I had the pleasure of attending an intimate evening with friends and winemakers from a well known Israeli winery. Yotam Sharon and Irit Boxer-Shank, two of the winemakers from Israel’s Barkan winery were in town and joined a group of about 10-15 people for a really cool wine tasting.
In addition to the wines of barkan that they make, they brought some “Segal” wines, made at their sister winery by fellow Israeli winemaker Avi Feldstein.
They brought 9 wines with them, and walked the crowd through each one. Beginning with 2 chardonnays, and then working through reds such as Pinotage, Shiraz, Cab’s & a Merlot. The best wines of the evening were an altitude series (624 – named after the meters above sea level of the vineyard) Cab, a single vineyard Cab by Segals, and the high end Barkan Superior Merlot. The wines were great and the evening was both educational and fun!
The other Israeli wine related story I want to share this evening has to do with an interesting masters thesis researched at the University of Haifa’s Center for Tourism, Pilgrimage and Recreation Research. The student, Noa Hanun, surveyed 254 visitors to wineries across the Northern winemaking regions of Israel.
Sure I find such a thesis in and of itself to be pretty cool. But there were some interesting findings as well. Of most interest to me was that “Fifty-two percent of respondents expressed a strong interest in (wine), while only 22% showed a very high level of knowledge of wines and wine production“.
While I am amazed at the (in my mind) high percentage of those who believe (or showed) a high level of wine knowledge, this further confirms for me the ever expanding interest in wine among those who still admit to having a strong interest while knowing little about wine.
I think this expressed interest is fantastic and my only real comment to these people is to be more confident in their own wine knowledge. Sure they may not have a firm grasp on the technical side of winemaking but as they grow more and more comfortable with wine the most important thing for them to understand is that THEIR PALATE doesn’t lie. And while they can learn more of the technical aspects (should they be so inclined) as long as they know what type/style of wine THEY like than they DO in fact KNOW about wine.
Happy Israeli (winemaker) Wine Tasting & educating!