‘Beshvil Hayayin’ wine festival

The Beshvil Hayayin festival highlights the ever- increasing prominence of Israel in the world of wine.

The family-owned Odem Mountain Winery (photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
The family-owned Odem Mountain Winery
(photo credit: ITSIK MAROM)
Wine, why not and why not right now? The eighth annual wine festival – Beshvil Hayayin (a play on words in Hebrew meaning “For the Wine” and “On the Wine Path”) is running until June 11 in the Golan and Galilee. Much is offered during the festival and a visit is worthwhile.
Start with the Sindyanna of Galilee visitors’ center, located in Kafr Kana in the Lower Galilee.
Sindyanna (Arabic for oak tree) has been active since 1997, creating economic opportunities for women from the Arab sector. In addition to wine during the festival, activities in the visitors’ center include basketry. Arab women from the Kafr Kana and neighboring villages learn and demonstrate how to weave baskets in both traditional and modern styles using palm fronds.
At the festival you can meet Adiv Doha, a wine maker from the village of Rama, to hear about the unique vineyards in the Rama mountains.
Continue to Mitzpe Netofa, just north of the Golani Junction. The Netofa Winery produces some elegant wines and offers guided wine tasting in a small but beautiful and comfortable wine room.
There you can listen to fascinating facts about different wines and the vineyards in the Lower Galilee on the foot of Mount Tabor. While in Mitzpe Netofa, make a stop at the Gil Sapir lookout, a shaded cluster of trees in memory of Gil Sapir, head of the forestry unit at Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund. The view of the Netofa valley from there is wonderful.
Just on the other side of the valley is Eilabun.
This Christian Arab village invites you to visit and enjoy a tour in the old village, with local music during the festival. Of course, visitors are welcome throughout the year to tour the town and its interesting church.
From the Lower Galilee, drive to the Golan through Kibbutz Snir, where you can stop at the Adama Restaurant for a fine meal of authentic local food. You may even consider spending the night at the boutique lodgings on the kibbutz. Ronny Ochayon will help you to combine the love of wine and the love of the land. A wine enthusiast, Ochayon will lead you through the landscape to the wineries, regaling you with lots of stories along the trail.
Drive to the higher part of the Golan through the beautiful landscape and you will reach Odem.
Visit Odem Mountain Winery, a family-owned establishment in the middle of the Odem Forest that boasts an elevation of 1,100 meters. Its wines are considered some of the best in Israel, as evidenced by its many medals and trophies from national and international competitions. The family offers guided tours to their beautiful vineyards, as well as wine tasting.
The Beshvil Hayayin festival highlights the ever- increasing prominence of Israel in the world of wine. We are on the way to becoming a leader – and that’s another reason to celebrate.
The festival continues until June 11.