In Biblical times, Judea was the center of wine activity. The slopes of the Judean Hills were covered in vines. In those days wine was a mainstay of the economy and a major export. Judea was the name of the southern part of the land inhabited by the Israelite tribe of Judah. This was followed by the Kingdom of Judah and then later, the Roman Province of Judaea. Vineyards were planted on terraces, wine was made in ancient wine presses, which may still be seen today, and wines were stored in amphorae in the caves of the region.
Fast forward a few thousand years and the Judean Hills is again one of Israel’s most important wine regions. The region begins in the rolling slopes of the Judean foothills, which rise sharply to the mountains west of Jerusalem. There are many wineries crowded into this historic region, including some of Israel’s finest. The area is a patchwork of vineyards, many of them planted recently. Montefiore wines are made from the best quality grape varieties, carefully selected from individual plots, within the finest quality vineyards of the Judean Hills.
The conditions and climate for this region are ideal for the growing of quality wine grapes. The Judean Hills has a Mediterranean climate of hot summers and mild, rainy winters. The soils are limestone, alluvial clay and loam. The higher elevations have thin, limey, stony soils which rise up to over 800 meters (2,400 feet) above sea level. Night time temperatures are cool and the higher slopes receive snow in the winter.