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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

The 2003 grape harvest in Israel has seen a shift towards noble varieties, according to the country's main winery. Adam Montefiore, international marketing director at Carmel, which accounts for 50% of the country's wine production, says it has encouraged growers to put more emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, and cut back on workman-like' grapes Colombard and Carignan, the two most heavily grown grapes in Israel. Early reports suggest a harvest of 46,000 tons, about the same as 2002. He said: Carmel is trying to make wine like a small winery, and we are trying to incentivise the growers to plant the grapes that we want. The whole idea is to get the growers to think that they're growing wine and not grapes. It really does look a good harvest this year. It's been a smaller harvest and that's good for quality. The balance of the white grapes is as good as it can be: a balance of fruit, acidity, colour, pH, and so on. The reds are showing very well, too.'