Thursday, February 20, 2014

Making your vacation a winetastic time

On most international tours you are taken to historic places, museums, or cultural sites where everyone is taken.

But on several of my or my friends trips we  have gotten to go on more interesting tours. Some of the most interesting are to local wineries or breweries.

Here are a few examples that you may want to consider on your next trip:

  • Take an organized tour of several wineries I have done this in Australia and Israel and can recommend that you take a look at:


Israel Wine Tours for personalized tours of the various regions where wine is made in Israel:

Judean Hills Wine Tours

Sample Itinerary : Drive towards the biblical Wine Country of Judean Hills and disscuss the wine history of the are with a Wine Expert. Begin the tour at a nicely preserved off the beaten path 2,100 year old Wine Press.
Continue to Tzuba Boutique Winery, where we will meet Wine Maker Paul Dubb, tour the winery and hear about the wine making process. End by tasting 4-5 of Tzuba’s outstanding wines. Next we will continue to the Agur Boutique winery to meet up with Shuki Yashuv (owner and winemaker.) Shuki is a master Blender of wines and a very colorful person, guaranteeing an unforgettable tasting experience. Lunch
Our next stop will be Tzora Winery, considered one of the “top 8” wineries in Israel. Taste 3-4 excellent wines that often include a dessert wine that ranked 92 points with Robert Parker!
We then Travel through one of the most beautiful roads in Israel ending up at an off the beaten path “Tuscany In Judean Hills” vista point.

    Carmel Region Wine Tours

    Sample Itinerary: Head north towards the Carmel Region. On route our Wine Expert will discuss the wine history of the land of Israel and how it evolved through the years. What makes a wine Kosher ? wine politics in Israel Etc.
    Drive to the boutique winery Tulip located in Kfar Tikva – Village of Hope ;  This is an excellent winery and probably the only winery in the world that employs people with special needs. Taste 4-6 wines,  and and meet the employees of the winery.
    We than proceed to the beautiful town Zichron Ya’akov – a quaint Carmel Mountain town and the home of Carmel Winery where we will Visit Somek Winery, a small estate winery owned by a fifth generation vintner.  At  Somek, all wines are handmade using old world techniques to produce their critically acclaimed wines. Meet the winemaker and taste 3- 4 wines
    We will then Stroll the beautiful Zichron Ya’akov promenade and enjoy lunch at one of the terrific restaurants there.
    After lunch , we will Visit Ramat Hanadiv, The Rotshield Estate Botanical Garden
    Drive north to Kerem-Maharl home of the Makura organic farm and Amphorae Winery. Amphorae is one of the most beautiful Wineries in Israel. Designed by an Italian architect and built in 2005, the winery is a large Tuscan style winery and employes the world famous winemaker Michel Rolland as an adviser. Tour the facilities and taste Amphorae’s award winning wine.

     Israel Microbrewery Tour

    Small independent and traditional, the Israeli craft beer industry is going through a renaissance period in recent years. In the Judean Hills alone, there are a dozen Microbreweries in various sizes and styles. Haifa and the Carmel region are no different. Much like a wine tour, we will select three breweries, throw in incredible vista points and top it all off with gourmet dining. Microbreweries that we frequent include:
    Abeer Haela
    Buster’s Cider
    Laughing Buddah


    While visiting Sydney we went on Gray Line Tours Hunter Valley Gardens tour:

    World acclaimed Australian wines from the vineyards of the rolling hills and valleys of the Hunter region, delight both the palate and the eye in this green and fertile land dotted with villages and over fifty wineries. The Hunter Valley is Australia's oldest commercial wine producing district with over 7000 acres under vine. Famous wine styles include semillon, shiraz, chardonnay, gewurztraminer, cabernet sauvignon and earthy pinot noirs

    • Three Wine Tastings
    • Winery Tour
    • Two Course Lunch

    Also, while visiting Kobe Japan I was able to visit the KOBE SHU-SHIN-KAN BREWERY
    The KOBE SHU-SHIN-KAN BREWERY, established in 1751, is located in the "NADA" district of Kobe, Japan, an area which has been acknowledged for centuries as the best for the production of Japanese sake. The quality of the locally grown Japanese rice and the purity of the water filtered from streams high in the Rokko Mountains; these are special blessings as they are essential to the brewing of sake. The cold winds which blow across the Rokko Mountains are also helpful.
    Friends have done part of the Whisky Trail in Scotland others have gone to Guinness brewery in Ireland.

    I have gone to wineries in the USA (Bully Hill), Israel (see above), Australia (also see above), Italy (that is another blog post), and intend to continue when the opportunity presents itself. I suggest that you keep your eyes open for similar interesting opportunities.

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