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The Judean Wine Region first to receive formal recognition as Appellation of Origin 

Wine producers from the geographical region of Judea can now use the "Judea Wines" Appellation of Origin. Niv Visel, Head of Regional Council: "This is historic news and is a source of local and Israeli pride".

By Israeli law, an Appellation of Origin (AO) is defined as the geographical name of a country or an area included in the name of a product, which refers to its origin and qualities, as an outcome of the same geographical area. The first Israeli AO was granted in 1968 to "JAFFA" citrus fruits grown in various parts of Israel. Since then no further AOs have been registered, until recently:

In 2020, the Matte Yehuda Regional Council headed by Niv Visel, together with the Judea Wineries Club, have completed a revolutionary and historic process. For the first time, an Israeli wine region has been defined by law as an Appellation of Origin, similar to the way in which European wine regions are defined and protected. The new Israeli AOs registered are the general region of "Judea", and two sub-regions: "Judean Hills" and "Judean Foothills".

Approximately a year earlier, the first part of the process was completed, with the registration of a Certification Trade Mark for the "Yehuda (Judea) Wineries Club", thus according to the "New World" system of recognition and protection of wine zones. The recognition process was completed, with the registration of the Appellations of Origin, as accepted in the "Old World of Wine".

Wine producers from the area can now label their wines by one of the new Appellations of Origin: "Judea", "Judean Hills" and "Judean Foothills", if at least 85% of the grapes in the wine originate in the labeled AO. Producers from outside the area are not allowed to label their wines with the approved Appellations of Origin. 

The Regional Council, owner of the AOs, now intends to request the international registration of the AOs according to the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, which now includes 30 member countries (Israel within).

Niv Visel, Head of the Matte Yehuda Regional Council: "The wineries and wines produced in Matte Yehuda are well known for their quality, and this has now received recognition. This is historic news and a source of local and Israeli pride, which shall grant a stamp of quality to the various wines produced within Matte Yehuda. This accomplishment would not have been achieved without the support of the wineries themselves, the vigorous work of the Tourism Department of the regional council lead by the council's tourism advisor Barak Katz, Head of the department Roni Iron, and the assistance of the legal counsel Edan Barulfan, who stood behind the entire process, and I wish to thank all who assisted us with this process and brought us to this exciting outcome".

From the start of 2023, the appellation names and/or logo are depicted on wine labels of wineries from the region, whereas the professional committee which was assigned has begun its activity of approving label marking.

 

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