Kayoumi vineyard in the Galilee. Photo courtesy Carmel Winery

For many years, Israeli vintners complied with halakha—Jewish laws—and ensured that their wines were kosher by heating or even boiling them. This process inevitably impaired the quality of the finished product, and kosher wine was generally known as a sweet and inferior gastronomic product. Yet as Israeli winemakers began to aim toward producing higher-quality wines, the modern Israeli wine industry found ways to meet kashrut requirements (that is, the Jewish dietary regulations) without ruining the wine. Winemakers no longer boil their wines; instead many of them bring in authorized supervisors whose role is to oversee the production and handling process. So today’s Israeli wines can be both kosher and pleasing to the most discerning palate.