Visit The Adir Winery For The Wine, Stay For The Food
The Adir Winery | Adir Wines
The Galilee-Based Center is A Must-Visit
The Galilee-Based Center is A Must-Visit
For those traveling to Israel, the visitors’ center at the award-winning Adir Winery is a wonderful booze tourism destination. Between the wine and the dairy products, it is truly a must-visit not only for lovers of wine, but also for foodies. Situated in the Dalton Industrial Park, the center beautifully joins both the winery and dairy components, offering delicious food as well as wine and cheese workshops.
Warmly received by Adir CEO Yossi Rosenberg and his charming and knowledgeable staff during a recent vacation, my family and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. My young children, ages 3½ and 1½, enjoyed running around the back garden and playing in the fountain, while the adults in our party devoured the brunch – fresh salads, goat cheeses and butter, breads, quiches, omelets, and light goat milk frozen yogurt. The accompanying wines were lovely in their own right, and made for excellent pairings, elevating the foods and the experience. Following our meal, I made my way to the bar to do a formal tasting of the entire lineup.
The winery was established in 2003 by the Rosenberg and Ashkenazi families, but its first vines were planted decades earlier. The Rosenberg family immigrated to Israel from Poland in the late 1940s, while the Ashkenazi family immigrated to Israel in the early 1950s from Turkey. Moving to the Upper Galilee (Galil Elyon in Hebrew), they helped settle Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra (founded in 1949). The Rosenbergs began planting grapes on the slopes of the hills of the Galilee in 1988. Meanwhile, the Ashkenazi family began raising goats in the area. They have the largest herd in the country and since 1995, they are the largest in-house manufacturer of goat’s milk. They make top-notch goat cheeses and dairy products.
As both the Ashkanazi’s reputation for dairy farming and the Rosenberg’s status in grape cultivation grew, they decided to team up and combine their efforts. In 2003, they founded the Adir Winery and Dairy. The name Adir means noble or mighty in Hebrew and also incorporates both family names—the Aleph/A of Ashkezani and the Reish/R of Rosenberg.
Grown in vineyards around Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra (kerem is vineyard in Hebrew), and vinified by family winemaker Avi Rosenberg, the Adir wines are uniformly good to excellent, and well worth seeking out and trying.
Adir produces eight different wines, released in four series: Kerem Ben Zimra, “a,” Plato, and dessert.
Imported to the United States by Red Garden Imports, here are four current Adir Winery wines to seek out and enjoy:
Adir, Kerem Ben Zimra, Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee, Israel, 2014 ($40): This is a stylishly big wine with dark fruit, red cherry, and herbal aromas that move easily into lush flavors of currants, plum, cassis, and raspberries, with some graphite, oak, and mild spiciness leading into the pleasing finish. Though young, it is hugely enjoyable now and will be even more approachable in three years, after the various components have melded together a bit more.
Adir, Kerem Ben Zimra, Shiraz, Galilee, Israel, 2014 ($40): leading with bright red berry fruits and mild spice notes, this is aromatic, with hints of black pepper, violets, black cherries, and plums. An herbal streak rides refreshingly through the palate, lending a lighter element to the overall complexity and sophistication of this charming if slightly reserved Shiraz.
Adir, “a”, R, Galilee, Israel, 2013 ($60): the label is a touch confusing at first, but this “a” series red blend (hence the R on the label, as opposed to the W for the white blend) is a big, bold, fabulous, juicy marriage of 60% shiraz, 30% cabernet sauvignon, and 10% cabernet franc, offering delicious black pepper, cherry-berry notes, cassis, and a slightly intriguing green pepper element. It is a magnificent concentration of flavors and superb balance, and will benefit from additional short-term cellaring to tame the profile a bit, but is great now. Pricy but good.
Adir, Plato, Galilee, Israel, 2013 ($85): this enjoyable and absorbing blend of 92% cabernet sauvignon and 8% shiraz starts a tad sweet on the nose, before opening to reveal a complex, muscular beauty with rich and extravagant berry fruits, tons of meaty aromas, and vibrant floral characteristics. It is perhaps a touch too internationally styled as a “big” wine to capture the local terroir as well as the other wines in the Adir lineup, but it is no less enjoyable for it. With a bit more time in bottle, this one might come into its own a little more. Though pricy, it is a delicious and hedonistic pleasure to drink—preferably with a big, meaty meal and good company. L’Chaim!