Barkan Winery Central Israel
State-of-the-Art Barkan Winery Kibbutz Hulda
Looking for a great wine tasting experience close to Israel’s center and the Gush Dan area?
If your vacation itinerary includes Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, you can a great tasting and fun side trip to the beautiful Barkan Winery in Kibbutz Hulda and its new Visitor’s Center with a variety of wine tour options.
Barkan, a kosher state-of-the art winery, specializes in red and white wines such as both varietal and blended varieties, some of which are Assemblage, Classic, Reserve, Altitude and Superieur. Barkan’s wines come from the vineyards in Hulda, as well as from the Galilee (Galil) in the north to Mitzpe Ramon in the south and from the Jerusalem Mountains and the plains (shfela) of Yehuda. Barkan produces 10 million bottles of wine a year, of which 22% are exported to 46 countries all over the world.
The largest vineyards in Israel are located in this area of the Judean foothills, southeast of Rehovot and Mazkeret Batya, adjacent to the beautiful and breathtaking Hulda National Forest with its famed Herzyl House. You can have a great wine tasting experience here in a charming country setting. The relaxing atmosphere also makes Barkan Winery a favorite place to hold weddings and other festive occasions.
Barkan is Israel’s second largest winery, but is the largest winery for red and white wine. It was established as the Friedman Winery in 1899 in Petah Tikva by Shlomo Friedman to make kosher wines and brandies suitable for Jewish religious purposes. Since then, it has changed hands and locations several times until it became today’s modern winery in Kibbutz Hulda.
The Barkan Experience
Sitting in the heart of the beautiful vineyards in Hulda is Barkan’s new Visitor’s Center called The Barkan Experience. Envisioned as a national center for wine education, the Barkan Experience took seven years to build and is described as the largest center of its kind in the Middle East. Kosher gourmet delights, which extend the visit and compliment the wine, are provided at the restaurant within the complex. The Barkan Experience is also a delightful venue for concerts, galleries and exhibitions. Much thought and time was spent on the design and it is accessible to the handicapped and wheelchair users.
Guided Tours at the Barkan Experience
The Development of Winemaking in Israel Guided Tour begins with a film on wine and winemaking in the state-of-the art auditorium. Although the film is in Hebrew, it has English, French and Russian subtitles. The tour is led through a hall of oak wood barrels to the factory to see how the wine is made in their new machine, and also to the vineyards, weather permitting. The cellars contain about 5,000 American and French oak barrels for aging the wine. The guides here speak several languages – perfect for answering your many questions.
There is an expansive wine shop for tasting the wine that not only contains the full line of Barkan products, but also has some limited and unique specialties for wine lovers and collectors. You can expect to spend about an hour and a half here on this tour and a chance to sample at least three different bottles of wine.
A VIP Wine Tasting Tour is also available with the Barkan winemakers. It is possible to arrange this tour during afternoon and evening hours. The VIP Wine Tasting Tour is held in a special VIP Room that can hold up to 30 people. The explanations are on a higher level of how they achieve the various wine tastes and are given by people knowledgeable in making wine.
The Vineyards Tour offers explanations about types of grapes used in the different types of wines and how different kinds of soil influence the taste of the grapes. This tour takes about three hours and includes wine tasting and snacks.
Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Closed on Fridays, Saturdays, Jewish holidays and memorial days.
For further information about touring Barkan phone: (08) 944-7790.
Wineries in Israel: Did You Know?
Barkan Winery’s vineyard holdings total more than 9,000 dunams, of which the Hulda vineyard, the largest single vineyard in Israel, covers more than 1,200 dunams.