Your behind-the-scenes look into Israeli Wine Direct and the re-emerging Israeli wine scene!
It's finally (somewhat) warm and sunny here in Chicago...which means I am wildly breaking out the Rose!
A new shipment of wine I import just arrived from Israel and it contains a tiny order of 240 bottles of the first Rose I have ever imported from one of Israel's newest wineries, Shvo Vineyards.
French-trained winemaker Gaby Sadan is one of the most talented winemakers in Israel. His winery is the only natural winery there, relying on all-natural yeasts and limited human intervention all the way round. He received his formal winemaking training at The University of Dijon in France and after returning to Israel worked on the winemaking team at the Golan Heights Winery.
I met Gaby (and his 11-year old dog and his truck) last summer. We spent the day traipsing through his vineyards, located at high elevation in the far north of the country facing Lebanon. Much of his vineyards rely on a bush-vine system (versus draping vines across metal wires) common in some other parts of the world but unique in Israel. As we walked and talked I could see he had a personal relationship with nearly each vine, showing me how grapes from nearby areas could nevertheless taste significantly different, explaining how the precise combinations of wind, slope and sky come together into taste associated with a particular place, what the French call terroir.
We stood in the old former apple-packing warehouse he's transformed into Shvo Vineyards winery (named after his mother) and tasted barrel samples from his beautifully organized barrel room (including a slow-ferm chenin blanc I am now obsessed with) and then several wines already bottled.
One wine of Gaby's I fell in love with (and had tasted a day before in Tel Aviv's restaurant Coffee Bar) was a Rose made entirely from Barbera grapes - an amazing food wine - which in Gaby's hands has become the color of a salmon sunrise and manages to generously fill every bit of your mouth with a handful of ripe berries. The wine, frankly, astonished me.
My challenge is I took all his remaining inventory of this wine, a mere 240 bottles (and at least 24 are heading for my cellar!).
That leaves 216 wines I can share.
[Since I sent an email on this to our mailing list, we are down to 100 bottles!!!!]
For now, the wine is NOT going up on the website. I am making it available only to our followers and this mailing list.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this wine as a liquid discovery from off-the-map and deep within the boutique Israeli wine scene you have yet to even hear about. I have tasted nothing like this from Israel to date.
You can ACQUIRE this wine as follows (all packages include ground shipping and tax):
3 bottles = $75
6 bottles = $139
12 bottles = $264
.....and you can ONLY ORDER it by emailing me at email@example.com or calling me personally at 847-924-5523.
I need your help.
There is an adventure inside each bottle of wine I import.
I mean it.
Hand-made wines contain stories about their place, and their people and about the specific challenge of a particular vintage and how it was overcome.
Nothing is better at capturing such stories to share with on-line friends than videos from the region.
Sometimes these stories get lost behind the wine, stuck inside the bottle. They're like genies needing someone to rub their bottle so they can break loose and reveal themselves.
So....I am teaming up with my import pals from Negev Nectars to hire this summer a videographer based in Israel to work with us to tell the stories of the farmers and winemakers (the best winemakers are farmers, too, by the way) we work with.
Can you help us?
Here's a little write-up my pal Caitlin from Negev Nectars penned describing what we're looking for:
"We are searching for a videographer/content developer to create a series of videos for our website. The candidate must provide their own equipment and have the ability to travel around Israel and visit each of the farms/wineries that we import products from, as well as perform video shoots alone (or with minimal support). Each video should contain interviews, tours, highlight the production process and final product, and be less than three minutes in length. The candidate should be experienced at sourcing music and editing music into video as appropriate. Fluency in both Hebrew and English is a must."
Email me if you know someone or are someone who can do this up in a BIG way for us...the farmers and winemakers of Israel deserve to have their stories told.
or call me 866-469-8708