Soreq Winery is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year. This boutique operation of 35, 000 bottles a year was started by the Shacham family back in 1994. Today, Soreq Winery also operates as Israel’s leading wine making program. The school has the clear advantage of operating within an active winery, allowing the students to gain real world experience in the craft, right from the beginning.

Once a year, the school is hosting a Home Winery Festival which is a lot of fun and certainly recommended. Among the school’s faculty one can find researchers, Wine makers, Agriculture consultants, Industry experts etc. It is worth mentioning that the school has been around as long as the winery has, The school’s alumni have proceeded to open more than 100 new wineries in Israel to this day.

I feel that the motto of the school, “creating happiness through wine production” is very much in line with the personality of Nir Shacham, Wine Maker at Soreq and Head Faculty member of the school. On the day that we were touring the winery, Nir had already paid a visit to his vineyards in Mizpe Ramon in Southern Israel and made it back to the winery for a 10:00 AM wine tasting. He was energetic, knowledgeable and it certainly showed that he was engaged in something that he loves doing.

The winery is not kosher and that allowed Nir to offer us barrel tastings that he pulled of Tal Shachar Merlot which was nice and fruity. Another lovely wine (that we already had at dinner since) is the 2013 Rose, made of 40% Grenache, 60% Carignan and a tiny bit of Syrah. My absolute favorite was the 2011 Petite Verdot, not a varietal one encounters in Israel often.