“Medium to full bodied and with a dark almost garnet color, this Cab is showing generous aromas and flavors of black fruits, particularly plums and black berry fruits with a touch of oak…” Yonatan Sternberg pampered himself with fine wine and good food in Northern Israel.
A couple of weeks ago I felt like I just needed to get away for a few days. After making several phone calls, I decided to head up north and spend the weekend in the Galilee. The Galilee wine region stretches southward from the Lebanese boarder to the Tabor Mountain and is considered to be one of Israel’s top wine regions. The Galilee is divided into four sub-regions: *Tabor*Lower Galilee*Upper Galilee*Golan Heights
This prime wine region is characterized by high altitudes, cool breezes, volcanic basalt soil, and an overall terroir, unique to the Upper Galilee.
I planned out my route, ensuring of course that we pass by a few of the local wineries. After starting off in the Golan we worked our way south towards the Upper Galilee. The upper Galilee is home to the renowned Ben Zimra vineyards which draw wine makers from around the country.
We made reservations at the Amirey Hagalil – resort which is situated along the scenic winding roads which lead from Acco (Acre) to Tzfat (Safed). This country style hotel includes a cozy spa and 17 guestrooms, all offering amazing views from the balconies or the attached private gardens. We also enjoyed the lovely gardens and comfortable sitting areas which are scattered throughout the hotel while sipping on a warm glass of herbal tea. If you are looking for some pampering the spa includes six treatment rooms and an array of unique treatments. The house specialty is the “olive tree treatment” in which pure Galilee olive oil is used to purify, relax, and reenergize the guests.
After recuperating from the massage and bathing in the Jacuzzi we were beginning to get hungry. Chef Gili Altman offers a six course table d’hote dinner. The menu changes daily, according to the season and the fresh produce available in the Galilee markets. When asking Gili about the limitations he faces when cooking in a kosher kitchen he indicated that “as long as you have good wine and fresh herbs he does not see a problem”. We started off with an assortment of salads which included a wonderful white bean (“Balkan”) puree. While for my entr?e I decided to go for the smoked veal with a cabernet and root vegetable glaze which was cooked to perfection.
And now back to the wine, the good food, serenity and the amazing views from the Amirey Hagalil balcony provided a perfect setting for my next bottle.
Kerem Ben Zimra, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005
Tasting Notes: Medium to full bodied and with a dark almost garnet color, this Cab is showing generous aromas and flavors of black fruits, particularly plums and black berry fruits with a touch of oak.
Tip of the week: Food pairingRegional wine and cuisine often mature and influence each other. To that end I try to pair local dishes with local wine when I get the chance.