Galil Wine Festival at Rosh Pina

The day started with a plan for a simple hop, skip, and a jump over to a couple of our favorite wineries located near home, Galil Mountain Winery, Adir Winery, Rimon Winery, and Dalton Winery. At our first stop we found a brochure for The 2012 Galil Wine Festival, which has been going since May 15th and continues until June 15th. Today just happened to be one of the many events during this four week festival.  It was The Israeli Wine Fair held outside in the beautiful Gardens of the Baron in Rosh Pina. We had missed the Wine Convention held two days ago at which Professor Brodie from New Zealand had lectured on “Issues and Challenges for Israel Wine Industry” and Victor Schoenfeld, the head vintner of Golan Heights Winery on the importance of the vintners to Israeli wine. We also missed the presentation of four new wines from the four wineries located on Moshav Ramot Naftali (Ramot Naftali Winery, Amram Winery, Three Vine Winery, and Naaman Winery) that was held all day last Friday and included visits to the wineries, tasting their wines and eating snacks. There were many other events including an opening of a school of oneology at a college in Katzrin, art exhibitions, and music.

Today’s event included booths where 29 wineries presented their wares for tasting by the participants. The price of 40 shekels included a glass and coupons for four tastings, though very few of the wineries requested the coupons and the tastings were nearly limitless. We started our tour by visiting Yosi Rosenberg at the Adir Winery booth where we tasted their new 2010 Shiraz, a big and bold rendition of this popular varietal. Having a recent love affair with Castel Winery’s Rosé, we tasted several other Rosés at the booths of Odem Mountain Winery, Leuria Winery, and Yiftachael Winery.  In the picture above we are at Leuria Winery’s booth, where in addition to the Rosé, we also tasted their 2011 Gewurztraminer which is sweet and smooth and their Grand Vital, a blend containing mainly their best Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Considering that they are located so close to us, we’ll have to pay a visit to Gidi Sayada at the winery.

At the Ramot Naftali Winery booth we tasted two wines, their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, both excellent wines made by owner and vintner Yitzhak Cohen.

At the Yiftachel Winery Booth we tried their sharp and tasty Sangiovese in addition to their Rosé.

Here we are at the booth of Odem Mountain Winery, talking to the vintner, Yishay Alfasi. If you read a recent article about their Shiraz Reserve, you will know that they produce some very good wines and today, we were very impressed by their Rosé.

We finished the day, tasting the juice, cider, dry wine, and Port-style wine all made from pomegranates at the booth of The Galil Boutique Winery located in Kiryat Shmona. I especially liked their 17.5% alcohol Port style wine which was fermented in casks for 18 months and sells for 70 shekels. This is not so surprising, considering how much I love the products of Rimon Winery.

This was a pleasant experience and we hope to visit and write about some of these new wineries in the near future, but of all the ways to experience wine, this is our least favorite. There are just too many to taste in such a short period of time. It is a nice way to be exposed to new wineries, but only as an introduction. Our favored way is to actually travel to the winery for a one on one explanation and discussion with a tasting of several of their wines, but not 15 or 20. Actually, the best way to appreciate wine, is in the venue of our own home with those we love accompanied by a good meal. Ahhhhhh, this is what it is all about. L’Chaim.

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