Great Wine with a Greater Purpose
by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence
The robust local wine scene is surprising for most visitors in Israel. The wines are produced by passionate and committed vintners in vineyards that vary in size, the varietals grown and combined and the techniques utilized. Quality wines abound to please any palate. One vineyard stands out, not only for the quality of its wines, but also for its social mission.
Allow me to introduce you to Tulip - Boutique Winery located in northern Israel by Kiryat Tivon. The Yitzhaki family established the winery 15 years ago, adjacent to The Village of Hope: K’far Tikva. The village is situate on a pastoral hilltop and provides lodging, employment and social life for about 200 adults with special needs. The village is run by a dedicated professional staff that is supported by Israeli high school graduates who volunteer there for a year prior to their mandatory military service. My niece has been a volunteer there for the past several months and speaks highly of her experience with warmth and appreciation.
The winery employs residents of the village in different capacities based on their abilities, shares with visitors stories of the residents and offers for sale crafts created by them. Their vision and story is proudly shared on their website.
On a recent trip to Israel, I visited my niece at the village and following a walk in the green and manicured village, decided to stop in for a spontaneous wine tasting. Now, the wine… delicious! I had the pleasure of sampling the Mediterranean Approach - Israeli Art (MAIA) series. They are named in Latin: “Mare” - meaning ocean, typically followed by an indication of color . The knowledgeable pourer and guide, Gal Brender, relayed the story of this newer vineyard and the vision behind it. This series was created to reflect the Israeli Mediterranean coast and its spirit. Specific varietal were selected, that will thrive in the Israeli climate and will reflect the minerality and briny taste of its shore. Your palate will bloom with the flavors of the Mediterranean, like mine did, whether you choose the Mare White, Pink, Red or the Mare Nostrum (Our Sea).
So, on your next visit to Israel, make sure to put Tulip Winery on your schedule and enjoy delicious wine in a beautiful setting. How often do you get to raise a glass of great wine that serves an even greater purpose?