If you are interested in seeing Israel and nature, wine making and tasting, I would be happy to arrange a wine tour. Today we toured the Carmel area and Lower Galilee with some great views of mountains and valleys visiting 4 wineries: Tishbi, Amphorae, Tulip and Yiftah’el.
A wineries tour is a special way to experience a piece of Israel today and learn about Israel in the 1880s and the impact of the Baron de Rothschild on its development.
The Tishbi Estate winery is a family run business established in 1984 offering 4 series of wines: Special Reserve, Estate, Vineyard and Series. The business is based on a tradition going back to 1882 when Michael Chamiletzki arrived in Zichron, settled in the nearby town of Shefeya and started growing grapes commissioned by Rothschild. The winery also makes a fine brandy. There is a kosher dairy restaurant and visitor’s center that besides wine sells a line of fine foods by Oshra Tishbi: wine jellies, fruit preserves, honey, olive oil and tehina (also organic).
The Amphorae winery is situated by the Maharal River where it crosses the Shirr valley, part of Makura ranch that grows organic Merlot grapes, olives and lichee. The winery buildings of native limestone fieldstone were designed by well-known architect Diego Grasso who has designed wineries in northern Italy.
The Itzhaki family founded the Tulip winery in 2003 on Kfar Tikva, a residential community for adults with disabilities and special needs thereby making it part of a unique project to help enable these adults to reach their full potential. Tulip helps to support and contribute to the community. Tulip sponsored a contest for artwork from people with disabilities and the winning entry graces the label of one of their premier wines. Tulip is located next to Bet Shearim and the Sheikh Abrek ridge where the sculpture of Alexander Zaid, one of the founders of HaShomer (the Watchman organization), overlooks the Jezreel valley.
Yiftah’el grows its own grapes, more unusual varieties, Petite Sira, Shiraz and Sangovese and makes it wine on Alon HaGalil. The visitor’s centre, which also sells honey from wildflowers, citrus, plum, clover and carob, is housed in a small cabin that was imported from Appalachia by an American who shipped it to Israel when he made aliyah.
It is worth including a visit to Zichron Yaakov, the HaMizgaga museum where no less than Meir Dizengoff (later mayor of Tel Aviv) was in charge of the glass factory making wine bottles and the park at Ramat HaNadiv where the Baron and his wife are buried.