Once a year thousands of people come together at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for a celebration and extensive tasting of Israeli wines. This impressive event is organized annually by leading Jerusalem wine stores, Avi Ben and Shachar Wines, providing wine aficionados with an opportunity to meet the people behind the wines and sample some of the new vinos on the market. Visitors can also tour the outdoor sculpture garden, enjoy live jazz music and taste various cheeses (Ya?akobs Dairy Farm), chocolates (Roy) and other treats. For a reasonable NIS 70, each visitor receives a wine glass and can stop by each booth for unlimited wine tasting. At these types of events it is recommended to pace yourself and taste between 2-3 wines at each booth. Other strategies include starting off with white wines and then moving on to reds.
This year the exhibition will take place between 15?18 August, 19:00-23:30 and feature wineries of varying sizes and styles from all over Israel, including: Bravdo, Binyamina, Carmel Winery, Yatir, Dalton, Yaffo Winery, Pelter, Golan Heights, Galilee Mountain, Psagot, Meishar, Gva?ot, Katlav, Tulip, Chillag, Agur, Ella Valley Winery, Tura, Bazelet Hagolan, Or Haganuz, Tavor, Mony, Zion, Odem Mountain, Granada (pomegranate wines), Lavie Liqueurs and more.
I am not sure which wines will be poured at the event, however, in my opinion, some of the ones to look for are:
Golan Heights: Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008; Yarden, Merlot, 2008 and an interesting blend comprised of 50% Touriga Nacional and 50% Tinta Cao – Yarden, 2T, 2008. From the winery?s Gamla label, try the Riesling 2010 and the Merlot 2008.
Carmel Winery: Carmel recently released new wines as part of the winery?s Single Vineyard label. My favorite was the Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008. At the Carmel booth, I would also ask for a taste of the Mediterranean blend 2008, as well as the Carignan, Petite Sirah and Cabernet-Shiraz wines from the Appellation/Regional series.
Tavor Winery: Ask for the Cabernet Sauvignon (Bazelet + Terra Rosa) or the Merlot (Bazelet) from the winery?s Adama label. Light and refreshing wines at the Tavor booth will include the winery?s bubbly coined 562 and the sweet Tavor Red Pninim.
Binyamina: Binyamina recently released two new Chardonnay based wines, the Chardonnay, Reserve, 2010 and the Chardonnay, Bin, 2010. By the way, the term bin is often used in Australian wineries referring to a storage area in a wine cellar.
Bravdo Winery: Coupage, 2009 ? the first blend from the Bravdo Winery made up of 40% Cabernet Franc, 33% Shiraz and 27% Cabernet Sauvignon. I also enjoyed the Chardonnay, 2010.
Tulip Winery: Tulip recently released the White Franc 2010, a semi-dry blend made from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Also ask for Tulip?s Just, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 and the Syrah Reserve, 2008.
Teperberg: ask for the Terra, Malbec, 2008, one of the few varietal Malbec wines produced in Israel and the late harvest Riesling of the winery?s Silver label.
Dalton: At the Dalton booth, I would suggest trying the winery?s Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve, 2010 or the Merlot and Shiraz wines of the winery?s ?D? label.
Chillag Winery: Chillag recently released their first white wine ? Chenin Blanc 2010.
Zion Winery: Zion also released a Chenin Blanc based wine ? Fume Blanc, Erez, Vineyard Selection, 09. At the Zion booth also ask for the Armon Chardonnay and the Armon red blend.
Yaffo Winery: Ask for the winery?s Carignan, 2009 or the Chardonnay 2010.
Mony Winery: Try the winery?s Chardonnay Reserve and the Bordeaux style blend coined Claret.
Agur Winery: Ask Shuki for a taste of the Blanca 2010 and the Kessem 2009.
Katlav Winery: Yossi Itach produces some fine red wines. Ask for the Wadi Katlav and the Katlav, Cabernet Sauvignon. A colleague also informed that Katlav has a good Pinot Noir and I hope to taste it at the event.
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