THE UPPER GALILEE : ANOTHER GREAT MEDITERRANEAN TERROIR
LA HAUTE GALILÉE : UN AUTRE GRAND TERROIR MÉDITERRANÉEN
The visit of the Northern part of Israël (personally in May 2018), and particularly the upper Galilee, allows to discover high quality viticultural terroirs. Some similarities can be found with the Bekaa valley in Lebanon or the upper Languedoc for instance, due to the temperance of a basic mediterranean climate (less dryness, cooler nights) by the altitude : 300 – 600 m in the upper Languedoc, 600 – 900 m in the upper Galilee, 900 – 1200 m in the Bekaa valley, Figure 1 shows the Galilee region in the North-West part of Israël with its gradients of altitude and rivers going to the Tiberiade lake or the Galilee sea (altitude -212m below sea level). Notice in the North-East part the high basaltic plateau of the Golan and the rivers going also to the Tiberiade lake, and first of all the Jordan river.
Figure 1. Physical map of Israël and surrounding countries, with the historical names of the regions (internet source).
The upper Galilee and the Galilee have harmonious landscapes combining hills covered by forests (most of them have been planted) and fertile valleys where agricultural crops are mixed with horticultural crops (figures 2, 3, 4).
Figure 2. Typical Galilee landscape : in front sunflowers culture, after orchards, then hills with cereals and green oak forest, mount Carmel at the horizon (credit Alain Carbonneau).