HEG thesis by Mireille Israel-Lang, 2012 Alumna

24 Aug 2015

As a consultant in agri-foods and world cuisine, Mireille Israel-Lang gives talks and organizes round tables in companies or other institutions chiefly on the cultural history of food and industrial food products on the one hand, and on culinary and gastronomic topics on the other.

As a conference speaker she is a specialist in issues around:

  • Israeli wine: its special cultural features and the recent growth in wine tourism that it has inspired (several conference dates in France before the end of the year – Paris, Beaune, Dunkerque etc.).
  • She is set to participate in a UNESCO conference in Santorini at the start of November.
  • Cuisine and gastronomy in Israel: She is preparing a talk to follow her participation in a conference scheduled for January 2016.

Mireille is a certified teacher of history/geography, with a 30-year career in teaching.

She returned to academic study in 2010:

  • Masters (1 and 2) in Alimentation, Cultures Alimentaires (Food and Food Cultures) at the geography teaching and research faculty (UFR) at Paris-Sorbonne University.
  • Diplôme Universitaire du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des Arts de la Table (University Diploma in Taste, Gastronomy and Arts of the Table) at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.
  • Research Associate with the UNESCO Chair of "Culture et traditions du vin" (Wine Culture and Traditions) at the University of Dijon.
  • Works in preparation:
    • "Israeli wine: from the biblical heritage to today's wine tourism"
    • "Contemporary geography of the savors of Alsace, between tradition, transmission and modernity"


Abstract of her thesis: “Israeli wine: From the bible to wineries”

From the very first texts in the Bible, Israel’s history is marked by wine’s symbolism. Today, and in the space of only a few years, it has become a rapidly expanding viticultural area thanks to the work of experts’ determined to achieve quality. The biblical and historical aspects of wine cannot be denied and its legacy is omnipresent throughout the country. It can, however, only be talked about in terms of modern viticulture with the arrival of immigrants and the financial support of Baron de Rothschild at the very end of the 19th century. Viticulture then underwent tentative progress, from the planting of the first Bordeaux grape varieties to diversification using less specific grape varieties, carried out by the few wine producers who had a monopoly over a wine which did not demonstrate a specific typicality.

During the 1980s, two “revolutions” took place, and with them a geographic mutation which is clearly visible in the Mediterranean landscape: A quality revolution, thanks to the expertise of French, American and Israeli enologists and a “Boutique wineries” revolution, small vine-growing and wine-producing companies whose main goal was to produce quality wine. These new wine producers, who have emerged over the past ten years, reflect the dynamic nature of the industry, which is very open and able to rise to the challenge of achieving quality in order to attain rapid success. The innovative start-ups in the high-tech industry in Israel provided a model for the world of wine which furnished itself with the necessary tools for success during a time in which the economy was flourishing.

Success came rapidly: International recognition, offer diversification. The increasing presence of wine in the everyday eating and gastronomic habits of Israelis have changed everyday life and helped to develop wine tourism. Is a third revolution, enotourism, currently taking place?

Institut des Hautes Etudes du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des des Arts de la Table

  • Phone: +33 6 60 46 40 81
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