On June 4th, 2013, the Israeli Economic Mission and the Israeli Export Institute hosted in City Winery in NYC’s SoHo a marquis seminar and grand tasting featuring 14 Israeli wineries. For thousands of years, Israel has been a noted producer of wine, dating back to Biblical times. Although the industry had died down during previous centuries, in the last few decades the Israeli wine-making tradition has experienced a dramatic renaissance. In a morning seminar preceding the reception, Nili Shalev, Israel’s Economic Minister to North America, greeted the crowd and described how a new generation of Israeli and foreign oenophiles have brought grapes, technology and wine-making methods from the world’s finest institutions to Israel. The result is a fusion of ancient tradition with state-of-the-art processes, offering a unique vintage experience. For photos of the Israel Wine Tasting at City Winery in NYC CLICK HERE. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9az1-7xDGU&list=PL2125Ts9XFKo7PPrAJRHlD75Faa6EVBEF[/youtube]
Following Nili’s address, Aileen Robbins, President of the Dunn Robbins Group, presented two panelists who would lead a brief but refreshingly candid discussion about the revival of Israeli winemaking and its stake in the global marketplace. Acclaimed wine expert Josh Wesson grilled Dalton winemaker Alex Haruni about the pedigree and integrity of Israeli and kosher wines, and how Israeli wines, already recognized around the world for their taste and quality, can gain a foothold with international consumers. Haruni definitively reiterated that “there is no difference whatsoever in the wine-making process between kosher and non-kosher wines,” and mevushal wines in particular have no effect on quality as they do on taste. In fact, 50% of survey respondents preferred the taste of mevushal wines in a blind test. Of course, reminded Wesson, not all Israeli wine is kosher, and not all kosher wine is mevushal. In fact the overwhelming majority of wines produced in Israel, including kosher wines from Israel, are not mevushal. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xSW3UCS3AE&list=PL2125Ts9XFKo7PPrAJRHlD75Faa6EVBEF[/youtube]Either way, the seminar concluded, Wines from Israel offer a refreshingly unique experience all their own that cannot be matched, and they deserve their own section in fine retail locations on par with other national wine industries.
After the seminar, the crowd saluted Hanna Kamionski of the Israel Economic Mission in NYC for her incredible efforts in organizing the event and collaborating with the wineries, sponsors and speakers. Finally, the distinguished crowd of oenophiles made their way to the adjoining pavilion to be treated to a lavish tasting. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYq79u7eF48&list=PL2125Ts9XFKo7PPrAJRHlD75Faa6EVBEF[/youtube]