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Argaman grapes

by | Nov 4, 2016

Argaman grapes, which were the result of years of perfection of a crossing of Souzao and Carignan grapes, are used in the production of a red wine which is a specialty of Israel.


Ever since their creation, the wineries throughout the country have been cultivating Argaman grapes. Israel is the exclusive producer of this variety, and thus the wine. The wine has got its name from the deep purple color of its grapes, which is called Argaman in Hebrew.

Argaman wine was originally created to rectify the fade colors of wines which were produced in this area. Apart from being used to produce varietal wines, it is also used as a component of a wine. Adumim wine uses Carignan and Syrah to form a spicy concoction.

Wine grape varieties

Barkan Wine Sellers and Jezreel Valley Adumim are some of the wine producers, which use Argaman as a constituent. Argaman wine is aged for at least 18 months in oak barrels before being used as an ingredient.

Samson, Shefela or Judean Plain are the regions where Argaman was planted. It was Avi Feldstein’s idea to cultivate Argaman in upper Galilee; which was later going to earn awards.

This award was received at the prestigious Bordeaux wine competition. Jezreel Valley’s Argaman varietal also received a medal at Terrvino.


The grapes came into existence with lots of trials of crossing Carignan and Souzao.

Professor Roy Spiegel of Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research and Israeli Wine Institute can be credited for this creation.

It has been more than twenty years since the grapes were generated and initially the response was very mild.

However, oak barrel fermenting is being tested with variations to produce better result.

Segal wines which are produced from Argaman grapes have, however, managed to gain accolades and earned many awards. With time the cultivation of Argaman has increased considerably since its invention in the early 90’s.

Argaman had once effectively replaced Carignan as a blender, but with decreasing popularity, it lost its hold in the market.


Argaman wine is a medium-bodied, dry one with a spicy note and flavors of ripened fruit and smoked leather. The tannin of this variety will mildly cuddle your taste buds. The grapes give rich color while its fermentation and aging add taste.

It is fermented using Merlot grape skin and then stored in French or American oak barrels as they stand most famous and useful. Segal’s Argaman Dovev Red Wine uses this fermentation technique to get dark, enriched color which overpowers the tannin content.

The flavors of Argaman wine are of ripened berries and plums, giving it sweetness. Segal Argaman, a quality wine, has an amazing dark color and fruity aroma. It is aged for almost 15 months. Segal’s Argaman varietal goes by the name of Rehasim Dovev Argaman 2006.

The wine may not be as praise as it lacks aromatic qualities, but acts as an excellent ingredient in other wines as it adds spicy flavor and deep color. International varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also use it.

With Argaman, Israel has been able to develop an indigenous variety of grapes, which has brought al lot of attention to the ignored wine and to other less famous wines produced in the area.

Food pairings

Argaman wines are still under development and therefore come cheap. This wine, however, tastes good with braised or stuffed eggplant.

It is also complimented well with grilled pineapple and tomato based dishes. It can also be paired with heavy pasta and dishes stuffed with spinach. It may also taste good with goat cheese, plumb prunes or cranberries.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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