Timeline

3000 BCE Noah became the first vintner.

1800 BCE Jacob promises son, Judah, that his land will produce good wine.

1000 BCE Beginning of golden period for wine in Judea and the Judean Hills.

800 BCE “The mountains shall drip wine and all the hills shall flow with it.” The Prophet Amos about Judea.

1784 Moses Montefiore born in Livorno, in the Tuscany region of Italy.

1827 Judith Montefiore, in her diary recording the Montefiores first visit to Israel, reported there were no wine merchants or commercial wineries, but many domestic winemakers. There were frequent mentions of the beauty of the wild vines and olive trees in the Jerusalem Hills.

1839 On his second visit to the Holy Land, Moses Montefiore made his vision for agriculture known. The existence of vines, olive trees and wells, combined with the poverty of the Jewish community, brought him to the conclusion that agriculture was the answer. Fifty years before Herzl, he also wrote: “By degrees I hope to induce the return of thousands of our brethren to the Land of Israel.”

1840 Moses Montefiore represented world Jewry in the Damascus Affair, which was once referred to by David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, as the true beginning of Zionism.

1848 The Shor family opened the first recorded winery in the Old City of Jerusalem, established during Montefiore’s third visit. Their profession is recorded in the Montefiore Census of 1949.

1855 Sir Moses Montefiore purchased the first Jewish land for use in agriculture, the Montefiore Orchard in Jaffa, (today the Montefiore Quarter of Tel Aviv). This was the beginning of Israel’s citrus industry. Ben-Gurion described it as “the first modern attempt to make Jews farmers again.” 

He also purchased the first land outside the Old City Walls of Jerusalem and named it: ‘Kerem Moshe v’ Yehudit’ (Moses & Judith’s Vineyard).

1860 Mishkenot Sha’ananim was founded by Moses Montefiore, becaming the first  neighborhood outside the Old City and the cornerstone of modern Jerusalem. Montefiore was described as the first practical Zionist.

1865 Moses Montefiore wrote: “Palestine must belong to the Jews and Jerusalem is destined to become the center of the Jewish people.”

1866 Sir Joseph Sebag Montefiore, nephew and heir of Sir Moses, assisted in the laying of the foundation stone for a further row of houses at Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

1870 Mikveh Israel Agricultural School founded with the desire to learn from the experiences of the Montefiore Orchard. They were the first to plant French grape varieties.

1875 The Moses Montefiore Testimonial Fund was set up to advance the cause of Jews in Israel. Montefiore wrote that vines and olive trees should be planted ‘to give a taste of agriculture.’

1882 Baron Edmond de Rothschild, the nephew of Sir Moses’ brother-in-law, founded the modern Israeli wine industry.

1884 Montefiore’s last donations were to Rishon Le Zion and Zichron Ya’acov, which became the center of the new Israeli wine industry.

1885 Moses Montefiore passed away, aged nearly 101 years old.

1892 Joseph Sebag Montefiore signed the agreements on the foundation of Yemin Moshe in the remaining area of Kerem Moshe v’ Yehudit.

1989 Adam S. Montefiore, direct descendant of Joseph Sebag Montefiore, became the first member of his family to make aliyah to Israel.

1990-today Adam Montefiore worked at Israel’s two most famous wineries, Carmel & Golan Heights, and spearheaded the advance of Israeli wine worldwide.

2005-today David & Rachel Montefiore, two of Adam’s children, studied wine & began to work in the wine trade.

2010 Kerem Montefiore Winery founded on the 150th anniversary of Mishkenot Sha’ananim.       

2010  New book published:  ‘Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero’, by Abigail Green.

2011 Launch of ‘Jerusalem: The Biography’ by historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, Adam’s brother.

 2013 The first Montefiore wines, made from Judean Hills vineyards, are released.

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