Thanks to a car-having friend I had the opportunity to visit three wineries during my recent too short trip to Israel. Tzora Vineyards was not only my first winery visit in Israel, it was also my first kibbutz. As we went straight to the winery, I had a pretty limited experience on the kibbutz. Luckily and most importantly I had more time at the winery itself.
Tzora Vineyards grapes have plots in several places in the Judean Hills on man made terraces. Limestone soils, cold winters, summer mists, and diurnal temperature variations create a perfect environment for growing quality grapes.
Those quality grapes are used in Tzora’s three different wine styles: the flagship Misty Hills, single vineyard Shoresh red, blanc, and Or (dessert), and regional blend Judean Hills red and blanc. All of which are kosher.
Unfortunately the day we visited Tzora Vineyards did not have any of their white wines in stock. We did however get to taste several of the 2014-2015 reds including their flagship Misty Hills.
Tzora Vineyards 2014 Misty Hills Tasting Notes:
Misty Hills is Tzora’s flagship wine. It is a big (15% abv) and fruity wine made with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Syrah. The palate had lots of black fruits, predominantly ripe blackberries, some pepper, and spice with firm tannins and a medium finish.
While there were some nice flavors on the palate the 2014 Misty Hills is definitely young. To me it seems like it could use some more time in the bottle to fully develop. More bottle time would soften the tannins and most of all show off more of the oak.
Much as I wanted to plunk down my card and buy one of everything I had to consider my travel weight allowance. While I bought extra weight there’s still a limit to how many wines you can pack and still be within 30 kilos! (That’s about 10 bottles more or less.)
I did buy a bottle of the 2015 Shoresh (red) and one of the 2015 Or. In addition I picked up a gorgeous book: The Wine Route of Israel. Happily all three items made it back to Istanbul with me. Therefore look for tasting notes on the Shoresh and Or, coming soon!