Blend of Wine & Chocolate

Tishbi Winery?s new Visitors Center.
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Tishbi Winery was founded in 1985 in Binyamina . The Tishbi family were amongst the first growers to plant vineyards in the southern Mount Carmel area at the end of the 19th century. It is the sixth largest winery in Israel producing just over one million bottles a year, but remains a family operation. The owner is Yonatan (Jonathan) Tishbi. His son Golan is the winemaker, his wife, Nili, runs the visitors center and his daughter, Oshra, is responsible for the development of food products.

Two of Tishbi?s most famous products are its Jonathan Tishbi Brandy, made in an authentic alambic still as is used in Cognac, which in 1996 won the Trophy for Best Brandy World Wide at the IWSC in London. Secondly, the Jonathan Tishbi Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve, Sde Boker 2004, which was the only Israeli wine selected by Gary Vaynachuk of the Wine Library in his book: ?101 Wines To Inspire, Delight?. He referred to it as an Israeli Bordeaux. Tishbi Winery produces wines under three labels: Jonathan Tishbi Special Reserve, Tishbi Estate and Tishbi.

The Oshra Tishbi Fine Foods line has certainly ensured that Tishbi Winery is not only associated with wine and brandy, but also with food. They produce a Tishbi line of jellies, preserves , extra virgin olive oil and pure honey. They were the first winery to merchandise Israeli cheeses on site, and they have a full range of cheeses from Yaacobs Dairy. All their foods are available in Tishbi Winery?s visitors center.

The winery also run an informal kosher dairy restaurant. Guests can sit under the pergola of vines, taste wines and enjoy a simple but good menu. The food is good and the atmosphere unique in the Israeli wine scene. They have recently added a bakery and pizza oven to add homemade products to their homey atmosphere.

Their latest venture is a step up the food scale, moving from casual to gourmet. They have a new venture with Valrona, one of the most exclusive chocolatiers in the world. Valrona is a French chocolate producer founded in the small town of Tain l?Hermitage, not far from Lyon. It was founded in 1922 by pastry chef Alberic Guironnet. In 1947 the company became known as Valrona, a name derived from ?Rhone Valley?. The name Valrona has become a byword for quality in the rarified world of chocolate connoisseurs.

Tishbi have opened a new part of the visitors center. It is a large room with its own sliding door entrance. On one side there is a large bar and in the other, the Alambic Charentais Still used for making brandy. These are surrounded by shelves of wine and Valrona?s finest chocolates. A visit to the new Tishbi Wine & Chocolate visitors center is both educational and tasty. It is possible to learn of the similarities and complexities of wine and chocolate, to taste and of course to buy. It is also possible to match the chocolate to the appropriate wine and vice versa.

Tishbi Winery is situated midway between Carmel Winery, founded in 1882, and Binyamina Winery, founded in 1952. The three wineries all offer something different and are well worth a visit. It is the basis of Israel?s most traditional wine route. However Tishbi Winery now has something unique. This is the first wine and chocolate visitors? center in Israel.

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