Yossie's corkboard can be found here -
Despite the increasing consumption of the Israeli mainstream market, it is insufficient to support the continued production growth of Israeli wineries whose reliance on export continues to grow. More and more wineries are targeting increased exports as a significant part of their projected growth. Some wineries like Montefiore are targeting 75% of their production for export. While such a high percentage s a relative outlier, 40% continues to be a recurring number I am hearing, a substantial increase from the 15-25% of the last few years. While the main driver for this initiative is providing additional (and more high-end) options for restaurants and caterers, I believe that these wines will be highly sought after by the more observant crowd (an increasingly discerning group of kosher wine consumers) for home consumption.
Due to the continued (and incessantly frustrating) refusal of mainstream US kosher supervising organizations like the OU and OK to allow non-mevushal wines to be served in restaurants, the primary options for the kosher wine consumer in restaurants has been the wines of Herzog and Hagafen, with the entry-level Barkan Classic wines providing some uninspiring at best Israeli options (my go-to wine has traditionally been Herzog’s Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley ). Recent years have seen the wines from Shiloh added to that list as the winery slowly shifts towards a largely mevushal US-portfolio and a few wines from Spain’s Elvi. As part of the efforts to increase (US) exports, many of the major US importers have convinced their Israeli winery clients without any mevushal wines in their portfolio to create one or two higher-end mevushal wines, which are intended primarily for export. Among the first to jump on this trend was Recanati, with a mevushal Shiraz in their “Diamond” series. In the last year or two, the list has grown to include the Quadro from Bravdo (a blend similar to their Coupage with the addition of Merlot), Capcanes’ Peraj Petita and Peraj Ha’Abib, Psagot’s flagship Edom blend and their Cabernet Sauvignon, among others. The common denominator of these wines is that, as opposed to the wines from Shiloh, Hagafen and others, these wines are made as non-mevushal and only undergo flash-pasteurization process at bottling which typically results in a lesser, but certainly different wine. With both mevushal and non-mevushal versions of the same wines available, consumers should be aware of which wine they are purchasing (especially since some of these wines can be purchased non-mevushal at your local wine shop and mevushal at your favorite steakhouse). I have conducted side-by-side tastings of all these wines, comparing the mevushal and non-mevushal versions and in every single case, there are discernable differences between the two, with the non-mevushal version being the superior wine in almost every single case.