When Gidi Sayada, the young and promising Wine Maker of Lueria winery told me that he currently produces 50,000 bottles a year I was a bit taken back. It seems that Lueria has only been around for a short time. This is obviously a misperception that I got over rather quickly.
Yossef Sayada, Gidi’s father, had planted beautiful vineyards 18 years ago and has been sourcing excellent wine grapes to other wineries for their premium wines. The vineyards are hill sided in an elevation of 840 to 890 meters above sea level next to Moshav Safsufa which in ancient Aramaic means “a place where the fruit ripen late.” A rare occasion in Israel’s summer conditions!
The vineyards enjoy rich soil that includes Limestone, Terra Rosa and Basalt in every plot as well as the Galilee weather conditions which at this point are well known. To this day, Yossi Sayada remains the Vintner of Lueria winery.
A few years ago Chef Alon Gonen wrote the following about Lueria’s Rouge wine ‘This wine is rich in wonderful flavors of ripe fruit balanced pleasant acidity, the wine has absorbed a barrel for a year and a half and this time gave Sangiovese steadiness and sturdy body very buttery wine and a very pleasant astringency”
In our wine tasting which was held in late May 2013 at the new visitor center that Lueria Winery opened only 3 months ago, we tried the 2012 Lueria Gewürztraminer, a Semi Dry wine with nice citrus aromas, tropical smell of pineapple and very pleasant acidity.I was also very impressed with the 2011 Lueria Rosso which uses 70% Italian varieties [In the form of Barbera and Sangiovese grapes] along with 20% Shiraz and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon which according to Gidi tame the wine and give it a more softer taste. Speaking of Italian varieties, the Sayada family has planted Pinot Grigio in their vineyards (not a commonly used variety in Israel I wineries) that will be ready to be harvested by next year.
I was thoroughly impressed with all the wines; I tried but especially with the two above. All we can say is congratulations to Gidi Sayada as we wait patiently for his future wines.