Isrotel, one of Israel's leading Hotel chains, have showed their pursuit of excellence in wine service by organizing a wine waiter competition for the servers in their hotels. They called the initiative 'Vinotel.' The competition started in October and ran for 6 weeks. It was sponsored by Ish Anavim and Carmel Winery. The main education leaders were Haim Gan, owner of Ish Anavim and David Gronich, education manager of Carmel Winery.
Eight finalists from all over the chain reached the final which was held in the Yam Suf Hotel in Eilat. The judges for the final were Haim Gan, David Gronich, Gal Zohar (sommelier and WSET educator), Adam Montefiore (Israel Wine Experience & wine writer for the Jerusalem Post) and Yair Gat (wine writer for Israel Hayom). The finalists went through a number of stations testing wine service, matching wine to food, wine tasting, selling techniques and spotting mistakes on a wine list.
The overall winner was Omri Arama from the Bereshit Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon, who excelled in the competition. The awards were presented by Shlomi Tahane, CEO of Isrotel. The first prize was a special tour to the wine regions of France or Italy. The two runners up received a free WSET Level Two course. (WSET is the world famous international wine school, the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, now teaching in Israel.)
Congratulations to Haim Gan for organizing the competition and to Dudi Zucker, manager of the Yam Suf Hotel, and Lee Chityat, training department of Isrotel, for initiating and implementing the concept.