(photo credit: SHMUEL BAR-AM)
To celebrate the end of the harvest season, the wineries of the Judean Hill
region are teaming up for month-long festivities in which they will offer
an array of tourist attractions throughout the area.
Stretching from the coastal plain to the foothills of the Jerusalem
region is home to a cluster of 25 boutique wineries, some of them the
nation’s best. This is the most organized wine region in the country, with its
own wine route and where the establishments are marketed as a group. However,
most of the wineries are medium-to-small operations without established visitor
centers, so the festival events are a great opportunity for both wine
connoisseurs and would-be wine lovers to explore some of the area’s most
The charming setting and unique wine-growing conditions have earned the Judea
region a reputation as one of the country’s fine wine-producing regions.
The Judean wine route takes you on an adventure along hillsides and deep
valleys with picturesque landscapes and panoramic vistas. This is one of the
most scenic routes in the country where visitors can not only travel through
forests and vineyards, but sip award-winning wines and enjoy country dining
During the next three weekends, the different establishments in the area will
present a variety of interesting events for the whole family: from horseback
riding through the vineyards and bicycle and jeep trails across the hills,
to lectures, movies and wine tastings at the different establishments. Festival
guests will be able to learn about traditional and modern winemaking and meet
the devoted winemakers and vintners of the region.
One of the festival highlights is the terroir (soil and climate) workshop
conducted by Eran Pik, a winemaker at Tzora winery. The workshop will begin
at the winery’s Shoresh
vineyard where participants will walk between the
different plots and learn about the topography of the vineyard, the soil and the
climate, and how it affects the vine. From there the tour will continue to the
winery at Kibbutz Tzora where participants will sample some of the
estate’s produce accompanied by hors d’oeuvres.
Other attractions include a morning tour of the Kibbutz Tzova vineyards and
a visit to Tzova — the region’s youngest winery, followed by a grand brunch
at the Tzova Hotel overlooking the Judean hills.
Avi Yehuda, the vintner of Yehuda winery, will host a wine tasting at his
small establishment at Moshav Shoresh. Yehuda will talk about the history
of winemaking in the area, which dates back to biblical times, and about wines
of the new world.
At his winery in Moshav Messilat Zion, Yossi Katz invites the crowds to dance
to the sounds of the Sixties and South American
Area hotels, including Neveh Ilan, Yad Hashmona, Tzova, Shoresh, Ma’aleh
Hahamisha and Neveh Shalom, are offering attractive deals for festival