“Try pairing sweet dessert wines with a peach tart, ripe fruits or mild blue cheeses…” Yonatan Sternberg offers insight into the Teperberg tradition and their new, reasonably priced, dessert wine.
Very few wineries in Israel can boast over 130 years of family tradition. Established in 1870 by Ze’ev Zida Teperberg in the alleys of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City, this was one of the first (if not the first) commercial wineries in Israel.
After spending over 30 years in Jerusalem’s Motza neighborhood, the winery has recently relocated to their newly constructed structure on Kibbutz Tzora at the foothills of the Judean Hills. Today, over a century later, the winery is managed by members of the 5th and 6th generation of the Teperberg family.
For many years the winery went by the name “Efrat”, and was known primarily for producing relatively low end table wines, grape juice and wine for religious purposes, which offered little interest or sophistication.
All this was about to change, however, when in 2002, California-trained winemaker Shiki Rauchberger took the helm. Since, the winery has been undergoing a constant transformation process. Teperberg began producing wines offering good value for money, are continually improving and are currently sold at some of the top restaurants and wine stores in Israel and abroad.
The Teperberg winery currently produces over 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.
Most quality desert wines on the market are relatively high priced, due to the costly production process. Teperberg offers an affordable alternative with their - Silver, Late Harvest White Riesling (produced in 2006 and 2007). In my opinion, sold at around NIS 40, this is one of the best Israeli dessert wines in its price range.
By leaving the grapes to hang from their vines late into the harvest season (hence, the term late harvest), certain liquids evaporate giving the grapes a much higher sugar content by the time the winery harvests them for crushing, resulting in a sweet and concentrated nectar. Try pairing sweet dessert wines with a peach tart, ripe fruits or mild blue cheeses.
Another interesting wine by Teperberg is their blended wine titled "Meritage"; Tasting notes to come in one of my next articles.