Last week we were at the annual Wine & Plenty festival at Ramat Hanadiv. Thankfully, the weather was kind to us and we enjoyed a cool evening in marked contrast to the rest of the week. Being summer we were mostly interested in tasting whites and rose wines, and were not disappointed.
Specifically, we must give credit to Carmel Winery for their 2 Vats Rose 2016, a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Mourvedre which at 55 Shekels is not just a lovely and refreshing wine but also best value for money. We also loved Somek Winery's 2016 Rose. Hila and Barak Dahan create a complex yet delicate wine from Grenache and Syrah grapes from their own nearby vineyard. It is a 70 Shekel wine that starts fresh and fruity but finishes with herbal notes leaving you wanting more.
The third Rose we recommend is Amphorae's 2016 Blanc de Noir. Coming in slightly higher at 79 Shekels this is still a great summer wine blended from the juice of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. This refreshing light wine has just a tinge of color and is full of fruit flavors and aromas.
Amongst the whites two wines stood out, both of which would pair well with local spicy and flavorful food. Rami Bar-Maor's 2015 Riesling has a harmonious balance between high acidity, lemon-lime aromas and a fruity palate. This well-structured wine should age well. Rami is one of the winemakers most dedicated to promoting the local terroir and is at the forefront of the attempts to officially designate the area as Bikat Hanadiv.
Hai Vortman, of Vortman Winery, brought his 2015 Shfeya Valley, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from his vineyard just north of Zikhron Yaakov. This is truly a summer wine and sells for 70 Shekels. We would also have liked to taste Hai's Colombard, hailed as one of the best in the country, but for this we will have to go to the winery.
Unfortunately we were unable to give the red wines the attention they deserved but look forward to visiting, amongst others, Simon Winery, Argov Winery, Eyal Winery and Arens Winery to catch up on their new reds.
Wine & Plenty is a well-run and attractive regional festival dedicated to promoting local terroir and wineries. To make this more accessible, though, it would be nice to have the option of getting there by train to nearby Binyamina with a festival shuttle bus from the station available for visitors from the North and Center of the country.
Photos by David Silverman. Copyright © 2017 dpsimages. All Rights Reserved