Rachel is studying on the Young Judaea Year Course program this year in Israel. Her aunt and grandmother came to Israel for their first time to visit Rachel, and since Aunt Lesley is a wine lover, she thought it would be a great idea to show them a different side of Israel by going on a wine experience.
Our first winery visit was Tishbi Estate Winery. I showed them around the facility and explained the process of wine making from the fermentation phase to the aging phase in the oak barrels and then finally the bottling production. I taught everyone the art of tasting the wine with their 5 senses and then we enjoyed a wide range of wines including 2010 Gewürztraminer, 2009 Chardonnay, 2006 Pinot Noir, 2006 Cabernet Franc, Muscat Dessert wine and Port-style wine. We then enjoyed a stroll around Ramat HaNadiv as we discussed what life is like in Israel as an American. The second winery we visited was Smadar Winery, a boutique winery in the center of Zichron Yaakov. Moti, the owner and winemaker, is 4th generation Israel from the first Aliyah. His tasting room is the oldest building in Zichron Yaako (from 1882). We enjoyed an intimate tasting with him of his 2006 Carignan, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2006 Ain Tut, which is a Bordeaux style blend. After a lot of wine, we needed lunch, so we enjoyed a dairy lunch at Café Nili along the Midrachov in Zichron Yaakov. Our last winery visit was Amphorae Vineyards in Makarah Forest. We had a wonderful tour of their clean and majestic facility along with a nice tasting of their 2009 Viognier, 2006 Rhyton (signature wine), and their 2006 Syrah.
By the end of the day, they learned more than they expected about the Israeli wine industry, life in Israel and the art of wine making.
Roy and Marcia love wine and this was there first time in Israel, so on Friday, December 24th, I took them to 4 Jerusalem Hills Wineries. Marcia and Roy have traveled Europe, California and other parts of the world tasting wine, so they came prepared to buy and taste Israeli wine!We started off the morning at Agur Winery where we enjoyed a discussion with Shuki on how the wine changes and what is good wine (which was debated!). We enjoyed a tasting of the 2010 Blanca from the vats and a tour of Agur Winery facility. Marcia and Roy loved the Kessem Reserve! The second winery was Ella Valley Vineyards where we tasted a large selection of their high-end red wines. Marcia also enjoyed their Chardonnay, but was a big fan of their Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. The third winery was Tzora Winery where we tasted the Jerusalem Hills, Shoresh, Givat Hachalukim, Neve Ilan and without tasting the Misty Hills, they bought a bottle because it is the best from Tzora! The last winery we got to just in time before Paul closed, was Tzuba Winery. Marcia and Roy enjoyed an intimate tasting with Paul of Tzuba’s Pinot Nior, Cabernet Sauvignon, Metsuda blend, Chardonnay and a couple of other wines. At the end of a very entertaining wine tour, we watched the sun begin to set as Shabbat was coming in over the Jerusalem Hills. Now Roy and Marcia will go home to NJ and enjoy their many Israeli wines!
On Tuesday, December 21st, Marsha, her husband David and son Noah enjoyed a wine tour in the Jerusalem Hills. Marsha and David visit Israel fairly often and love wine so this was an exciting day for them. We started the day at Tzuba Winery where we visited the ancient wine press, vineyards and enjoyed an intimate tasting with Paul, the winemaker. We tasted the Chardonnay, Merlot, Metsuda 2006 and a few other wines (at 10:30am!) Our next winery visit was Domaine du Castel. Ruti, the manager, showed us around their beautiful and elegant facility and into the gorgeous oak barrel room. We all enjoyed a tasting of the C (Chardonnay), Petit Castel and Grand Vin with a pairing of cheeses. We stopped at Hola Restaurant in Bet Shemesh and enjoy a kosher dairy lunch (pasta, fish, sabich and more!). Our last winery visit was Agur Winery. Shuki entertained us with his philosophical and historical knowledge as well as gave us a hearty tasting from the vats of his fermented grape juice (as he calls it).
The day was enjoyed by all…wine was tasted and everyone learned more about the wonderful Israeli wine being produced from the Jerusalem Hills.
On December 14th, Margot Stern, the Marketing Director of Leadel, an organization that leads Jewish innovation, enjoyed a wine tour with the AACI group. Click here to read what she wrote about her wine tour experience with MIWT.
Margot also posted beautiful pictures on Flickr of the day.
Thank you Margot!
On Tuesday, December 14, AACI members and non-members enjoyed a wine tour in the Jerusalem Hills. We started the day at Tzuba Winery where the group of 15 people took a tour with winemaker, Paul Dubb, into the vineyards. Paul explained the differences of how Tzuba Winery creates their wine vineyards compared to other wineries, and that Tzuba Vineyards are home to about 10 other wineries that buy their grapes from Tzuba. We then went to the ancient wine press which was filled with water from the storm that happened the day before so even with a bit of imagination, we could picture how they made wine over 2000 years ago.
The wine tasting consisted of the 2009 Chardonnay, 2008 Merlot, 2006 Metsuda, and Chardonnay Dessert wine. We enjoyed a kibbutz style lunch at Tzuba Kibbutz where we drank the 2008 Sangovese and 2009 Belmont White.
The second winery was Agur Winery where the charismatic Shuki explained to us his art of winemaking, which is just fermented grape juice. We tasted all his blends, the Blanca, Rose, Kessem and Kessem Reserve. We even received a tasting from the barrel of the 2009 Kessem and stainless steal tank of the 2010 Blanca.
The day was enjoyed by all and now they know a bit more about the art of wine making the trends within the Israeli wine industry.
On December 1st, Amir Katz, a wine enthusiast from Boston, hosted with My Israel Wine Tours a wine and cheese tasting for the English speakers in Beer Sheva.
The event was hosted at Aquaria Seafood Bistro which is owned by Ronny, a chef who cooked in Thailand, Korea and other parts of South East Asia for over 10 years.
The wines that were presented were: Galil Mountain Viognier 2008, Galil Mountain Cabernet Shiraz 2008, Tzuba Merlot 2006, and Adir Dessert Wine.
Everyone also enjoyed the Oshra Fine Food Wine Jams. We tasted the Mango Chardonnay, Sangria and Cabernet Fig.Also read what Katherine Martinelli wrote about the fabulous evening on her blog by clicking here.