Wine has been produced in the Holy Land since ancient times but modern wine production began in the late 19th century, when the French Baron Edmond de Rothschild began importing French grape varieties and wine-making know-how to the region. By the late 1990’s Israeli wines were winning awards at international wine competitions and today the country has gained a reputation for making quality wines, proving it can compete on the world stage. In the late 1920’s brothers Elhanan and Yehezkel Hirsch Segal (of Russian decent) established Israel’s first distillery in Tel Aviv. However, in 1954 they decided to focus exclusively on the production of wine, naming their estate in the Judaean Hills Zvi Vineyard, in honour of their beloved grandfather Zvi. The name of the business was eventually changed to Segal Wines, which was sold in 2000 to Barkan Winery, Israel's second largest winery. Barkan has since been sold to Tempo, who produce the Segal wines at the Barkan winery in Hulda but, recognising the quality and tradition of the Segal wines, they are managed as an independent winery with their own winemaker and production process. Italian oenologist Alberto Antonini (of the renowned Poggiotondo estate in Chianti) has consulted at Segal since 2017, arriving soon after the new Head Winemaker Ido Lewinsohn was appointed. Ido has an impressive CV. He has worked in France, Australia and Italy where he interned at San Guido's Sassicaia, and in 2000 he became Israel's second Master of Wine, the most prestigious title in the world of wine. Together Antonini and Lewinsohn have seen Segal go from strength to strength. The Segal vineyards are planted on chalk soils at high altitude between 800 and 1,000 metres above sea level. Segal produce an intriguing red wine made from Argaman, a variety created in Israel by crossing Souzᾶo and Carignan. The name means “deep purple” or “crimson” in Hebrew, and it makes deeply coloured juicy wines with spicy fruit flavours which can be compared to Malbec. If you prefer white wine they make a zesty refreshing fruit-driven Colombard. These Kosher wines are unique and are outstanding value for money – they are really are something to shout about!