Naama Barak
April 11

This Passover will be unlike any other in recent memory. For many Israelis and Jews around the world, it will be celebrated with a heavy heart preoccupied with the ongoing war, loss, the hostages still held in Gaza and the ugly antisemitism that has reared its head.

And yet, the Jewish holiday might also provide us with a chance to take all this off our minds for a short time, celebrate our family and friends and remember that as a people, we’ve been through a lot and endured. 

To help all this happen, we’ve compiled recommendations for some of the best Israeli wines to enjoy, both certified kosher and not. Some are from wineries hard-hit by the Gaza conflict, giving you a chance to support Israeli businesses experiencing hard times.

With the obligation to drink four glasses of wine at the Seder, here’s your chance to try out quite a few of them. Happy holiday, and may we soon celebrate better times.

Kosher for Passover

Domaine du Castel Petit Castel

This bottle of wine is surely going to be on the table in many Israeli households this Passover. It is red, delicious and more festive than a regular Friday night bottle. The super-popular Domaine du Castel winery in the Jerusalem Hills is one of the most well-known and loved in Israel, and the holiday is a perfect opportunity to get acquainted with it. Next time you’re here, book yourself a tour of the place.

Flam Classico 

Not far from Domaine du Castel is another famous, family-run operation – Flam Winery. The winery is run by a pair of brothers and their mother and is located amid lush greenery in the Jerusalem Hills. The Flam family produces a great range of red, white and rosé wines, and the Flam Classico is a firm favorite. Also a blend, it’s a bit on the heavier side, and a substantial partner to any occasion or meal.

Nana Winery Rosé

If you fancy a rosé for the holiday, look no further than Nana Estate Winery. Located in Mitzpeh Ramon in the middle of the Israeli desert, the little winery produces a great array of wines, this gorgeous pink-hued one included. This is a medium-bodied wine that can hold its own or accompany a meal, making it a great all-rounder. It can be a perfect gift to bring your hosts.

Tulip Winery Black Tulip 

Tulip Winery is the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel is a beautiful spot (make sure to come visit next time you’re here) that also produces wine with a beautiful vision. The winery employs people with special needs who reside in the onsite Kfar Tikvah (Village of Hope) community and kept their work going also at the beginning of the war, when all the vineyard’s leadership scrambled to their reserve duty, making it a doubly good wine to enjoy. 

And the wine in question is definitely enjoyable. Full-bodied and complex and strong, it’s one for those who like their wine on the heftier side.

Photo courtesy of Tulip Winery
Photo courtesy of Tulip Winery

Odem Mountain Winery Volcanic Chardonnay 

From the very north of Israel comes a very delicious Chardonnay from a winery that like many of its neighbors was affected by war and dwindling numbers of visitors to the region. The grapes are grown on the volcanic soil of the Golan Heights, and while we don’t understand the biology behind it, it certainly produces a great wine that can be enjoyed on any occasion, including Passover. 

Yatir Winery Mt. Amasa 

An Israeli classic, Mt. Amasa will be a sure hit at your holiday table. The wine is produced from grapes grown in semi-arid conditions in the Yatir Forest in the northern outskirts of the Negev desert. The red blend is drinkable, delicious and to everyone’s taste. Highly recommended. 

Don’t pass over these 12 Israeli wines at your holiday table
Photo courtesy of Yatir Winery

Matar Cumulus

The Cumulus is a product of Matar Wines, Pelter Winery’s kosher boutique winery. This very nice red blend goes down great with dinner, and provides an opportunity for the kosher-keeping crowd to become acquainted with the Pelter family’s expertise and products.

Don’t pass over these 12 Israeli wines at your holiday table
Cumulous is a nice red blend. Photo courtesy of Matar Wines

Recanati Reserve Marawi

The Recanati Winery in the Galilee produces some of Israel’s most widely available wines. It also produces a number of higher-line wines, including Marawi, made from a white grape of the same name that’s indigenous to this area of the Middle East. This would be a great lunchtime wine, or a gift for your hosts – everybody loves a wine with a story.

Recanati Reserve Marawi. Photo courtesy of Recanati Winery
Recanati Reserve Marawi. Photo courtesy of Recanati Winery

Not kosher

Shvo Vineyards Red

There was a time when you couldn’t sit down to dinner in Tel Aviv without seeing this wine on the menu, and for good reason – the red blend is an all-around crowd pleaser. It’s very drinkable, not too light but also not too heavy, and will accompany the Seder meal perfectly. 

Also, by enjoying it, you will be supporting a northern business affected by war – Shvo’s vineyards are within shooting range of Lebanon, and tending to them has been a haphazard occurrence since the war broke out.

Pelter Winery Trio

If you’ve ever been over for dinner in an Israeli household, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered this excellent wine. The red blend is the introductory-level wine of the famous Pelter Winery in the Golan Heights, and in our opinion, the most delicious. It goes great with everything, pleases everyone, and is a very nice way to enjoy a Seder night cup (or four).

Like many other northern wineries, Pelter has experienced difficult times during the Gaza war. A missile hit the winery injuring one person, and damaging buildings. Tens of thousands of bottles were destroyed.

Margalit Winery Riesling

Don’t pass over these 12 Israeli wines at your holiday table
Photo courtesy of Margalit Winery

Margalit Winery from the coastal part of northern Israel is one of the most prestigious wineries in Israel, turning out exceptional, and not inexpensive, wines. A great way to experience their wine is to try their Riesling – a delicious light white with just a hint of sweetness. We’d suggest starting off the Seder evening with this one or, alternatively, serving it for lunch the next day. It will be fabulous either way.

Seahorse Winery Romain

Don’t pass over these 12 Israeli wines at your holiday table
Seahorse Winery business administrator Yonni Cohen, left, winemaker Adar Ben Chelouche and owner Zeev Dunia enjoying a glass. Photo by Naama Barak

Seahorse Winery from the Jerusalem Hills is one of the very best boutique wineries in Israel, producing delicious reds and whites named after literary figures. The Romain is a red blend reminiscent of a Cote du Rhone, making it a full-bodied wine that’s also incredibly easy to drink. If we could, all of our four cups on Seder night would be made up of this.   

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