- Modern wine production in Israel was initiated by a huge investment by Baron Edmond de Rothschild (of Ch. Lafite) making wine production part of the agriculture resettlement programs in the late 19th century. Farmers were instructed by French experts and planted vine stock from the Rhône Valley and the Midi. The industry grew based on exports of kosher wine around the world. Most vineyards in Israel today are run by Kibbutzim (cooperative farms), which grow predominantly Carignan, Grenache, Alicante Bouschet, Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Muscat, and more recently Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from Israel.