Northern exposure

Operating at the Barkan Wineries in Kibbutz Hulda, Segal produces more than 1.5 million bottles annually.

pouring wine glass 88 (photo credit: )
pouring wine glass 88
(photo credit: )
Formerly known as Ashkelon Wines, which was established in the 1950s by Segal brothers, the Segal winery catered to the upper class until the mid 1980s with wines from its Ashkelon Reserve and Ben-Ami series. In 2001, Segal was bought by Barkan Wineries, which kept its name and appointed Avi Feldstein to head the winemaking team. Segal winery scouted the country for the best grape-growing regions and planted some quality vineyards at different locations in Galilee. Operating at the Barkan Wineries in Kibbutz Hulda, Segal produces more than 1.5 million bottles annually, with a variety of series such as Ben-Ami, Merom Galil, Unfiltered, Single Vineyard and Rechasim. Three single vineyard wines have been recently released in the Rechasim series: Dishon Cabernet Sauvignon 2005: With grapes from Dishon vineyard, planted at an altitude of 430 meters above sea level in Kadesh Valley at Naftali Ridge, this single vineyard Cabernet is full-bodied, dark red in color with intense cassis, cherry and cocoa flavors. The wine was aged for 25 month in oak barrels, which contributed to its richness and complexity. NIS 110. Dovev Merlot 2004: Made from 100 percent Merlot grown atop Mount Godrim northwest to Ramat Dalton near the Lebanese border at 740 meters above sea level. Matured for 20 month in French and American oak barrels, the wine has rich aromas of blackberries and plums with notes of vanilla and oak toward the finish. NIS 110. Dovev Argaman 2006: Argaman is an Israeli development made from a cross between Carignan and Souzao grapes. The location of the Dovev vineyard, where only 25 dunams of this varietal were planted in 1999, proved to be an excellent choice. After crushing the clusters, the juice was fermented on the skins of Merlot grapes that gave it a tannic boost. The wine has an amazingly dark red color and is loaded with red cherry and berry flavors. For the price of NIS 110, this is yet another chance for those who want to try something a little different - packed with Israeli pride. The family-run Tishbi winery has recently launched two wines in its premium series: Merlot Estate 2005: Made of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, which were fermented separately in stainless steel vats for three months. The wine has already won a double gold medal at the Finger Lake competition this year in the US, where more than 2,300 wines from 500 wineries around the globe were featured. Full-bodied with strong aromas of cassis and ripe plum, it was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, then bottled unfiltered. NIS 85. Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2005: This dark, dense wine exhibits tons of bright, fresh-fruit flavors rounded out with just the right touch of vanilla and oak tones. The soft tannins make it a delight now, but it will go on evolving for at least another four or five years. NIS 85.