A boutique Israeli winery announced on Thursday that it will emblazon the Israeli flag on the caps of bottles to be exported and sold on the European market in a bold statement defying new European labeling guidelines.
The Bezelet HaGolan Winery, located in the village of Kidmat Zvi in the Golan Heights region of northern Israel, announced its plan to print the Israeli flag on the seals of Chardonnay bottles intended for sale in various countries throughout the European Union (EU).
The move comes one day after the European Commission announced their approval of a new labeling policy for identifying so called ‘settlement products’ – referring to goods produced in disputed territories including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.
The EU maintains the position that these areas do not fall within recognized borders of Israel. The commission therefore adopted a new legal policy for the labeling of products originating from these areas to inform consumers that they were produced in settlements (which the group considers illegal) and not in Israel.
Bezelet HaGolan’s founder Yoav Levy said that Europeans would only lose out from the EU’s new policy and called on Jews to show their support for Israel by purchasing “blue and white” products.
“We are proud of our national flag and hope that other wineries will follow our example and bare the Israeli flag on wine bottles destined for export to Europe,” Levy said.
Levy added that he expects this year’s wine harvest from the Golan region to yield close to 80,000 bottles. Revenues from Israel’s total wine production is expected to reach approximately $257 million this year.