"For many years the winery was known primarily for their sacramental and table wines which offered little interest and sophistication. All this was about to change, however, when California-trained winemaker Shiki Rauchberger took the helm..." Yonatan Sternberg samples a few of Teperberg's new releases and learns that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Established in 1870 by Ze’ev Zeida Teperberg in the alleys of the Jewish Quarter in the Jerusalem's Old City, and after spending several years in Motza, the winery has recently relocated to their newly constructed structure on Kibbutz Tzora at the foothills of the Judean Hills.
For many years the winery went by the name “Efrat”, and was known primarily for their sacramental and table wines which offered little interest and sophistication.
All this was about to change, however, when in 2002, California-trained winemaker Shiki Rauchberger took the helm. The winery began producing wines which offer good value for money, are continually improving and are currently sold at some of the top restaurants and wine stores in Israel.
When speaking to Anat Teperberg, Manager of branding, and a 6th generation member of the original founding family, she mentioned that: "The winery has officially changed its name to Teperberg 1870. We are investing in the latest technology and aim to bring our customers unpretentious, affordable wine, without compromising on quality…"
The Teperberg winery currently produces approximately 4 million bottles per annum, making it one of largest wineries in Israel. The wines are produced in several series including: Teperberg Reserve, Terra, Silver, Teperberg and more.
I recently had the privilege to sample some of the wineries recent releases.
Tasting Notes :Terra, Merlot, 2005Dark impenetrable purple, on the nose and palate the wine is showing generous black and red fruit aromas and flavors balanced nicely by hints of wood. This medium-full bodied red also offers a long and pleasant finish.
The winery recommends serving the wine alongside sharp hard cheeses and rich fish dishes in tomato based sauce.
Terra, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2007A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a small amount of Cabernet Franc, this medium bodied red suggests aromas of plums, cherries and hints of wood all leading to moderate-long finish.
The winery recommends serving this wine with rich lamb stews or roasted duck.
Silver, Late Harvest White Riesling, 2006Produced using 100% late harvest White Riesling grapes, thus ensuring a high sugar content; with shades of straw and gold, this dessert wine offers concentrated aromas of lychees, apricots, honey and white peaches.
In my opinion, at around NIS 40, this is one of the best Israeli dessert wines in its price range.
Tip of the week: “Food pairing”Try pairing sweet dessert wines with fois gras, as the rich, sweet flavors heighten and complement each other.