I have known Doron Rav Hon for a long time, and he is one of the most respected Winemakers in Israel. After studying in Burgundy, Doron was chosen to be the Head Winemaker at Ella Valley Vineyards and he stayed there from 2002 until 2011.
Two years ago, He was finally able to follow his dream of opening his own winery, the name which was chosen for it is Sphera Winery White Concepts and the idea was to open a small but highly proficient winery which will revolve around white wines only.
After getting to know quite a few winemakers in Israel and spending time with a lot of them, I can tell you that what matters most to them is not necessarily to “go on their own” but actually going back to basics. In large kosher wineries the winemaker is more of a consultant who cannot really touch or handle the wine he or she is making. In a smaller operation such as Sphera, a Winemaker such as Doron has the opportunity to once again, be the wine maker that he is and to handle the wine making task himself.
So why write about Sphera now? That is because of a recent surprise visit we paid to Doron as a part of our Judean Hills wine tour. We were fortunate enough to end up at his winery and taste some of the amazing white wine he has been working on. Sphera is located in kibbutz Gat which is just a few Kilometers south of the Judean Hills. The winery shares the same roof with Laterrapromessa winery, which is known for the great restaurant it houses (yet another wonderful reason to visit). The winery was especially designed for white wine production with special high capacity cooling tanks, Heavy duty large press machine and special barrels for white wine
During the visit, we tasted the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and First Page (a blend of Semillon, Pinot Gris and Riesling) all from the White Concepts series and all from 2012 vintage. The overall perception at the end of the tasting was that Doron produces excellent, balanced and harmonious wines that are tasty and refreshing especially in the hot summer days of Israel.