The Pollack family loves to travel and appreciates great wine. They enjoyed a wine tour in the Jerusalem Hills, after a very rainy day! We started the day trying to go into the vineyards but we got stuck in a bit of mud in the Tzora vineyards, so we continued inside to Tzora Winery to enjoy a tasting of their wines. We tasted the Neve Ilan 2010, Judean Hills 2009 and Shoresh 2008.The second winery we visited was Agur Winery. Shuki, the wine maker and owner, was his quirky self and spoke about his philosophy of wine, Israeli food and being a cultured wine grower and drinker. We enjoyed the Blanca 2010, Kessem 2010 and Special Reserve 2008. All Shuki's wines are blends and have an Old World sophistication to them. After a delicious lunch in Abu Gosh, we visited Domaine du Castel on Moshav Ramat Raziel. From the picture, the Pollack family enjoyed some amazing cheeses with a pairing of the Castel wines. After a tour of the beautiful facility, we tasted the C Blanc du Castel 2010, Petit Castel 2009 (not on the market yet) and the Grand Vin 2009 and 2008. The Pollack family will enjoy these Castel wines for a years to come! Le'Chaim and Happy Hanukah!
On Christmas Day the Manglik family enjoyed a wine tour in the Jerusalem Hills. It was a very rainy day but no one complained as we went winery to winery enjoying Israeli wines. Our first winery visit was Tzuba Winery. We tasted the wines with the winemaker, Paul Dubb. We tasted the Pinot Noir 2009, Merlot 2008, Harmony 2009 and Metsuda 2007. The Harmony is a new wine at Tzuba and it is a blend of Sangiovese and Shiraz. It is a light wine that is great with any Italian meal or on its own. The second winery we visited was Tzora Winery where we sat with Shula and she explained the importance of terrior in their wines. We tasted the Neve Ilan 2010, Judean Hills 2009 and Shoresh 2009. Recently Tzora sold out of its ice wine but it will return in a year. After a hearty lunch, we visited Agur Winery. We tasted the wines with Shuki, the owner and winemaker, and listened to his philosophy on wine and life. Shuki was in a very good mood because of the cold, rainy weather that he loves so much. We tasted the Blanca 2010, Kessem 2010 and Special Reserve 2008. We went into the barrel room and tasted the Special Reserve from the barrel! The day was enjoyed by everyone and sparked an interest in Israeli wines. The Manglik family will enjoy their Israeli wines for future dinners and parties! The wine tour was in collaboration with Shalom Israel Tours...a great way to see Israel!
Susan and David love wine and have enjoyed going on wine tours in California, Oregon and New York. When they visited Israel they knew there were some wineries but they wanted to learn more so they took a wine tour in the Jerusalem Hills Region. Our first stop was Tzuba Winery where we enjoyed a conversation with Paul Dubb, the winemaker, and tasted the Pinot Noir 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Merlot 2009, Metsuda 2008 and the late harvest Chardonnay dessert wine. The second winery we visited was Tzora Winery where they tasted the Neve Ilan 2010, Judaen Hills 2009 and Shoresh 2009. After a hearty meat meal with hummas and yummy pita, we visited Agur Winery. Shuki was in a good mood and entertained us with his stories and philosophy of life. We tasted the Blanca 2010, Kessem 2009 and Special Reserve 2009. Shuki ran out of Rosa 2009! Most importantly, mom, dad and baby, had a relaxing day and learned a lot about the wine industry in Israel. They will all have some Israeli wines to enjoy for months to come! This wine tour was in collaboration with Shalom Israel Tours. A great way to visit Israel!
Every so often, I get a few single people that would like to visit Israeli wineries. I was able to put together a wine tour for some of these people in the Jerusalem Hills in mid-November. We started the day visiting Tzuba Winery where we saw the ancient wine press and we went into the vineyards. We tasted the newly released Harmony which is a Chianti style wine. We also tasted the Merlot 2009, Metsuda 2007, Port style and dessert wine. The view was gorgeous and everyone enjoyed the wines. The second winery we visited was Tzora Winery where we tasted the Neve Ilan 2010, Judaen Hills 2008 and 2009, Shoresh 2008. The cheese that accompanied the wine was also delicious. After lunch, we finished the day at Agur winery where everyone got a little lost in Shuki's philosophy on life, but after all the wine, no one could concentrate that much. We tasted Shuki's Blanca 2010, which was extremely oily and viscous, Rosa 2010, Kessem 2010 and Special Reserve 2009. The Special Reserve 2009 was already an amazing wine, even though it is still young and should age for another 7 years at least!The whole day was enjoyed by everyone!
Sybil loves food, writing and showing people the secrets of the Jerusalem shuk, Mahane Yahuda. Sybil takes tourists and locals on tours of the shuk for an hour, in which she explains the history of the shuk and the secrets of the shuk.
She explained to me where she buys her fish, meat, poultry, certain fruits and veggies and all the restaurants in the shuk. We went to the nitty gritty back alleys of the shuk. I lived in Jerusalem for 8 months and shopped at the shuk every week but Sybil showed me a whole different side of the shuk that I leff in love with.
I highly recommend going on a shuk tour with Sybil. During the tour she doesn't want you to buy any food so she can go around in an hour. You have to shop at the end of tour, which was very nice for me.
You can contact Sybil at firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve is an avid wine collector and is a frequent writer on the Robert Parker board. He brought his family to Israel to explore the history but also to enjoy the wine. We started the day with a drive to Yatir Winery in Tel Arad. We had a tour of the winery and then a tasting with the winemaker, Eran Goldwasser. We tasted the Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yatir Blend and Yatir Forest. The tasting also included fantastic cheeses and bread. Steve’s favorite was the Yatir Forest. The second winery we visited was Clos de Gat where William, the export manager, toured us around the winery and to the ancient wine press. Everyone loved Clos de Gat, not so much all the dogs around the vineyards, but the vineyards and view was spectacular. We tasted the whole Harel series, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and the Ayalon Valley blend. We ended the day at Tzora Winery where the winemaker, Eran Pick, gave us a tasting with cheese, olive oil and bread. We were some of the first people to taste the Tzora Neve Ilan 2010 and Shoresh 2009 which was released only 6 hours beforehand! We compared a tasting with the Shoresh 2008 and 2009 which was very different blend and flavors. The Shoresh 2009 has great potential!
The day was enjoyed by everyone and was finished with dinner in Abu Gosh.
Mark and Sharon decided to spend their Labor Day exploring the wineries of the Jerusalem Hills. Mark enjoys his wine and wanted to understand more about what is going on in the modern Israeli wine industry. We started the day at Agur Winery tasting the Blanca, Rosa, Kessem and Special Reserve. As always, Shuki philosophized the art of making wine.
Our next winery visit was Tzuba Winery where we went into the vineyards and saw an ancient wine press. We enjoyed a tasting with Paul, the winemaker, and tasted the Belmont White, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Metsuda.
The last winery we visited was Psagot Winery. We saw a movie about the history of wine in the Binyamin Region then enjoyed a tasting of the Viognier 2010, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Merlot 2009, and Edom 2008. Mark and Sharon learned a lot about the history of Israeli wine and tasted premium wines that they thought were delicious!
Bill wanted to show Judi a different experience in Israel since it was her first time and most of the places they were traveling were tourist destinations. Bill and Judi enjoy quality wine, especially Pinot Noirs so it was my mission to show them that Israeli wine is delicious and can compare to quality wines from around the World.
We started the day at Tzuba Winery where we saw the ancient wine press and took a tour of the vineyards. Bill and Judi learned about the importance of the terrior in the flavor of the wines. At Tzuba Winery, Paul Dubb, the winemaker, explained the unique quality of Tzuba since they take from the same vineyards every year and there is consistency to their wines. We tasted the Chardonnay 2010, Pinot Noir 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Metsuda 2007 and the late-harvest Chardonnay dessert wine, which Judi loved. Bill enjoyed the Pinot but Pinot is hard to grow in Israel so it could not compare to an Oregon Pinot.
The second winery we visited was Tzora Winery where we tasted the Shoresh white 2009, Judean Hills 2009, Givat Haluchim 2008, Shoresh red 2008 and Misty Hills 2007. The great part of the tasting was the cheese, olive oil and delicious bread. The final winery we visited was Agur Winery where Bill and Judi sat with Shuki Yashuv, the winemaker and discussed his passion as a winemaker and why he makes only blends. We enjoyed the Blanca 2010, Rosa 2009 and 2010, Kessem 2009 and Special Reserve 2008. Bill was very interested in the non-kosher and kosher process and marketing. He bought a non-kosher 2004 Kessem to experience a non-kosher Israeli wine that will be enjoyed with a nice meal.
Rachel, Jason, Rita and Terry love wine and enjoy wines from around the World, but they were not sure that Israel could produce good wines, especially kosher, that they would enjoy. They were pleasently surprised by the quality of wines coming out of the Jerusalem Hills.
We started the day at Tzuba Winery where Paul Dubb, the winemaker explained how Tzuba was unique in their methods and process of winemaking. We sat down with Paul and tasting the Chardonnay 2010 (newly released), Pinot Noir 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Metsuda 2007 and 2008 as well as Paul's new Chianto style blend. Everyone loved Tzuba's wines, atmosphere and people.
After eating a delicious Israeli Arab lunch with salatim, hummas, chicken shlishlik, makluba and baklawa in Abu Gosh we traveled to Agur Winery and enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Shuki Yashuv, the winemaker and owner, about his love of winemaking and how to drink wine using ones sensual understanding. We drank the Blanca 2010, Rosa 2009 and 2010, Kessem 2009, Special Reserve 2008 and EOP 2006. Everyone loved Agur Wines and learned a lot about the trends in kosher Israeli wine and the Israeli wine industry in general.
Tamar saved her 40th birthday present to enjoy a wine tour with her husband in the Spring. The first winery I took them to was Tzora Winery , where we saw 25 year old vineyards and tasted the Shoresh white, Judean Hills 2009, Givat HaChalukin 2008 and Shoresh red 2008. Tamar and Oded loved the olive oil, bread and cheese as well. They enjoyed the elegant taste of Tzora Winery. The second winery we visited was Agur Winery where Shuki entertained us with his passion of winemaking and philisophical conversation. Tamar and Oded tasted the Blanca 2009, Rosa 2009 and 2010, Kessem 2009 and Special Reserve 2008. They loved the special quality of the Reserve 2008.
We ended the day at Tzuba Winery, over looking the Jerusalem Hills. We tasted the Belmont White, Merlot 2008, Metsuda 2008 and Port style wine. Oded really enjoyed the Port and will bring it out for special occasions with friends and family. The day was a