Israel’s Upper Galilee: A Fine Winegrowing Region

February 6, 2013

A review of the Adir Kerem Ben Zimra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask 4.153, 11-year-old Highland Park.

The Upper Galilee’s lush landscape, meandering streams and magnificent mountain views make it one of Israel’s most attractive winegrowing regions. Noted Israeli wine maven Adam Montefiore has rightly called it, “the Israeli Tuscany or Provence.” This combination of natural beauty and quality wine has made the Upper Galilee a premier wine tourism destination.
The visitors’ center at the award-wining Adir Winery is an ideal location for enjoying the region’s vistas and excellent wines. The winery was established 10 years ago by the Rosenberg and Ashkenazi families, but its first vines were planted decades earlier. The Rosenberg family immigrated to Israel from Poland in the late 1940s, while the Ashkenazi family immigrated to Israel in the early 1950s from Turkey. Moving to the Upper Galilee, they helped settle Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra (founded in 1949). The Rosenbergs began planting grapes on the slopes of the Galilee hills in the late 1980s; meanwhile the Ashkenazi family raised goats in the area and began producing cheese and milk. They combined their efforts in 2003 and founded the Adir Winery and Dairy. The complex houses both winery and dairy, combined at the glitzy visitors’ center.

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