The Israel Export Institute and the Economic Attaché of the Israel Embassy in Tokyo have combined to organize a unique and important tasting of Israeli wines in Japan.
The first tasting took place in Tokyo and the second in Osaka. No less than 22 Israeli wineries took part.
The only Israeli winery to really succeed in Japan to date, is the Golan Heights Winery. They have been flying the flag there since the late 1990's. Their Yarden wines are represented by the prestigious Millesimes company. However the Japanese hold Israelis and Israel in great respect. They attended in numbers and were eager to learn more about Israeli wines.
The Israeli tastings were an opportunity for Japanese wine lovers, connoisseurs and wine professionals, to meet Israel's winemakers and winery owners and to taste a wide range of wines. The Japanese visitors were particularly keen to listen to Israel's most prominent winemakers. These currently include Victor Schoenfeld, Eran Pick MW & Dr. Shibi Drori. Victor Schoenfeld is the long term winemaker of the Golan Heights Winery, who has helped pioneer and maintain the Israel quality revolution for over 25 years. Eran Pick the winemaker of Tzora Vineyards, one of Israel's finest wineries, is Israel's first ever and only Master of Wine. The recent announcement created a great deal of attention in wine circles worldwide. Dr. Shibi Drori winemaker of Gvaot Winery, is the researcher undertaking the fascinating work on indigenous varieties of the Holy Land at Ariel University. This research has had recent publicity from the likes of The New York Times & CNN. These three winemakers combined at this event, with their colleagues, to showcase the best of Israel.
The group photo was a rare occasion that rival wineries were shown together trying to advance the Israel brand. It was a praiseworthy event which should be repeated. Congratulations and thanks to Yaara Shimony, director of the Food & Beverage Division at the Israel Export Institute.