Updated: Jul 29, 2021
With a passion for working the land of Israel, Eli Ben Zaken began his journey in Israel with land of his own. Originally from Alexandria, Ben Zaken made his way to Israel with his family from Italy, bringing with them the unique and precise Italian viticulture.
What began as a plot of land for chickens, some fruits, and a small family vineyard, eventually grew into the premier and renowned Castel winery that we know and love today.
After Eli successfully planted his first vineyard, similar to those of the French Bordeaux, and created 600 bottles of wine from only 2 barrels that he imported from France himself, it was clear that his winemaking skills proved to be a success! It was the high praise and encouragement that Eli received which eventually convinced him in taking his amateur love of wine to the next level; and thus Domain Du Castel was created, named after the winery's neighboring crusaders castle. Sitting on a bedrock of history, the winery infuses its wine with the elegance and charm of tradition and refinery.
Just 6 years ago, the winery moved to its new location, in the Judean hills, nestled into the majestic outskirts Jerusalem, with new and larger vineyards. Today, Castel is a family endeavor, as Eli's children each play a crucial role in the tradition of the Ben Zaken winemaking story, from the winemaking itself, to the marketing and distribution. Castel wine is sold and exported throughout the world.
"Harmony, esthetics, refinement, patience, elegance, and precision" all mirror the philosophy at Domain Du Castel, and their world renowned wines reflect that, each with their own unique and rich flavors. Castel wine are "wines of a strong presence and stamina, but with a hint of “down to earth” modesty."
Castel offers wine tastings and tours of the vineyards and winery, with an elegant and exclusive experience exploring the winery, tasting the wines, and learning about the winemaking process.