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May 5, 2009May 5, 2009  1 comments  Uncategorized

 

 

The white French Columbard grape (often called just Columbard elsewhere) plays many roles in Israeli wine production. It is the most planted white wine grape in Israel and noted for being suited to warmer climates. It's used in many white blends, as the base for sparkling wine or even brandy but has yet to make a name center stage such as a featured single varietal like it's white counterparts: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Muscat of Alexandria, Viognier or Gerwurztraminer.


June 20, 2009June 20, 2009  1 comments  Uncategorized

   The Golan Heights Winery, for the last twenty years, has been one of the most influential wineries in Israel. Having been cited as the winery that sparked the quality wine revolution in Israel, Golan Heights has grown into the third largest producer of wine in the Holy Land but maybe should be rightly known as the largest producer of consistently good wines.  Under their flagship label Yarden (Hebrew for "Jordan" as in the Jordan River), this winery has paved the way for Israeli wines into more resturants' wine lists internationaly and more wine magazines than maybe any other Israeli winery. That's not to say necessarily that they make the best wine in Israel. They might but there's now plenty of competition to that elusive prize  however, the case can easily be made that make more well respected wine than any other Israeli winery and that for the last 25 years they blazed the trail for many smaller producers by showing the potential for which grapes could make great wines in Israel.


   Additionally, Golan Heights under it's various labels, may account for the largest selection of varietals being made by one winery in Israel. It's vineyard locations situated at a wide range of altitudes in Israel's most northern wine growing region, gives it the flexibility to plant and prosper with a range of grapes that many international winemakers might envy.  Visiting their Visitor Center adjacent to their winery in Katzrin, the impressive size of  their tasting room rivals that of many smaller wineries complete facilities. It's takes a large room to display all their labels and when I was last passing through, a bus load of Eastern Euorpean tourists easily could work their way around the shelves without overcrowding anyone travelling alone.


   On my first visit, I was treated to a tasting of about dozen wines and there was still at least a dozen more that I wanted to try before time constraints and palette fatigue (the bane of any wine writer or critic) convinced me another tasting would have to be in the cards at a future date.

 


June 28, 2009June 28, 2009  2 comments  wine

Israel's First White Wine Festival

(from the first night's response this should be the first of many...)

at the Herzliya Marina (located at the far end next to the TV 24 studio)
Wednesday & Thursday July 1st and 2nd 2009 starting at 6PM

Late Night at the Herzliya White Wine Festival

The  first night of Israel's first White Festival attracted thousands of white wine tasters

 

The event was organized by Chaim, the Grape Man, notable Israeli wine educator who hosts functions in the artist colony in Old Jaffa

Chaim the Grape Man

Chaim, "the Grape Man," organizer of the event mingling with tasters

there was thousands who came by the first night and I think tonight even might be busier with the buzz from the first night

there was also vendors of various wine related products including wine fridges, free sparkling water (great earlier on before the sun set) and as a break in between wines, and an incredible backdrop at the marina

several popular restuarants nearby

free parking in the Mall's garage

entrance is free with tasting cards available for a fee for 6, 12 or 18 tastes starting at 39NIS (about $10!!!)

small cheese plates will be availble as one of the tastes

there are plenty of great restuarants within walking distance nearby

Wines being offered will be of the following styles:

Champagne-style sparkling wines

Roses including Recanati's newly evolved and exceptional Rose featuring 80% Barbera grapes and Dalton's newly released 2008 Rose

aged (oaked) whites including Yarden's Katzrin Chardonnay and Domaine de Castel's "C" Chardonnay

 dry still whites including several crisp Sauvignon Blancs such as Yatir, Tishbi and Carmel's.

sweet & aromatic whites including several yummy Gerwurtztraminer's such as Yarden's and several imported selections

 

rose's on ice white wine festival

iced, scrumptious Roses ready to squelch parched palates at the Herzliya Festival

 

each had their own bar section in the main bar (sculpted from ice) for easier selection

 

 

and there are wines from all over the world with about 2/3 from Israeli wineries (including many of Israel's best) and the rest representing wines imported into Israel

 

Alex Haruni of Dalton Wines

Alex Haruni (on the right), owner of Dalton Wines, with a friend enjoying the Festival

 

call the Grape Man at 03-5180533 for more details

 


tell them David the Israeliwineguy sent you!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


September 17, 2009September 17, 2009  0 comments  wine

There are currently four producers of traditional sparkling wines in Israel. Carmel and Yarden's Gamla label are the largest and longest producers with mid-size Tishbi and boutique Pelter more recently adding to the list.

 

These four wineries offer sparkling wines reminiscent of a Champagne, Blanc de Blanc or Cava type sparkling wine while they and others also offer up frizzante wines as well.


Carmel offers two sparkling wines made in the Charmat (secondary fermentation) method and are the least expensive way to get a big pop at a party.

Gamla Brut, produced by Yarden, is the only Champenoise method wine (where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle) that uses the traditional Champagne blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes to make their wine.


Pelter makes maybe the best received Blanc de Blanc (white wine from white grapes in contrast to other sparkling wines that might use red grapes such as Pinot Noir)

 

The newest sparkling wine on the market is Tishbi's Brut made from French Columbard grapes. French Columbard is a popular choice for sparkling wines in warmer regions (as well as a common base for Cognac brandy in France). Typically, French Columbard wines are made into sparkling wine using the Charmat method but Tishbi uses the more expensive and labor intensive Champenoise method.

 

 

David Rhodes, CBW is a California trained food & wine expert now living in Israel. David is the wine writer for Israel's ESRA (English Speaking Resident's Assocaition) magazine as well is the regular weekly guest commenting about wine & spirits on RustyMikeRadio.com. He currently is writing a book about Israeli wines.


David can be reached at IsraeliWineGuy@gmail.com or in Israel can be reached at 052-702-WINE (9463)


May 7, 2010May 7, 2010  0 comments  wine

The Levahn Festival  (Levahn is Hebrew for white) is returning to the Herzliya Marina for it's second year. Last year, israel's first and only wine festival focusing on white wines, roses and sparkling wines attracted about 6000 people over two nights. This year their expecting more visitors so they've doubled their space. Instead of bartenders manning pouring stations seperated by wine types, each winery this year will por tastings and sell their own wines


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DavidRhodes
Posts: 54
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David Rhodes worked at wineries in California & Israel, hosted over 100 wine parties.as a sommelier & adviser for the SDSU Business of Wine program. He speaks weekly about wine on Rustymikeradio.com & writes for ESRA magazine. Israeliwineguy@gmail.com

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