The Tishbi family is one of the oldest players in the Israeli wine industry. After emigrating from Europe in 1882 and settling in the town of Zamarin, the Tishbi’s (who were then known the Chamiletzkis) began planting vineyards on the slopes of the Carmel Mountain.
In 1887, at the request of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild (who was also owner of Chateau Laffite and no stranger to the wine industry) the village was renamed Zichron Yaacov in memory of his father Jacob.
Almost a century later, in 1985 Jonathan Tishbi, 4th generation to a family of vintners from Shefaya, just north of Zichron Yaacov, established the winery under the name ‘HaBaron’ (Hebrew for 'The Baron'), in honor of Baron Rothschild. Later on, the winery was given its current name, Tishbi.
My favorite wines by Tishbi include their exclusive wines (both the red and the Chardonnay – and yes, I know that the 2007 has a screw top instead of a cork) from the Jonathan Tishbi Reserve series. While I found the red wines from the Vineyard Series to be somewhat disappointing, in my opinion the winery’s Merlot Estate (especially from the 2005 vintage) to be among the top in its price range. I also enjoyed the light, semi dry French Riesling. Serve chilled on a warm afternoon and I’m sure (or at least hope) that even those of you who don’t usually drink wine find this one approachable ant tasty.
A couple of years ago Jonathan’s daughter Oshra Tishbi also joined the winery, offering an exclusive line of gourmet food products. Under the brand name “Fine Foods by Oshra Tishbi”, the winery now offers an assortment of natural jams and fruit preserves, extra virgin organic olive oil, pure honey, tehina, as well as a unique line of wine jellies.
The wine jellies, available in 5 different flavors including: Port, Chardonnay, Cabernet-Petite Sirah, will definitely upgrade your kitchen. In cooking, try substituting 2 tbsp of jelly for a glass of wine, the outcome is pretty impressive. The honey and olive oil are also of good quality; however I was slightly disappointed with the natural fig preserves, apparently the jam also includes cranberries which in my opinion don’t go well with the figs. Overall most of the products are very tasty and will serve as a great gift when invited out to a dinner party or holiday meal.