Check out the article written by Eli Shapiro of New York. Him and his friends came for a tour of Tishbi in January 2010 and these are his comments:
click here for the link to this article
" I am currently sitting in Brussels Airport on my way back from the Holy Land. The amount of changes and infrastructural improvement since my last trip was absolutely astounding. Some feel the modernization and commercialization of certain parts of Jerusalem has detracted from its character and charm. I have found that in most cases there is a balance between modern and ancient that suits the city well. Tel Aviv, on the other hand, is a huge disappointment and its only redeeming quality is its proximity to Yaffo. With that said, this was actually my first time driving in Israel. Caution, prudence, and responsibility are not virtues that our Israeli brothers and sisters behind the wheel share with us.
Of course not having been there in more years than I care to admit in this column, I did the required must-see and experience activities that people in my situation typically do, so I’m not here to tell you about that. I am here to tell you about a fantastic experience some friends and I shared that is not on the typical Israel trip itinerary—the wineries of the North. In recent years, even the most critical wine enthusiasts have identified Israel as a region putting out quality wines that hold their own in competition.
So it was with this in mind that I found myself with Dan Neuman of Ramat Eshkol, and Shaya and Garyn Lieber of Lawrence, NY heading North toward Zichron Yaakov to the Carmel and Tishbi Wineries.
Carmel is the largest winery in Israel putting out more than 25 million bottles of wine a year and was established by Baron Edmund de Rothschild, maker of the famed château lafite of Bordeaux France. While Carmel is required visiting, it is the much smaller Tishbi winery located about a mile away that really makes it worth the trip.
The Tishbi winery is the first family owned winery in Israel. In 1882, the time of the first immigration to Israel, Michael and Malka Chamiletzki, from Lithuania/Romania, came to live in Zichron Yaakov. They settled in a small community called Shefaya and in 1925 Chaim Nachman Bialik visited and gave Michael and Malka a new Hebrew last name “TISHBI” which is an acronym for “A Resident of Shefeya in Israel.”
Jonathan Tishbi, the grandson of Michael and Malka, started to plant his own vineyards in 1984 in Zichron Yaakov, where the current Tishbi winery stands. The Tishbi family produces approximately 1 million bottles annually and is still family owned and operated. Jonathan and his son Golan are the senior winemakers while his daughter Oshra founded the Oshra label of premium olive oils and wine based jams as well as operating the café in the winery.
Now I am up to my favorite part. In addition to tasting Tishbi’s highest end offerings including their oak aged special reserve, we paired the wines with the most fantastic dairy food I have ever had in my life. While I enjoyed a spicy shakshuka with salad and assorted cheeses from local kibbutzim, Dan and Shaya loaded up on fresh baked pizza and the most heavenly bread with Oshra’s wine based jams. The food, the wine, and the atmosphere of the Tishbi winery make it a must do for anyone touring Israel.
Esther Cohen, currently of Zichron Yaakov and formerly of Boston Massachusetts, led our Tishbi experience. For those of you who are interested in scheduling wine tours, Esther has made it extremely convenient with her successful business, “My Israel Wine Tours,” which provides high-quality, individualized wine tours for all the wine regions of Israel. Esther will help you create an itinerary that meets your needs, interests, and location. Tour durations of one or several days can be arranged and all the details including tour director, transportation, entrance fees, and other logistics are taken care of by contacting Esther through her website at www.myisraelwinetours.com.
That’s it for now. Tell Esther I say hi and make sure not to miss the great opportunities for wine and food pairings that Israel has to offer.
To contact Eli Shapiro, join his Facebook group, I Love Hock of the Rock. "