"I want the Winery to be a platform for any wine enthusiast, be they domestic or a tourist," explains chief sommelier Yiftach Lustit to GoJerusalem.com. "I wanted to create a place where wine lovers can come and talk about wine, taste wine, have a bit of a decadent experience for a manageable price. I want to meet my guests at eye level and not scare people off. My staff is all knowledgeable and knows the Israeli winemakers personally, so they can answer complicated questions about wine, but at the same time, we can also explain the basics of wine tasting. We're the only wine bar in Jerusalem, and we offer a real window into the Israeli kosher wine industry."
Speaking of the Israeli wine industry, according to Lustit, initiatives like the Winery, the annual Wine Festival at the Israel Museum (pictured) and the high-end wine stores popping up on Emek Refaim and in Machane Yehuda are not really a new phenomenon but rather a return to tradition.
"Jerusalem was the pinnacle of wine manufacturing in Roman times, if not earlier," Lustit recalls. "There were 4,000 ancient wineries in close proximity to Jerusalem. In the past 15 years, there has been a bit of a renaissance in Jerusalem wine-making with many boutique wineries opening in the region," he says. "In fact, I think some of the merlots currently being grown in the Jerusalem hills are exquisite and far better in my eyes than the ones coming from the North. Here at the Winery, we provide a year-round platform for enjoying this wine. We fill in the gaps between the festivals."
So while you wait for the next Wine Festival, check out the winery, which this summer will be hosting a number of special events - including a night with the Dalton Winery in mid-July and a series of tastings at which oenophiles will be able to taste different vintages of wine and compare how the taste of a specific wine changes over the years.
Contact the Winery for additional details or to reserve a spot at their tasting table.