Richard and Jo Bolchover is a lovely couple from London England who like to spend their summers in Israel. The couple asked me to arrange a Birthday Wine Tour (in honor of Richard’s birthday) for twenty adults and seventeen children (!)

Their request was to have a picnic after visiting an interesting kosher winery where they can taste and possibly buy some good wine. Our first stop of the day was 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv at the famous Jacobs Dairy Farm. This boutique dairy farm is producing great goat, sheep and cattle cheeses.
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Dr. Harold Caballeros is the Rector of Universidad San Pablo Guatemala and his daughter Andrea studies at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Hertzelia. After spending few days on a business conference in Tel-Aviv, Harold decided to stay in Israel two more days and spend some time with his daughter. A fantastic way to do that is by touring the country and tasting some of the great wines it has to offer.

We left Tel Aviv in the morning and drove north about an hour toward Kiryat-Tiv’on. While driving we talked about Israeli boutique wineries – a recent phenomenon that has grown immensely in recent years. The two admired the changing view as we left the Coastal Region and entered the region of Lower Galilee. Our first stop was at the Tulip Winery one of the most interesting and award winning wineries in Israel.
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Marcel and Eliane Gottlieb heard about Israel wine tour about a year ago from a friend in Rio de Janeiro.

While Eliane is a Professor of Economics at the university, Marcel is importing wines from Argentina and gives his own lectures about pairing wine and music! (Very interesting topic on its own right)

The Gottliebs requested a tour that would begin in Tel-Aviv and end in Jerusalem as they wanted to spend time in the holy city.
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I took a group of 14 people for a half day wine tour. Since the majority of the people were short in time I picked two wineries that are well known for their wine qualities and close to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion Airport.  The tour started with an overlook over an amazing vineyard’s view (location is a closely kept secret) while explaining the history of wine making in Israel as far as few thousand years ago until today. After I managed to surprise the group with the location of where we were standing and some of the information they got we went for a short drive and got to Ella Valley Vineyards.  The beautiful vineyards are located in Kibbutz Netiv Halamed-He , just about where in biblical times young David fought Goliath.  The winery’s visitor center is decorated with old wooden furniture and has a big glass window overlooking the tanks’ room.
After watching a movie about the vineyard’s location and operation the group had a guided tour where the wine is actually made and kept.
We tasted 4 wines:  Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (I can’t forget its tropical smell), Vineyard’s choice RR 2004, Ella Valley Shiraz 2006 (my favorite) and Ella Valley Muscat Dessert wine 2006. Leaving the winery with their hands full I understood that my guests liked the wines….
Next on out tour we stopped at a “Tzuk loner’s Ranch” for some amazing goat cheeses. The ranch is considered to be loners since it does not connected to any electricity or water pipes and only off-road leads to the ranch.
Our final stop was at Karmei Yosef Winery on Rt. 44.  Again , we had to do some off- road driving (everyone loved it!) only this time it was in between the vine rows. The winery’s visitors’ deck is surrounded by vines from all sides which gives a feeling of relaxed atmosphere.  We met PHD. Ben Ami Bravdo one of two professors of oenology that founded and own the winery. The group tasted a Karmei Yosef Chardonnay 2008, merlot 2007, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.
We all wanted to stay but we ran out of time and had to head home.  For a half-day tour I was very pleased and I eagerly await my next tour.

I had a wonderful group of 14 people for a half day wine tour. Since the majority of the people were short in time I picked two wineries that are well known for their wine qualities and for being close enough to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion Airport.

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November
25

Amphora Winery
It started as a regular day tour to the Southern Carmel region. A friend and I drove to the Old Bat-Shlomo village where a short walk took us to different shops and art galleries. The first house on the left hosts a very interesting art gallery combined with a small coffee shop. We stopped again at the third house where we taste different homemade cheeses and different kind of olives. Another ten minuet stroll in the village and we are back in the car on the way to the Druze village Dalyat el Carmel.  Claiming the mountain on the curved road we stopped again at one of the many family owned food stand on the side of the road for an original Druze pita with Labane (soft goat cheese) and herb tea.  Dalyat-El Carmel is always colorful and interesting. The Druze people are great hosts, especially on Saturdays, when many Israelis and tourists chose to make their shopping and dining at the village.  After walking for some time around the bountiful shops we had back to the car and drive out of Dalyat- El Carmel  towered Haifa.
At this time I know where I want to go! I have not been to Amphora winery yet  but heard great things about it . I turned left to rout 721 (“BEIT OREN”) which is considered one of the most beautiful routes in Israel. This is a curvy down hill road from Carmel Mountain toward the coastline. When reached the bottom (rt. 4) we made left towered CAREM-MAHARAL where Amphora winery is located.  The winery is located at this current location since 2005. The building was designed by Diego Grasso, Italian architect who has also designed several wineries in northern Italy. Grasso used the local stone and created a unique building with a European look.  Entering through the double wooden door we found ourselves in a big tasting room with a long bar.  A lovely woman with a Russian accent (the only bartender at the winery at that time) greeted us and offered a wine tasting for 30 Shekels. As an Israeli I replied and asked “How many wines we get to taste for this price?” When we heard that we taste 5 different wines we could not resist the offer.
We started with a chilled Viognier that left such a good impression on me that I bought some to take home! Fruity and Silky like a Viognier should be! Next we tested the Organic Rosé and the regular Rosé which was better than the organic.  A bottle of the Rosé was also accompanied me  home . Amphora has 3 lines of red wine: the basic Med-Red, Rhyton and Amphora which is the premium line of wines. We tasted the basic line which contains the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah all were ready to drink but after tasting 70 other wines that particular week I decided to wait and report after tasting the higher quality wines Amphora has to offer (I hope this opportunity will present itself soon!)

It started as a regular day tour to the Southern Carmel region. A friend and I drove to the Old Bat-Shlomo village where a short walk took us to different shops and art galleries. The first house on the left hosts a very interesting art gallery combined with a small coffee shop. We stopped again at the third house where we taste different homemade cheeses and different kind of olives. Another ten minuet stroll in the village and we are back in the car on the way to the Druze village Dalyat el Carmel.  Claiming the mountain on the curved road we stopped again at one of the many family owned food stand on the side of the road for an original Druze pita with Labane (soft goat cheese) and herb tea.  Dalyat-El Carmel is always colorful and interesting. The Druze people are great hosts, especially on Saturdays, when many Israelis and tourists chose to make their shopping and dining at the village.  After walking for some time around the bountiful shops we had back to the car and drive out of Dalyat- El Carmel  towered Haifa.

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Carmel Winery Visit

posted by Alon Yithaki on Tags: , , , ,

November
24

Carmel Winery Visit
I was invited to visit the new Carmel “wine & Culture” center in Zichron Ya’acov. Carmel is Israel’s biggest winery. The tour starts at the old winemaker house which was transformed to a Mediterranean bistro. The tour is held up to 3 times a day (reservation required) and covers the history of Carmel which dates back to 1882. The magnificent main building was constructed in 1892 and the information reviled on the tour is very interesting (do you know who are the 3 Israeli prime ministers who worked at Carmel winery???)  The tour pass through the old celeries and ends up in an elegant tasting room where the guests sit around a big table and enjoying a guided wine tasting. We ended the tour in the winery wine shop.
I was invited to visit the new Carmel “wine & Culture” center in Zichron Ya’acov. Carmel is Israel’s biggest winery. The tour starts at the old winemaker house which was transformed to a Mediterranean bistro. The tour is held up to 3 times a day (reservation required) and covers the history of Carmel which dates back to 1882. The magnificent main building was constructed in 1892 and the information reviled on the tour is very interesting (do you know who are the 3 Israeli prime ministers who worked at Carmel winery in their early days ?)  The tour takes you through the old cellars and ends up in an elegant tasting room where the guests sit around a big table and enjoying a guided wine tasting.  The tour concludes in the shop where one has  the opportunity to take the wines he or she finds impressive.

The Old Winemaker House

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Welcome to Israel Wine Tour, Israel’s top wine & vinyeard tour company. We pride ourselves with the relationship we have established with Israel’s finest wine makers and our ability to create memorable experiences ranging from large and established wineries, through the boutique wineries that have resurrected in the past 23 years in Israel.

Join us in visiting an ancient wine press dating back for over 2100 years , enjoy incredible off the beaten path vista points and taste some of Israel’s award winning wines. Contact us to book your tour. Check our Schedule page for additional information.