Château Golan Winery is an Israeli winery established in 1999 and is one of Israel’s most extravagant. It is located in southern Golan Heights, near the Yarmuk River. The winery features a French-style Château; built from basalt, which is also used for art exhibitions. Furthermore, the winery grows thirteen grape types! Including Bordelaise varieties Cabernet Sauvignon; Merlot; Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot; Mediterranean varieties of French and Spanish origin: Syrah; Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Petite Syrah; Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier; and the Portuguese variety Touriga Nacional. Production is about 75,000 bottles annually.
The Story of Château Golan Winery
The story of Chateau Golan Winery began in 1996 when the Rybak family planted 131 dunams of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes from Moshav Eliad in the agricultural areas of the moshav in the southern Golan Heights. Now in 1999 the family established a small winery in the farmyard in partnership with Shuki Shai and produced the first 7,000 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon. Then in the 2000 vintage, in addition to a consultant who already had a winery; it was decided to bring in a winemaker from abroad to help during the vintage season which has already grown to about twenty tons of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
So a year later, when bottle production moved to the new building and had already risen to 30,000, a young and energetic winemaker named Uri Hetz came to the winery and returned from a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Oregon and specialized in Joseph Phelps Winery in California and Tzora Winery in Israel. In fact, Uri Hetz arrived the day before the 2001 vintage and has not stopped working at the winery since.
Uri helped a lot to promote the winery with his original thinking and uncompromising approach. So after a few years of work he joined the winery as a partner. Then in 2002, another 110 dunams were planted, new grape varieties were added and the amount of production continued to increase. New plantings are constantly being added in order to increase production, replace old plots and try more new varieties.