A sustainable winemaker, Galil Mountain Winery, imported in the U.S. by Yarden Inc., which also imports wines from Golan Heights Winery, suggested its Galil Ela 2014 and Galil Alon 2013 wines for the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish new year for trees, which this year begins the evening of Jan. 30 and continues through Jan. 31.
Galil Mountain currently produces 12 wines—nine reds, two whites and a rosé. It is recommending two of its robust reds blends for Tu B’Shevat, since they pair ideally with the holiday’s traditional foods—dried fruits and nuts such as almonds, apples, dates, dried apricots, figs and walnuts. It is also traditional to prepare other foods derived from the seven species in the holiday’s biblical origins, such as granola and granola cookies. The seven species are listed in the Torah as special products from Eretz Yisrael; they are wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive and date (honey).
Galil Mountain, which practices sustainable winemaking, positions itself as the ideal winery for this holiday’s festivities, priding itself on its small carbon footprint and strong relationship with the environment. Located on one of the highest peaks in the northernmost region of the Galilee, the winery is powered by solar energy and features local wild vegetation on the building’s roof to power energy for the barrel hall beneath, reducing its electrical use by half over the past three years.
Alon is a blend of 41 percent cabernet sauvignon, 35 percent syrah, 17 percent cabernet franc and 7 percent petit verdot, and was aged in oak barrels for 12 months. It is a beautiful deep purple, with prominent aromas of plum and blueberry jam, with a lovely oaky finish. The Alon is a full-bodied wine with well-balanced flavors, pleasant tannins. The little bit of sediment only added to its eco-friendly charm.
Ela is a blend of 61 percent barbera, 30 percent syrah and 9 percent petit verdot. It is dark red in color, with aromas of ripe red fruit and green pepper, with characters of plum, sour cherry and herbs, along with notes of butter and oak. It is a medium-to-full-bodied wine, with a long-lasting finish.
“What better way to celebrate perhaps the original environmentally friendly holiday than with Galil Mountain’s sustainably crafted wines?” asked Dorit Ben Simon, international marketing manager for Yarden Inc. “These wines not only symbolize our commitment to building green winemaking in Israel, but they also happen to pair beautifully with the holiday’s traditional foods.”
Galil Mountain also composts its organic waste, maintains a sewage treatment system, uses recyclable packaging materials and lighter bottles for its wines while recycling other packing materials and has reduced its use of detergents and replaced them with environmentally friendly cleaners. The winery also relies on organic farming in its vineyards.