Yonatan Sternberg hits the road going north to the Adir Winery and Dairy, ready to stock his picnic basket with award winning wines and top quality goat cheese.
Situated in the Upper Galilee, the Adir Winery, which started off as a hobby for the Ashkenazi and Rosenberg families has evolved into a quality boutique winery and dairy farm. Yes you read correctly: Adir also offers a variety of exclusive cheeses that can be paired with their wines.
Established in 2003, the winery was rather unknown until it won the award for Best Israeli Wine 2008 at the Terra Vino wine competition. A panel of judges chose Adir's Plato 2005 from a wide array wines, officially placing Adir on the Israeli wine map.
I first sampled the wine in 2008 and thought it very good at the time. A recent re-tasting revealed that while starting to show age, the wine is still quite enjoyable. Plato 2005 is made using 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Shiraz, both from the renowned Kerem Ben Zimra vineyards. The wine is well balanced and offers aromas and flavors of various black fruits, plums, black cherries along with purple flowers and herbs in the background.
I also sampled a couple of the winery's recent offerings. Adir's Shiraz 2008 was launched only three weeks and is already receiving recognition both in Israel and abroad. 100% Shiraz, the wine was aged for 8 months in oak barrels. Dark, almost garnet in color, this medium-full bodied opens with generous black fruits and oak followed by eucalyptus, dark chocolate and warm spices.
Last but not least was the winery's Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2008 vintage. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 12 months in oak barrels, the wine is full bodied, rather fruit forward, showing generous red and black fruits, cloves and some Mediterranean herbs.
While I usually try to focus on wines, Adir's dairy products are definitely worth mentioning. The dairy farm is one of the largest of its kind in the country and all products are based exclusively on goat milk, which comes from a herd of 2000 goats. From excellent creamy yogurts, through a wide variety of both soft and hard cheeses and even premium ice creams, next time you are in the area I highly recommend stocking up on some wine and cheese for the road. Happy Picnicking!
Visitor Center: Tel: 04-6991039