On Thursday, April 1st, 2010, I met the Allen family at Tishbi Winery
for a hearty breakfast of shakshuka, salad, cheese, wine jellies and maztah. Along with breakfast I treated them to a tasting of Tishbi's 2009 semi-dry Gewurztraminer, 2009 dry Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 young Merlot, 2006 aged Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 sweet Muscat dessert wine, and to top it off the 2006 Barabara-Zinfindel Port-style wine.
Somehow, after all that wine, the Allen family was still standing and able to take a nice tour of the Tishbi winery facilities, including the oak barrel room and Alembic Distillery which makes their brandy.
We then drove up to Ramat HaNadiv and enjoyed a stroll along the botanical gardens. Because it was during passover, and most of Israel is on a vacation, there were lots of children running around and families enjoying the day together.
Our next stop was Somek Winery, where Barak, the winemaker, who is also the farmer, showed us his ancient pressing machine and French oak barrels. The Allen family tasted the 2007 Chardonney oaked for 12 months, 2005 Carignon oaked for 24 months, and the blend Bakat HaNadiv (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 15% Petit Syrah).
During Passover the town of Zichron Yaakov holds a festival where over 80,000 people attend. There are food stands, musicians, artists and many things for kids to do. We walked through the crowds so the Allen family could get a taste of the European feeling in Zichron Yaakov from the First Aliyah in 1882.