2020 has been everything except ordinary. Alon and I found ourselves
helping wineries with pruning the vineyards in February only to return to those same vineyards come August for harvest. We both enjoy time in the vineyards and were certainly happy to help our friends, but as he and I are tour guides, this is how we make a living. For the time being, our work has been affected.
Come April 2021, we are widening our portfolio and learning about new boutique producers that are outstanding in their craft. Our day started in Kibbutz Hanita at Jullius craft Distillery where Yuval “Joob” Hargil is using local herbs, botanicals and fruit to distill his award winning spirits. Gin made with 12 wild botanicals picked nearby for example. The view from the distillery is intoxicating as is the 90 proof liquid that we were allowed to stick a finger through which proved to be much fruitier than anticipated.
Steps away from Joob’s production is a unique coffee shop called “Tzintzenet” Hebrew for Mason Jar which specializes in preserving olives and assorted fruit. Our first winery for the day was Kishor which we have previously written about. We tasted several reds and Metzudat Tefen 2017 stood out. An excellent wine.
Stern Winery was next on the agenda. The winery has a beautiful tasting room and is now producing Kosher wines as well as a beautiful port style wine. From Stern we continued to Lotem Organic Winery. The view from their tasting porch is breathtaking. Alon and I especially enjoyed tasting the beautifully aromatic Sauv Blanc and a stainless steel only Semillon. Both were superb.
Across the street from Lotem, is a Goat and Sheep cheese Dairy called Shirat Roim which is an award winning micro dairy. Producing over a dozen different cheeses. The major surprise for the day was the winery we visited last. Sadot Winery is a small Kosher Estate winery, founded only 11 years ago in the Jezreel Valley . The grapes are coming from a vineyard overlooking the winery. We knew the wine was good because we tasted it previously and even offered it on our wine shipments. We had no idea the view from their tasting porch was breathtaking. Winemaker Eyal Drory of Seahorse Winery and the boutique line of Vermouth Vedetta 52 is the winemaker for this winery. Despite of the warm climate for the Sadot vineyards, the wines we tasted were beautifully acidic and Fresh. We loved the TPS blend . Carignan Marselan, and in the whites the White Grenache and Marsanne was beautiful as well. This winery is a hidden jem, not to be missed.