Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

I am bubbling over with pride and for very good reason.  The winery I’ve worked for for two years, the Golan Heights Winery, just won top honors – the best wine producer in the world – at the Vinitaly International Wine Competition in Verona.

This is awesome, such a coup for Israel, for the winery, for a “new world” winery that is so young (founded in 1983), etc.

The award is given to the producer that has the highest points – tallied from those who have won first prize in at least two individual wine categories.  The two wines that swept their category from the Golan Heights were the 2009 Yarden Chardonnay Odem Organic Vineyard and the 2008 Yarden HeightsWine (dessert Gewurtztraminer).

Chardonnay Odem

Golan HeightsWine

The Golan Heights Winery beat over 1,000 other producers from over 30 countries who submitted over 3,000 wines.  This competition is commonly referred to as the “World Cup” of wine, and it means a great deal that Israel has won.  We’re serious players in the wine world, and now the world, all the world, will recognize it.  No more will I wander Europe and have people not know that Israel makes wine at all.

All Vinitaly Award Results

Articles: (I’m sort of shocked there aren’t more in English and French…)

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If I can muster the energy and discipline, I’m thinking of doing a weekly wine-oriented post. As I’ve been living and breathing nothing but wine, mostly trying to absorb as much knowledge on Bourgognes as fast as possible, I feel like I’m bursting. So without further ado:

Fun things I’ve learned:

  • Bourgogne wine families are, for lack of a better term, incestuous.  You know, like, this famous vinter’s daughter married this other guy from down the road who was an international playboy until his dad died and he had to take over the business who now makes world-class wine, and his sister-in-law’s cousin is the owner of the finest plot of grand cru in Beaune…. And on and on.  Hearing the stories is like watching an episode of 90210.
  • I would really, really, really like the opportunity to try a DRC.  Enough said.
  • I need to give Italian wines more of a chance.  Chianti be damned!  You give Italy a bad name.  No, no, I’m being too harsh.  Still…

Things you should read ASAP because it’s good and informative and entertaining:

Interesting tidbits either said to me or  overheard during a wine tasting I worked last week:

  • You didn’t succeed… (whispered a little old man to me with an evil wink in his eye as he walked out of the shop, not having purchased anything.  This after he told me he doesn’t drink anything but kiddush wine.  Yeah, I want your business, buster.)
  • You succeeded there… (posh middle-aged woman said to attractive 30-something man referring to his 4 year old son.)
  • People without money don’t like good wines… (said a really arrogant 40-something guy buying crap severely-overpriced Spanish Crianza with a fancy gold label.  You tell ’em.)

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The theme for my new year:

Last New Years I was secretly thrilled, relieved, and honestly tickled pink that I had someone to kiss.  Then it ended a month later.

This year, alone as is usually usual, I have a whirlwind day – this is not such a big deal of a holiday in Israel – AND lucky me gets to work wine until 11 pm.

And as is usually usual – I pick through the events of the last year in hopes of convincing myself it was productive/interesting/memorable.  Highlights include:

  • A marvelous inspiring five-day trip to Dublin that changed the focus of my life and led me to learn about and work in wine
  • Italy and a Mediterranean cruise – got to have a 3 week+ vacation with my family.
  • A whirlwind trip to the USA – 6 States in 4 weeks – including a gorgeous visit to Ojai, CA for a wedding, a drop by my old haunt of Milton, DE, and three days of late night Chinese food and chick flicks with my sister in Flushing, NY.  Yes, I said Flushing.
  • I had my novel professionally read over and critiqued.
  • Found an interesting basic little part time job serving/selling/educating people about the finest Israeli wines.
  • Moved downtown in from the remote boredom of suburban sprawl (and lack of public transportation).
  • And I’m sure a lot more…
  • Oh yeah, I turned 30! Had a great party, got over the stigma of being old, of being nowhere near where I thought I would be.

So… as I’ve now taken some 12 hours to complete this post…not having had more than 30 minutes to sit at a time all day…I want to wish you all a very


May it bring prosperity and joy to us all.

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