Recanati Winery was founded by Lenny Recanati in 2000. It was a golden year for new wineries. Amphorae Vineyards, Clos de Gat, Ella Valley Winery, Galil Mountain and Yatir Winery also saw the light of day in the same year.
Recanati Winery had a less than distinguished start. Amphorae with Gil Shatzberg, Ella Valley with Doron Rav Hon and Galil Mountain with Gabi Sadan, seemed so much more promising. However, wine is a long term business. Success is judged after decades not months or years. Indeed, Baron Philippine de Rothschild once said “winemaking is easy, it is the first 200 years that is the hardest.” Now look where Recanti Winery is compared to say, Amphorae, Ella Valley and Galil Mountain, that have not managed to maintained the exciting times of their early years.
Recanati Winery is amongst the largest ten wineries in Israel, though its image is still boutique. Along with the Golan, it is arguably the most successful of our larger wineries. The winery’s range from the fruity, easy drinking Yasmin red and white, to the rich, complex flagship wine, Special Reserve.
The winery has majored on Mediterranean varieties. Their Wild Carignan, Marselan, Petite Sirah, Special Reserve White (Roussanne, Marsanne) and the Special Reserve Red (Cabernet with Syrah, Petite Sirah, Carignan and Marselan), are illustrations. Recanati Winery are one of the leaders of this trend.
They were also the first Israeli winery to produce wines from indigenous Holy Land varieties like Marawi and Bittuni. These local varieties were grown on a Hebron pergola by a Palestinian grower and made into wine by an Israeli winemaker. The international attention these wines attracted, brought these varieties to the world’s attention.
Recanati Winery has also succeeded in the court of international opinion at the very highest level. They have been invited to the Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience, open by invitation only, to the finest 250 wineries in the world. The Wine Enthusiast in one go, scored ten of their wines at more than 90 points. This included a score of 94 points, the highest score even given by this magazine for an Israeli wine. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has awarded a Recanati wine 93 points, and they have received 92 points numerous times. So, Recanati Winery have proved time and again, they have quality, consistency and strength in depth.
Certainly, credit goes to the astute management of owner Lenny Recanati and winemaker Koby Arbiv. After a difficult start, it is now one of Israel’s best wineries and like all good wineries, they are looking forward. They have just laid a foundation stone for a new winery to be opened on the Dalton Industrial Estate in the Upper Galilee, overlooking the Hula Valley, with a view of the snow-covered Mount Hermon. Furthermore, they have planted what they call their Israeli vineyard in the Upper Galilee, which will give us fascinating wines to taste in the future.
The last twenty years have been a great success story for Recanati Winery. Looking forward to the next twenty years!