit all price points. For value the winery recommends Mt Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon and for a fresh, unoaked white the Mt Tabor Chardonnay. A great mid-tier wine (and possibly the biggest secret in the world of kosher wine today) is the Tabor Storm (sufa) from 2014. If you are looking to splurge, the Tabor Limited Edition 2014, which has received a score of 91 points from Wine Enthusiast, is a full bodied, round Cabernet Sauvignon which really delivers on the palate. One of the most unique wines from Tabor, and one that is hard to find but worth the search, is the Tabor Tannat. As the first and only Israeli Tannat wine, it is a single vineyard designate from the Shifon vineyard.
Tulip Winery recommends its Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Syrah Reserve for the Passover Seder. The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is made from 90% cabernet sauvignon grapes sourced from five different vineyards in the upper galilee and terroirs with the addition of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This wine has a deep maroon red-purple color with aromas of cherry and black fruit with a bit of vanilla, black pepper and toasted wood. This wine has a full, round flavor, soft tannins and a long pleasurable finish making it an ideal wine for the four cups.
Tulip’s Syrah Reserve is fruity and complex with aromas of ruby and black plums, black pepper, and chocolate. Its finish is long and gentle, again, making it a great wine for the Seder meal.
Psagot winery recommends it Peak wine for the seder. The Psagot Peak is a blend of various Southern French varietals adapted for the Israeli climate: Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Mourvèdre. The wine is rich, aromatic, and compact with notes of black fruit, black pepper, dark chocolate, dried flowers, and minerals. The wine has a velvety texture, with an acidic tone to complement.
Herzberg Winery suggests the Domaine Herzberg Rosé 2018 to open at the Seder since it is light, fruity and easy to drink for the first glass. It opens the way for heavier wines as the Seder progresses.
We hope this list has inspired you to include Israeli wines at the Passover Seder. Don’t forget to plant some grapevines too!