2nd Jerusalem Kosher Wine Festival: More than 40 wineries at +972 Wine Festival

For the religiously observant who do not want to attend a wine festival that also has non-certified kosher wine, and a testament to the growing sophistication of even the more observant populations, a rival wine festival that consists of solely kosher wine is now also taking place in Jerusalem.

a (448)More than 40 wineries will be exhibiting at the Jerusalem +972 Kosher Wine Festival. The festival is one of the largest and most professional in the kosher wine world, featuring some of the best kosher wineries.

Some of Israel’s top chefs, Segev Moshe, Aviv Moshe, and Shaul ben Aderet will be giving sessions on cooking with wine. Each day there will be 4 sessions, for 35 participants each.

Among the participating wineries include:  Barkan, Tabor, Segal, Adir, Rimon, Ben-Zimra, Herzberg, Jerusalem Hills, Golan Heights Winery, Shiloh, Gvaot, Galil Mountain Winery, Ben Haim, Mount Bracha, Livni, Lavie, Bravdo, Teperberg, Saslov, Zion, 1848, Hebron, Ventura, Recanati, Benyamina, Dalton, and others. There will also be a few non-Israeli wineries, such as Herzog.

____ ______ ___The event is sponsored by A.A. Pyup, a large kosher wine shop in Israel.

WHEN: Monday through Wednesday 28-30 January 2013 (י”ז, י”ח, י”ט בשבט, התשע”ג) between 15:00 – 23:00

WHERE: Binyanei HaOma, Jerusalem International Convention Center


The fee includes a tasting glass and tastings at every table and parking.

For advanced purchase (Hebrew only): http://www.pyupwine.com/wine-seven-two/

Ra’anana Wine Festival

The first Ra’anana Wine Festival is next week!!!

October 26th and 27th, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6:30pm to Midnight in Ra’anana Park (Lev HaPark) on the west side (near the pond and cafe).

The festival costs only 60 NIS, which includes a collectable wine glass and all the wine you can taste!!!

It’s 55 NIS for Ra’anana residents (bring your ID showing your address for your discount) but the festival is expected to draw people in from the whole Sharon region (Hod HaSharon, Kfar Saba, Petach Tikva, and more).

The festival will feature dozens of Israeli wineries big and small including Barkan, Teperberg, Segal, Lavi, Eden, Kahonof, Domaine Ventura, Dede, Rota, Kfir, Negev, Yaffo, Hakerem, Galai, Ptura, Aligote, Nativ Hayian, Rimon, Alexander, Or Ganuz, Gvaot and Shamiam. More wineries are still signing up every day

There will be live entertainment each evening including Ronit Chen on Wednesday singing sweet Jazz and Soul, and onThursday night vocalist Liora will be singing the classic melodies of Mercedes Sosa. The Jazz Choir of Yoni Shaham will also be performing.

Besides the wine and music, there will be tobacco stands, gourmet cheeses and chocolates, smoked meats and olive oils offered at special prices to enjoy during the evening, whether to enjoy during the festival or to take home

Wines available for tasting will also be available for sale at special festival prices.

Many of the winemakers will be present to discuss their wines.

Thousands are expected to attend over the two evenings on what promises to be a great night out at a bargain price.

Festival organizer Sagi Epstein has held several wine festivals before in Beer Sheva and Rishon Lezion, and so he’s experienced at hosting a fun and hospitable evening with a lot of bang for your buck.

Raise your glass! Wine recommendations for Rosh Hashana

The Jerusalem Post has published an edited version of my article Wine Recommendations for Rosh Hashana.

Read the article in the Jerusalem Post.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

What’s good in Israel? Israeli wine! Wine recommendations for Rosh Hashanah

By Avi Hein, Editor-in-Chief: HaKerem: The Israeli Wine Blog

It’s not a Jewish holiday without wine. While the traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is for a sweet new year, there’s no reason to settle for sweet wines (unless, of course, you’re pairing your wine with some sweet food like a honey cake or ice cream).

The religious commandment is to enjoy and feast. In order to truly fulfill this commandment, one should not drink any grape beverage but rather sanctify themselves with world-class wine that brings enjoyment to the drinkers.

Holiday Recommendations

Yatir ViognierYatir, one of Israel’s finest wineries, partially owned by Carmel Winery, recently received three to four stars in Hugh Johnson’s 2012 Pocket Wine Book. The Viognier is a fresh, white wine, which has tinges of autumn fruits, including citrus. The best Israeli Viognier. Yatir’s parent winery, Carmel, also makes a great Viognier in the Carmel Appellation series, a close second to Yatir’s take.  NIS 75

Yatir Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz – This blended red is full bodied and elegant. Royal purple, with deep tannins and hints of plums, berry, and cherry. Not meant to be drunk quickly but rather sipped and savored slowly, with a long finish. NIS 95

Tzora Neve IlanTzora is a boutique winery in the Judean Hills, outside of Jerusalem. According to Mark Squires, who writes about wine for The Wine Advocate, “The Judean Hills is one of the most underrated wine regions in the world.” The Tzora Shoresh is also highly recommended. Both are complex and reflect the terroir-driven approach of the winemakers. NIS 134

Saslove AvivSaslove Winery was established in 1998 by Canadian immigrant Barry Saslove. Highly recommended include the Saslove Aviv “April,” which is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Nebiolo, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the Saslove “Marriage,” which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz, as well as Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Nebbiolo. Saslove is kosher as of the 2010 vintage and also made a line of kosher wines under the ‘Sagol’ label. The Aviv wines retail for about 79 NIS.

Recanati Sauvignon Blanc — Recanati is one of Israel’s top value wines, with options at any level and budget. A short drive from Ra’anana and Kfar Saba, Recanati is straw in color with hints of citrus and grassy tinges, refreshing for a light meal or holiday lunch.  NIS 50

The Derekh HaYayin (Wine Route) chain also has a Red and White “Special Edition” which are well recommended for about 60NIS/bottle.

Segal Dovev Argaman Red – While Argaman was the failed experiment of the Israeli wine industry, this varietal, developed by Professor Roy Spiegel in the early 1990s, Segal’s Dovev Argaman is anything but a failure and Segal’s winemaker has shown that great wine can come from this grape. The 2007 vintage won the equivalent of a Gold Medal at ‘Les Citadelles du Vins’ Competition held in Bordeaux, France. NIS 90

Barkan Superieur Cabernet Sauvignon – Varying in quality from year to year, Barkan’s Superier Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, royal purple, firm, and concentrated, with a mineral  finish. NIS 180

Barkan Altitude +720 – Barkan’s Altitude is composed of grapes from a variety of altitudes in Israel, from Mitzpeh Ramon in the south to Dovev on the Lebanese border.  NIS 109

Teperberg Silver Sangiovese – the only mevushal wine on this list, Teperberg is one of Israel’s oldest wineries that began making worthy table wines in the past decade. The Sangiovese, a traditional Italian grape, is perfect with pastas, brisket, and foods with deep red sauces. NIS 45

Teperberg Late Harvest Riesling – Not for Kiddush at the main meal, but rather to enjoy as an aperitif or dessert, this wine will go great with an apple and honey cake, especially if you manage to make it a la mode. Teperberg also makes a white and red moscato, for a more simple dessert wine, and the only mevushal sparkling wine in Israel. NIS 50

Best Value Wines:

Young Value Wines: Don’t want to burst your budget or just need to make it to the nearest supermarket? At or under 40NIS, try Segal Fusion series, or the Carmel Private Collection or, for a sparkling wine, Carmel’s Selected Brut. Carmel has made an amazing turn around in the past few years and the Private Collection series provides some of the best quality-for-price.

A Holiday Bonus:

Rimon Winery – not a traditional grape wine, but rather a pomegranate fruit wine. As a pomegranate is one of the major symbols of Rosh Hashanah, Rimon (which means pomegranate in Hebrew) Winery makes several dessert wines and a unique sparkling wine as well. It’s a fitting addition to any Rosh Hashanah table. NIS 66 – NIS 75

Read the rest in the Jerusalem Post


Sommelier 2009 – Israel’s Professional Wine Event

Every year a new wine festival opens in Israel, from the southern tips of Eilat to the northern tips of the Golan Heights. But it is no exaggeration to say that Israel’s most important wine festival is Tel Aviv’s Sommelier.

This giant Israeli wine festival has now been held for several years, with wines from Israel and around the world featured on three floors of Tel Aviv’s Heichel HaTarbut. While the event featured non-Israeli wines like the kosher Herzog to the non-kosher Yellow Tail, the highlight is kosher and nonkosher Israeli wines from wineries such as Chateau Golan, Carmel, Yatir, Avidan, Yafo, Dalton, Recanati, Golan Heights Winery, Rimon, Barkan, Tabor, Binyamina, and more.

Primarily for the trade, the event gives wine buyers, restauranters, journalists and critics a chance to taste wines both new to the market, as well as those wines not-yet-released to store shelves. It was also a chance for the general public to taste great wines, such as the single vineyard releases of Yarden, including the 2001, 2004, and unreleased 2004 Yarden El Rom Cabernet Sauvignon.

Other notable presentations included the presence of smaller boutiques such as Miles and Kela.

Interesting wines that I discovered included a sparkling wine from Rimon, Binyamina’s new Zinfandel (still a relatively uncommon grape in Israel).

Did you attend? What did you think?

California Israeli Wine Festival

I received the following report from Neta Reef of Israeli Wine Company, about the recent Israeli wine festival hosted by Kehillah Jewish High School in California. If you’ve attended or run an Israeli wine event contact me to post it beforehand and let me know how it went and maybe I will post it here.

Yesterday, June 4th, the Kehillah Jewish High School together with the Israel Wine Company hosted an Israeli Wine Festival and a tasting at the beautiful Jennings Pavilion located in Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton, CA

The wineries that participated include: Yatir, Ella Valley Vineyards, Domine du Castel, Yaffo Winery, Bazelet Ha-Golan, Hamasrek Winery, Tabor Winery, Rimon and Teperberg. Only the high-end wines of each winery were offer at the event.

Neta, of Israel Wine Company, said they had more then 150 wine lovers that had the opportunity to taste the wonderful wines of those wineries: "in order to give Israeli wines the place they deserve in the American market people need to actually taste and explore all this great wines. Such an event helps to bring more people to get hands-on Israeli wines".

The money raised from this event will be used by Kehillah towards programming, financial aid programs, and teacher resources. Kehillah Jewish High School, located in Palo Alto, is the area’s leading independent pluralistic Jewish high school dedicated to providing an outstanding education to its students.

Israel Wine Company will be at the Israel in the Gardens event this Sunday June 7th at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens.

Kehilla 128

Kehilla 136

marie claire recommends Rimon pomegrante wine

The European women’s magazine marie claire suggests a great Christmas gift: pomegranate dessert wine from Israel’s Rimon Winery. This healthy drink, available in Europe (including the UK) and the United States, is a great holiday gift from the Holy Land.

Key ingredient to healthy new wine? Pomegranate

The healthiest red wine on the market is set to hit shelves in the build up to Christmas: Pomegranate wine, made from 100% pomegranate fruit and with no added sugar, will put your guilty conscience at bay over the festive period…well, possibly.

Produced at a winery in the north of Israel, Rimon Winery Pomegranate Dessert wine, dry white wine and port have already received worldwide accolades, thanks to their key ingredient.

The superfood fruit has long been recognized for its wide-ranging health benefits: packed with antioxidants to help blood circulation and prevent heart disease, the wonder fruit also boasts high levels of vitamins A, B and C, plus other essential minerals including iron and calcium.

Described as a full-bodied tipple, with a smooth palette that slips down easily, now you can sup on a glass of vino after work, safe in the knowledge that the ingredients are working wonders on your health and wellbeing. Just remember, everything in moderation…!

Adam Sandler drinks Israeli wine

While Adam Sandler’s character Zohan may eat American hummus (which, I must ask, what was up with that? No self-respecting Israeli would eat American hummus), it appears that Adam Sandler is enjoying some Israeli wine.

On a recent trip in California, Sandler and his entourage visited O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery, where Ari Erle is the assistant winemaker. Ari, as you may know, runs Israel Wine Company, a great wine club focusing on Israeli wines and he also makes wine in Israel. So, of course, Ari gave Sandler some Israeli wine including the Rimon Wine and Clos de Gat, which they planned on tasting shortly after the visit.

Rimon in the Seattle Times

I apologize that I had not posted this earlier, but apparently if you sent e-mail to [email protected], I did not receive it. Here is an interesting article on Rimon (which is not from grapes and many critics do not consider it a wine) from the Seattle Times:

Sunday, January 20, 2008 – Page updated at 12:00 AM


Tart and sappy rather than unctuous, Rimon’s “Black Label” Pomegranate Dessert Wine pairs well with pie.

From Israel comes a deliciously different wine for dessert

By Paul Gregutt

I have to tell you, I’m not big on fruit wines. I mean, it’s fine with me if your grandmother “puts up” dandelion or thimbleberry or some other oddball fermented beverage that falls under the general rubric of wine. But it’s not really wine, is it?

Real wine, I have long believed, must come from grapes, specifically European (vinifera) cultivars. Made from anything else, it may occasionally be perfectly pleasant. But will it achieve the complexity of fine wine? Not likely.

Allow me to eat those words, while introducing you to the pleasures of — ahem — pomegranate wine.

Rimon winery, in Israel’s Upper Galilee, has just released a truly excellent dessert wine, made from pomegranates. Not, the owners are quick to point out, like the many other pomegranate alcoholic-beverage products on the market. Rimon’s wines (which are kosher-certified, by the way) are produced by crushing the fruit, fermenting it in stainless steel, and then, believe it or not, aging the wine in French oak barrels.

Continue reading Rimon in the Seattle Times

Israel offers world’s first pomegranate wine

Israel’s Galilee offers world’s first pomegranate wine
By Zev Stub September 10, 2006

If you’ve been to the supermarket lately, you’ve probably noticed that the hottest trend in the food industry is pomegranate products.

Several years before the trend got started, a family in Israel’s Upper Galilee region began working to create a tastier and healthier version of the ancient fruit, only to cross their way into yet another huge food market. Their product: the world’s first pomegranate wine fit to be sold to international wine connoisseurs.

(Read the rest at ISRAEL21c)

Gary Vaynerchuk just tasted this wine on Tuesday’s episode of Wine Library TV. Gary has done a good job of trying to bring in the Israeli wine to his show – how can you not since it’s so good! Now, this wine — which many argue because it’s not grape isn’t really wine — Gary says simply tastes like pomegranate and alcohol. Not for everyone, but it is healthy and if you like pomegranates, why not try the Rimon?Check out the full episode .