Margalit is a family winery built on the twin pillars of passion and science. Established in 1989 by father-and-son Yair and Asaf Margalit, they launched their first wine in 1991. After some years of producing their wines in an agricultural building surrounded by etrog orchards, the winery was relocated a few years ago to new quarters in Binyamina, a short drive from two of their three vineyards. With their attention to detail and passion for elegant wines, Margalit is considered one of the leading boutique wineries in Israel.
Dr. Yair Margalit, a physical chemist by profession, is a pioneer in elevating the science of winemaking in Israel. He is the author of three books, which are used worldwide as textbooks in the wine industry and in the academic studies of oenology and vinification.
Since its founding Margalit has specialized in the main Bordeaux varieties with Merlot,
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in its Enigma blend and Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah (Durif) in its Special Reserve. They also release a Cabernet Sauvignon annually as well as Cabernet Franc when the quality warrants it.
After he graduated from the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot, Asaf Margalit spent time gaining experience in Californian wineries. Today he serves as Margalit's winemaker and with his father's input, is leading the winery to new directions. In recent years they have planted Riesling vines for a future limited production and this year will see the launch of a new label - Paradigma GSM - a blend of Sirah, Grenache and Mourvedre from their youngest vineyard in Zichron Ya'akov. Also in the works is a
Petit Verdot single vineyard and perhaps a Chardonnay.
Rami Livne is the third person of the Margalit team. He is a former printer and graphics expert who changed his profession and turned to wine-making and education. In addition to working at Margalit he also lectures at the wine-making school at Tel-Hai College.
Year after year I return to Margalit's vineyards to photograph the harvest, and whenever possible, join them at the winery for the bi-weekly barrel topping when all the wines are tasted to follow their progress as they mature in the barrel towards blending and bottling.
Margalit has constantly maintained production at around 19,500 bottles a year and from the 2015 harvest are reaching a milestone 25,000 bottles. Their wines can be found in the best restaurants and leading wine stores. They are reputed for maintaining a low profile - they winery does not regularly receive visitors but does open its doors from time to time for limited tasting events and they have little social media presence. They let their wines talk for themselves. For more information contact their marketing manager Oded Shoham at 054-652-0604 (+972-54-652-0604 from outside Israel).
Photos by David Silverman. Copyright © 2017 dpsimages. All Rights Reserved