The list of winners of the Best Value Wines of Israel in 2013 were announced this morning in Tel Aviv. This was the fifth year of the awards, started in 2009, and these awards lead up to the Golden Cluster Awards later in the year that will cover wines from any price range but generally reflect more expensive wines.

The timing isn’t coincidental and gives consumers lots of options for using Israeli wines while celebrating Passover with the time between Purim and Passover being the time Israeli wines are in highest demand.

All the winners except one as noted are kosher and all Israeli kosher wines are also kosher for Passover.

Hopefully, these awards will give Israeli wines a needed boost in sales for the holidays in contrast to kosher for Passover wines from other wines regions or against non-kosher/non-Israeli wines if certain consumers wouldn’t try an Israeli wine otherwise.

Of course, additionally these awards provide an incentive for wine shops and restaurants to carry these wines to sell by the glass or the bottle for their regular customers throughout the year.

According to the organizers, theses awards are the only wine competition in the world where the 5 largest producers (Carmel, Barkan, Golan Heights, Teperberg & Binyamina)  of the region participate in and of the 168 wines entered only 1 of the 17 Gold Medals went to a boutique winery, Vortman (12,000 bottles/year-non kosher) although the larger boutique Mony Winery also received two silver for their 2011 Mony Chardonnay Reserve & their 2012 Muscat Dessert Wine.

Entry into the competition is free for wineries who submit three bottles  of each wine for consideration. Only the winners pay after winning an award which should encourage newer wineries to take a chance to enter since winning should pay for itself in promotional value.

Considering an overwhelming amount of the entries came from wineries producing hundreds of thousands or even millions of bottles of wine, Vortman & Mony proved that boutique wineries shouldn’t surrender the producing of good value wines in Israel as the exclusive domain of commercial wineries

The 17 Gold Medal Winners were

White wines:

Chardonnay 2011 Gamla Chardonnay, Golan Heights

Sauvignon Blanc            2012 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama-gir

Aromatic Whites              2012 Tabor Gewurztraminer

Other White Varietals       2011 Carmel Viognier, Private Collection

White Blend              2012 Yarden Mount Hermon White, Golan Heights

Rosé                             2012 Teperberg 1870 Rosé, Silver

White wine up to 50 ₪ 2011 Carmel Viognier, Regional

Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon, Terra Rossa

Merlot                           2009 Teperberg 1870 Merlot, Terra series

Syrah / Shiraz              2012 Recanati Shiraz

Other Reds                   2009 Carmel Cabernet Franc, Regional

Bordeaux Blend           2011 Vortman Chambord (non-kosher)

Freestyle Blend            2010 Galil Mountain Alon

Red wine under 50 ₪   2010 Golan Cabernet Sauvignon, Golan Heights

Sweet wines

Sweet Wines                2012 Golan Moscato, Golan Heights

Sparkling wines

under 49 ₪                    2012 Tabor Pearl White

under 79 ₪                     NV Gamla Brut, Golan Heights