The Montefiore Winery has opened a tasting facility in Jaffa. It is called Kerem Montefiore Tasting Room. It is situated in Yo’ezer Street, just east of the famous clock tower, in the Greek or Monastery Market of Jaffa.
The Kerem Montefiore Tasting Room offers tutored tastings of Montefiore wines, explanations of the Moses Montefiore story, and lectures & workshops on Israeli wine. Passersby have opportunities to taste and buy. Alternatively they may prefer to sit in comfort, and choose a flight of wines to accompany a platter of fine Israeli cheeses.
The area is bustling with people and tourists, browsing in the street markets and local stores, drinking coffee in the coffee bars and eating in the local restaurants. Buskers and street musicians perform on the street corners. Now visitors may also sip a glass of wine as they enjoy the unique and lively atmosphere.
This is the first facility of this type to be opened in Tel Aviv-Jaffa by a winery, as such it will prove to be an attraction to tourists, wine lovers and connoisseurs.
Montefiore Winery was founded in 2010 by Arnon Geva, Rachel Montefiore and David Montefiore. This date commemorated the 150 years anniversary of Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem, which was built by Sir Moses Montefiore. It was the first neighborhood outside the Old City of Jerusalem and it became the cornerstone of the new city.
Moses Montefiore was a giant in Jewish and Israeli history in the 19th century. He was a wine connoisseur, who wrote about the vineyards he encountered in his diaries and he was the first to recommend Jews should return to agriculture and plant vines. When he bought the first land in modern Jerusalem, he called it Kerem Moshe Montefiore (Moses Montefiore’s Vineyard), which explains the revival of this name by the winery.
He also had deep connections to Jaffa. Apart from arriving and departing from Jaffa Port on his many visits, he bought the first orchard and orange grove in Jaffa to encourage his vision of a return to agriculture. This was the beginnings of Israel’s citrus industry. He also proposed the first train from Jaffa to Jerusalem. So Jaffa and Jerusalem are forever associated with the life and work of Moses Montefiore. If the spirit of Montefiore Winery lies in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, it is entirely appropriate that the new tasting room should be in Jaffa.
The first Montefiore wines were launched in 2013. Montefiore produces three unoaked Mediterranean style blends (a Montefiore White, Red & Rosé), three reserve varietals (a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petite Sirah) and two prestige blends (Aria, a Mediterranean blend, and Kerem Moshe, a Bordeaux style blend.) All the wines are made from vineyards only in the Judean Hills region. The winery also produces a quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The Montefiore team is rich in knowledge with a wide variety of experience. Arnon Geva, the CEO, is a co-founder of Castel and ex international business director of Carmel. Adam Montefiore, the chairman, is a wine trade veteran having worked with both Yarden and Carmel for many years and is currently the wine writer for the Jerusalem Post. Rachel Montefiore is in charge of marketing. She is an ex sommelier with wine experience in both on and off premise. Canadian Sam Soroka is the winemaking consultant. He is one of Israel’s most experienced winemakers having made wine in five countries. Founding partner David Montefiore is currently Wine Culture Manager of Tabor Winery and Wine Department Manager of IBBLS.
Montefiore Winery is part of ‘Handcrafted Wines of Israel’, a prestige group of boutique wineries and cult wines marketed in Israel by Oded Shoham, who is also the founder of The Israel Wine Experience. The wineries in this consortium include Bar-Maor, Clos de Gat, Capsouto, Gros, Margalit, Yaacov Oryah Wines as well as Montefiore. Handcrafted Wines of Israel and The Israel Wine Experience will also use the new tasting room for tutored tastings and presentations.
Montefiore Winery produces 75,000 bottles a year and exports to 12 countries. Their importers in the USA and the UK are Royal Wine Corp and Kedem Europe respectively, both owned by the Herzog family. They are the leading importers and distributors of Israeli wine.
Kerem Montefiore Tasting Room is situated at 7, Yoezer Street, Tel Aviv-Jaffa. For further information, telephone +(972) 3 5342247 or email email@example.com. Booking must be made in advance.
PHOTOS: David Silverman