Carmel Winery is the historic winery of Israel. It was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux. Carmel owns the two largest wineries in Israel, at Rishon Le Zion, south of Tel Aviv and at Zichron Ya’acov, south of Haifa. Each has deep underground cellars built by Rothschild in the 19th century.
The story of Carmel represents the story of Israel, and the recent developments of Carmel’s wine, symbolizes the revolution of Israeli wine in recent years.
Carmel Winery has 3,472 acres of vineyards, which cover the land of Israel from the Upper Galilee in the north, to the Negev in the south. Carmel’s winemakers can therefore choose from vineyards with different terroirs from all the wine regions in Israel. Carmel has a particularly strong vineyard presence in the cooler climate of the Upper Galilee, from where many of the leading wines are sourced.
Carmel’s Rishon Le Zion Wine Cellars, built in 1890, is the oldest winery in Israel still in use. Two future Israeli prime ministers worked there and the first ever use of electricity and telephone in Israel was at the winery. Rishon Le Zion is now the fourth biggest city in Israel and it has literally grown around the winery, which sits in the center of a residential area. Carmel’s main blending & bottling facility is at Rishon Le Zion, which is also where the company’s head office is located.
Carmel’s Zichron Ya’acov Wine Cellars, built in 1892, is the largest winery in Israel. On the premises is a modern, state-of-the-art facility making small quantities of quality wines from Carmel’s finest vineyards. The most advanced, modern winemaking technology blends in with the historic 120 year old cellars. The name of the winery is in memory of Edmond de Rothschild’s father, Baron James Jacob (Ya’acov) de Rothschild, who purchased the famous Bordeaux winery, Chateau Lafite, for the Rothschild family. Zichron Ya’acov is a charming town which still has an atmosphere of pre-state Israel. It is situated south of Haifa on the southern slopes of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Lior Lacser is the Chief Winemaker of Carmel Winery. He is a graduate of CFPPA in Beaune in Burgundy. He has experience in both Burgundy and Bordeaux having worked at Domaine Comte Armand, Pommard and at Chateau le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol. He worked with Michel Rolland, one of the most influential winemakers in the world today. He followed this with work experience in Australia, working for Harman’s Ridge Estate in the Margaret River region of West Australia. He joined Carmel in 2003 and was appointed the Chief Winemaker of Carmel Winery in 2005.
Lacser heads a department of eight winemakers, and works closely with a team of expert viticulturists.