My “Tasting Notes”
Name: The Wine Route of Israel
Winery: Eliezer Sacks, Adam Montefiore, and Yaron Goldfisher published by Cordinata Publishing House
Vintage: Fourth Edition
Appearance: This beautifully crafted coffee table book is full of eye catching color photographs of the vineyards, wineries and winemakers of Israel. The varied landscapes of Israel jump off the pages — desert, mountains and sea — visually reminding the reader how Israeli winemakers have managed to create wine in every inch of this little country. Flipping through the book, you will see many labels and logos that you recognize from the supermarket, alongside some of Israel’s greatest hidden treasures. Each winery is accompanied by a map, orienting you in a particular wine region of Israel and inviting you to take a trip and come visit.
First Aromas: The introductory pages of The Wine Route of Israel are filled with captivating overviews of some of the most important and lesser known topics in Israeli wine, including a fascinating survey of the history of Israeli wine from biblical Noah’s first vineyard through the modern Israeli wine revolution. Additional articles on the role of wine in ancient civilizations and the early wineries of the old city of Jerusalem in the nineteenth century frame today’s current reality in historical context, showing the reader how Israeli winemakers are bringing the traditions of the past into an exciting new industry.
Secondary Aromas: The introduction also provides the reader with invaluable information to help decode the various terms and descriptions found on an average bottle of Israeli wine. What are the unique characteristics of each grape growing region in Israel? How did the different varietals end up here? What makes wine Kosher? How do Israeli wines measure up in the international wine scene? These articles are also accompanied by practical information, such as tasting tips and a glossary of terms.
Body: The bulk of the book dedicates each page to reviewing a different Israeli winery, covering almost every one of the several hundred wineries from the Golan Heights down to the Negev Desert, organized according to region. Every article provides the history of the winery, the winemaker’s personal story, an overview of the wines produced, as well as contact information.
The Wine Route of Israel includes reviews of both the large wineries whose names have become synonymous with Israeli wine, as well as boutique, makeshift wineries run out of people’s living rooms. The wineries are located in every corner of the country, some in major cities that you might pass everyday on your way to work, while others are in rural peripheries of the country that you could visit on a family trip. Either way, this book covers them all. The information is detailed and comprehensive, yet geared toward the general public and accessible to anyone with an interest in Israeli wine.
Finish: The Wine Route of Israel concludes with a window into today’s wine culture in Israel, including information about the best places to purchase, experience and learn about wine.
Score: 96. This book is one of a kind – it is thorough, beautiful and well organized, laying out a tremendous amount of valuable information in an easily accessible manner. While I do feel like it would be helpful and interesting to include professional tasting notes for each winery, I recognize that it may be beyond the scope of this book. The Wine Route of Israel is primarily geared towards the general public, aiming to promote Israel’s budding wine culture. Those looking for a more critical lens, might need to look elsewhere to satisfy their interests. Israel’s rapidly progressing wine industry is one of the country’s best kept secrets, and The Wine Route of Israel is our stage to start spreading the word.
Price: The Wine Route of Israel is sold in stores and wineries throughout the country for 149 NIS. However, as a special launch offer for my readers, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org saying that you would like to place an order, and you will receive your copy for only 100 NIS, including free shipping anywhere within Israel. If you are looking for an impressive gift for someone for the upcoming holidays, this is it.