Clos De Gat winery is often considered an “industry secret”. A third of their wine is sold overseas and the winery has been concentrating efforts outside Israel in recent years. Clos De Gat wine is found in top Israel restaurants but as space at wine stores is limited, their wine is not always easily found.
The winery today is going considerable renovations increasing the overall size of the cellars, adding tasting rooms and offices .Fun fact, the original cellar was used by Yitzhak Rabin as a bunker when he commanded the Harel Brigade in 1967 and therefore is meant for preservation.
The winery is unique for several reasons. 90K bottles a year production, all from the vineyards 200 meters above sea level in the area of Kibutz Harel of the Judean Hills. In other words, all the vineyards are located just outside the winery and the grapes do not have to travel more than 500 meters from the vineyard to the winery. The red wines are produced in an open vat fermentation using only wild yeast found on the grapes As for the beautiful oaked 2012 Chardonnay we tried, the yield is only about 400 KG per dunam. An extremely low yield, one that is not economically viable in most cases.
Drip irrigation is in place but has not been used in over 6 years. This winery is clearly substituting quantity with high quality and flavorful grapes. Other wines we tasted included the 2011 Harel Merlot which received 91 points from Wine Spectator. My personal favorite was the 2004 Ayalon Blend which was rich, velvety and concentrated. Beautiful!