Galai Winery

CEO – Sigalit and Assaf Galai
Winemaker – Assaf Galai
Address – 66 Nir-Akiva Mob. Post Negev 85365 ISRAEL
Telephone – 972 – (0)8-99-33-713
Cellular – 972-(0)54-21-66-321
Fax – 972 – (0)8-99-33-622
Number of bottles in the year – 5000
Kosher – No

A Boutique Winery from the Northern ?NEGEV? ? Israel?s Southern Region

The Winery

In 1995, Sigalit and Assaf Galai decided to change their lifestyle, leave the city for the quality of life afforded by rural living and to realize a dream and follow their love for wine. In 1996 they purchased a run-down 6 hectare farm (60 dunam) on a small village (Moshav) named Nir-Akiva, in the north-west part of the Negev – Israel’s southern region. They were enraptured by the landscape and the wide open empty spaces. They described their purchase at the time as a ?ruin in a field of thorns?. Gradually, with enormous hard work and love, they rehabilitated and nurtured each section of their land and finally ? a one hectare vineyard (10 dunam) was planted.

The winery itself was established in 2002. They acquired all equipment needed to operate a domestic, rural winery. They used an old structure at friends in the neighboring village (previously a flower packaging facility), where all the wine production activity still takes place. A facility of their own is planed in the future on their land.
The winery currently produces between 5,000 to 7,000 bottles annually. The wine is aged in French and American oak barrels. The winery?s label carries a unique story: The illustration selected to represent the label?s identity is a graphic adaptation taken from a photograph of an almost 100-year-old handcrafted silver box, created by Assaf?s great-grandfather, a jewelry maker who has worked as the royal court artist for Tsar Nicholas the second in Russia. The illustration includes a self-portrait of the artist peeping out from vine bunches.

The Vineyard

From the outset they understood that the path to excellent wine depends first and foremost on the quality of the raw material ? the grapes.
Planted adjacent to the house, beautiful and well cared for, the vineyard now shows obvious signs of being a good platform of raw-material to produce unique quality wines. Quality of produced wine is graduating consistently as a result of unique cultivation and experience, gathered year after year.

The vineyard’s altitude is 170 meters above sea-level, on a moderate north-south slope of loess soil. Gusty wind and continual breeze in summer, cools clusters and treetop of vines during most days, even in the hottest ones. Temperature differences between day and night are pretty high. Winter temperatures are particularly low. Night temperatures are between 1?-7? Celsius, as the area is part of a desert. The climate is generally dry and the basic microclimate (terroir) is clearly sensed on the vines and the quality of the grapes.

Wine Labels (2004 Vintage)

Cabernet Sauvignon: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Merlot: 100% Merlot

?Bacchus? (Roman God of Wine): 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

?Venus? (Roman Goddess of Gardens and Vineyards): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot.

Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Shiraz, Limited Edition,
375 bottles, Numbered Series, Two vintages.

?Sweetie? * Sweet-Red-Alcoholic Dessert Wine, made in a traditional process, similar to port. Vintage ! . Sweetie has won 2 medals so far, only one year from release:
* GOLD Medal 2008 – ?Terravino?, Mediterranean International Wine & Spirit Challenge, Israel.
* BRONZE Medal 2008 ? ?Eshkol Ha?zahav? (Golden Bunch), Israel Wine Awards, Israel

All wines are Estate, Single Vineyard, Unfiltered and aged in oak barrels for 12- 24 months.
?Sweetie? is aged for 3 years.

The Winemaker

Mrs. Sigalit Galai, and Mr. Assaf Galai, started out by self-learning everything they could about vine growing and wine production. They attended courses and lectures on wines and winemaking, including a year-long practical course, separately, in two different vintages. Meanwhile, they produced wine ?as a hobby? for friends and family. Assaf attended during the years their vineyard was still developing, several vintages at one of the boutique wineries in Israel. According to Assaf, ?There is no better way to learn the “know-how” than through physical experience, an aching body and red-black stained hands.? Controlling all stages exclusively is a major advantage in wine production. They therefore played an active role in all stages, from planting, cultivating, harvesting, handling, bottling, labeling and packaging.

Personal drop of wine

Galai wines carry the title of Estate-Wines and Single Vineyard, due to the fact the vineyard and the winery are located together on the same place and under the same ownership. All wines until now are from a single vineyard. ?We wish to produce wine that represents the unique features of our region, one that will provide an added dimension to the existing range of available wines and flavors in and from Israel. We have no intention to imitate any other styles, what’s or ever, Israeli or foreign. Our goal is simply to do the best we can with what we have and love doing.?