When thinking of wine regions of the world, Israel is not necessarily at the top of my list and that is my oversight. As I’ve discovered the Israeli wines are emerging quite well in today’s market and none more so than those from Psagot’s Winery, founded in 2003 by Yaakov Berg.
Psagot’s Winery produces eight different wines including single vineyards designates and range in price from around $18 to $65. By 2013, production had increased to 200,000 bottles with a large amount being exported to countries around the world in search of good award winning kosher wine.
The vineyards are rooted in limestone terraces that are nine hundred meters above sea level in the “Psagot” settlement in Binyamin. In 2008, the winery relocated to its new location in the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood right outside Jerusalem. The stone structure winery overlooks the Kelt Wadi and the mountains of Edom. This provides a beautiful view for visitors who wish to enjoy tasting the Psagot varietals in a lovely surrounding.
Whereas I was not fortunate enough to visit the winery, I indeed had the pleasure of tasting Psagot’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. It is a firmly structured red that carries flavors of blackberry and plum. It has a fine balance, which lends a mellow texture with the berry flavors. A true wine aficionado could undoubtedly uncover move flavors, but my guests these are what were prevalent to my guests and I.
For those who know me well, they know that when I do wine tasting, it is usually a two-ounce pour and that is it. We served Psagot’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 at a dinner and I had several refills and would have had more if any remained. This wine was so smooth and memorable; we all were enamored with it. I am eager to try more, as well as the different varietals the winery offers.
To quote a paragraph from Psagot Winery, “The tradition behind Israeli wines.”
“Special mention should be given to Israeli wineries that have taken upon themselves the duty to continue the Jewish traditions of old. The land of Israel has a rich and fascinating history of wine-making, starting with the old wine makers who lived in biblical times and climbing all the way to the high-tech wineries of modern times. The wineries that protect the old traditions still make use of ancient and unique wine cultivation and fermentation practice. Psagot winery is one such winery. Founded on a pastoral mountain near Jerusalem Psagot winery cultivates its grapes on ancient limestone in an ideal sunny area that served as the cradle of wine-cultivation in biblical times. The grapes absorb flavors and fragrances unique to the Mediterranean region and are later aged inside an underground cave, which was used for wine-making since ancient times. The workers at Psagot winery go to great lengths to make
“Sure their wine retains its old roots. Even though high-tech machinery is used to monitor the humidity and heat the grapes are exposed to they are still picked and transferred by hand with the loving care that befits boutique crops. The result is a fruity heavy wine that has won Psagot several international accolades; including awards at the Terravino, Vinalies and Vinos wine competitions. The success of Psagot worldwide competes the cycle that began in the 70s and 80s. Not only are these kosher wines created in Israel, they are even manufactured using the traditional methods that the Israeli ancestors used long ago to make their own wine products. A wine right with the fragrance of history and yet refined and gentle in ways only modern technology can aid to reach. That is the wine Psagot winery prides itself on offering. “
Psagot wine is well-known among kosher wines. But I think it will soon become a favorite and hold its own among great wines in general. It is not like me to make so a bold statement, as I’m by no means an expert. However, this wine did win over my taste buds and make a fine lasting impression.
If and when you try out Psagot, I would enjoy hearing you feedback.