Carmel Winery has released a press release announcing that Adam Montefiore has decided to leave the company. He worked for Carmel in two periods from 1990-1992 and then from 2002-2016. He said: “After thirteen years with Carmel I have decided it is a good time for a fresh challenge.” Apparently he will stay in the wine trade, and will take his time to look around at opportunities.
Adam Montefiore has contributed to the advance of Israeli wines for over 35 years. In the 1980's he helped establish the wines of the Golan Heights Winery in the UK. In the 1990's, by now in Israel, he was involved in building the Yarden brand. In the 2000's he was partly responsible for the quality revolution at Carmel Winery and the successful launch of Yatir Winery. During all this time he has arguably been the most visual champion of Israeli wine in the wider world.
Adam Sebag Montefiore, 58, was born in Kensington, London. He started his drinks career in England with Bass Charrington. They were then the largest drinks company in Britain, the largest brewery in Europe and the largest hotelier in the world (Holiday Inn, Crest Hotels etc).
Bass also had wine interests (Bass Charrington Vintners), which included being owners of Alexis Lichine (Bordeaux Negociants), Hedges & Butler, (a 300 year old wine shippers), and Augustus Barnett (a wine shop chain). They were also owners of Château Lascombes and agents for Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA. Adam took advantage of their extensive wine interests to move into wine. He studied Wine & Spirits at the WSET in London, and became the Wine Development Manager for their Bass Hotels chain. He was a Founder Member of The Academy of Wine Service and was also made an Honorary Member of the same organization.
In 1989 he made aliyah and devoted himself to Israeli wine, working for Israel’s two most famous wineries, Carmel Winery and the Golan Heights Winery. He initially worked for Carmel for two years, moved to the Golan Heights Winery for eleven years and then returned to Carmel until now.
Over the years, he has spearheaded the advance of Israeli wines in overseas markets gaining compliments along the way. He has been referred to as 'The Ambassador of Israeli wine', 'The English voice of Israeli wines' and even as 'The Robert Mondavi of Israel.' He has for the last 27 years been working to advance Brand Israel.
Adam Montefiore regularly writes about wine. Since 2010, he has been the wine writer for the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s main English language newspaper, writing a large two page column called 'Wine Talk.' He has written or contributed to the books ‘Wine Route of Israel’, ‘The New Book of Israeli Food’ and ‘Wines of Israel’. He also wrote the ‘Wines of Israel’ booklet for the Israel Export Institute.
For over 20 years he has contributed to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, the world's largest selling wine book. He also contributes to Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine A-Z and Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion To Wine, the leading wine reference book, writing the sections on ‘Israel’ and ‘Kosher’. He also writes for the Jewish Chronicle and www.wines-israel.com amongst other publications.
Adam and his family were the first members of the Montefiore family to make Aliyah to Israel. His distinguished forebear was Sir Moses Montefiore, a legendary figure in Israeli and Jewish history. Adam Montefiore is the 5th generation after Sir Moses, and a direct descendant of Sir Joseph Sebag Montefiore (Sir Moses’ heir.)
It is a true family of wine. Moses Montefiore was the first to urge Israelis to return to agriculture and plant vines. He was said to enjoy a bottle of wine every day. Adam Montefiore is a wine industry veteran of many years. Now, two of his children also work in the wine business: David Montefiore for Tabor Winery, the fifth largest winery in Israel, and Rachel Montefiore for Kerem Montefiore, a small, reasonably new boutique winery.
It is also a family of writers. Adam writes about wine. His brothers include the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem: The Biography, and writer Hugh Sebag Montefiore, author of Enigma.
Recently Adam’s wife sadly passed away after a long, harsh illness, but he takes comfort from the successes of his three children and enjoys his four grandchildren. He lives in Ra’anana, north of Tel Aviv, with his two dogs.
www.wines-israel.com hopes Adam Montefiore will continue to work for the benefit of Israeli wine for many years, and wishes him every success in the future.