I am excited to bring my future clients to all these places!
A couple of times a month, I go on research trips to explore new wineries in Israel, but today led me to a different type of industry in Israe: Beer and Cheese! I started the day off at Alexander Brewery in Emek Hefer and met with Ori, the owner and beer passionate! Ori retired as a pilot and now is following his second career into his hobby, which is making good beer! His facility is state of the art and he even hired a brew master from Denmark to make the best possible Israeli beer. He makes a Blond, Amber and Black beer. I look forward to bringing groups to Alexander Brewery!
My second stop was Recanati Winery, since they are in the same industrial area. Recanati’s is one of the leading wineries in Israel with its premium wines and expert winemaker, Gil Shatzberg. Their grapes come from excellent vineyards from all around the country. They have a nice selection of wines to taste.
My third stop was Jacob’s Dairy, a family owned dairy since 1996. I went into the facility and saw the cows, aging rooms and of course the cheese shop which includes a bakery. Jacob’s Dairy has over 25 types of cheeses and is one of the leading dairies in Israel.
My forth visit was Morad Winery, a winery established by husband and wife who have been making wine from fruit, herbs and chocolate for decades. I tasted orange wine, apple wine, chocolate wine, carob wine, cinnamon wine, almond wine, pomegranate wine, pasaflora wine and many more. This is a great stop for something different!
On my way up to Zichron Yaakov, I stopped at Carmel and Somek Winery to see my friends, which is always a nice visit. On my way out of Zichron, I stopped at a new Brewery in the old section of Zichron called Pavo. Pavo Brewery overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the Carmel Mountains. They have 5 selections of beer and a restaurant attached that serves kosher sausages, nachos, fried and lots of beer food!
I am excited to bring my future clients to all these places!
Every once and a while I need to visit wineries that I have not visited or have not been to in a while so I can see the changes and improvements in their wine and facility. Today, January 17th I visited 4 wineries in the Shomron region (West Bank).
I started the day at Shiloh Winery with Amichai, the winemaker. Shiloh produces 70,000 bottles a year and exports two thirds. Amichai has 3 series: Maor, Shor and Reserve. Shiloh produces a Chardonnay, oaked for 12 months in French barrels and a Rose, blend of Cabernet Franc and Barbara. Amichai’s majority of wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Shiloh’s wine is the best value for your money. The 2008 Maor, which is a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Barbara sells for 60 NIS and is a fruity and full body wine that has a balance of oak and berry fruits. I am excited to take people to Shiloh and Amichai explain to them the history of the town of Shiloh from the Bibical times to its importance today.
My second winery visit was Gvaot Winery, which seemed like it was in a shack on a mountain top at first, however, inside and around the area is a beautiful landscape and construction is occurring to make a beautiful center for serious wine visitors. I had a very enjoyable tasting with Shivi where we tasted the Herodian Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Gofna Chardonnay Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and from the barrel his Gofna Gewurztraminer Chardonnay 2010. Shivi makes extraordinary wine, only 20,000 bottles annually and exports to the States. An experience at Gvaot is truly unique!
Tanya Winery was the third winery I visited in my day and Yoram was a character, although he is on Big Brother, so we know his TV show personality. Yoram’s passion for winemaking and cooking shines through and his creations are delicious. At Tanya Winery anyone can enjoy a full course kosher (dairy or meat) meal that is out of this world with a pairing of Yoram’s wines. Yoram names his wines after his children whom he loves dearly!
Yaakov and Naama started making a couple of thousand bottles of wine in their home as a passion, but it soon grew into a 100,000 year production under the title of Psagot Winery. This winery is spectacular and pristine. Many hours of thought and dedication went into creating every detail such as multiple movie choices, a theater, a few private tasting rooms and food options. The wine matches the people and place. The wines are full bodied and interesting. I really enjoyed their Shiraz 2008! Psagot is definitely not to be missed.
Book a tour with My Israel WIne Tours and you can enjoy a Shomron Wine Tour!
Saturday, November 13, 2010 I visited Tulip Winery and saw their beautiful facility and tasted their delicious wines. Tulip winery was founded in 2003 by the Yitzhaki familyand produces 100,000 bottles a year. They just went kosher this harvest (2010).
I tasted their 2009 White Tulip blend (70% Gewürztraminer/ 30% Sauvignon Blanc) which was fresh, crisp, straw color, and had hints of green apple and grapefruit. Mostly Cabernet Franc which was oaked for 14 months in 80% French oak and 20% American oak – the color was a dark deep garnet and tastes of ripe plums (alcohol 14.0%). The last wine I tasted (since I was driving) was the Reserve Syrah 2008 which was oaked in French barrels for 18 months – this Syrah was rated 90 by Parker and 92 by Wine Spectator, it was peppery and had a deep purple color.
Tulip winery is a hidden jewel and I can’t wait to bring you there!
Used barrels from Castel Winery
On Thursday, November 11th, I went to Bar Giora Winery in Moshav Bar Giora, in the Jerusalem Hills to celebrate the new wines of their winery. As my friend and I drove through the windy roads to Bar Giora we thought we were in the middle of nowhere! Once we got to Bar Giora, there were over 40 people enjoying tastings, food and cheese. Bar Giroa Winery is a garage winery which has a certain quaint charm and lots of great potential.
Rebecca and I enjoyed the 2008 Pinot Noir and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Aviton, the winemaker at Giora Winery only produces 3,500 bottles annually. He produces Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. His blend is called Yehuda. He started the winery in 2006 and wants to stay boutique but grow.
Aviton’s love for winemaking is in his blood. He is a carpenter turned winemaker as a hobby. His wine reflects the time and passion he puts into the process.
Check out Rogov’s ratings here: www.wines-israel.co.il/len/apage/66272.php
Yesterday, Wednesday, October 6, I traveled to Pardes Hana and visited Agmon Winery. Agmon Winery was founded in 2006 by Adi Mizrahi and his wife. Adi grew up in Zichron Yaakov and is 4th generation from the first aliyah. His family is of Yemen decendancy.
After the army, Adi decided to learn Computer Science and after working years in computer science, he decided to follow his passion of cooking. He went to culinary school and was a top chef in Tel Aviv.
While Adi was learning about cooking, he was also learning about wine! He grew up around farmers and decided in 2006 that he also wanted to work the land and become a winemaker.
Agmon Winery is a quaint and beautiful establishment with an outside lounging area, inside bar, and restaurant. Adi cooks tappas to pair with his wine and has a variety of cheeses to enjoy while tasting his Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. Adi currently makes 3,500 bottles of wine, but his goal is to reach 25,000 bottles one day. For the 2010 harvest, he has Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
I always know when I love a wine because I want to smell it and wish it was a candle that will burn for a long time in my home. I felt that with Adi's wine. I just wanted to smell its fruity aromas and big body. The 2007 CS is oaked for 18 months in French barrels.
A few times a month, Adi opens up his winery to the public for a jazz, wine and tappas evening! Join us in November when we set up a night to visit Agmon Winery!
Contact Adi at firstname.lastname@example.org