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Friday, September 20, 2019

(Courtesy of Tura Winery) Once overlooked, Israeli wines have long come into their own, earning a place of respect among connoisseurs and amateur wine enthusiasts alike. And among Israeli winemakers, the Tura Winery stands out for its impressive array of superb, prize-winning offerings. Founded by Vered and Erez Ben Sa’adon in 2003, Tura has since become one of Israel’s most sought-after boutique wineries, boasting a wide selection red, white and rose wines to delight any palette.

On Shavuot, the festival of mattan Torah, we read about Ruth, one woman who overcame all barriers until she was able to become part of the holy Jewish people and ultimately, the matriarch of the Davidic dynasty. Like Ruth, Vered Ben Sa’adon converted to Judaism, embracing the Jewish nation and the Torah. Together with her husband Erez she realized her dream to settle Eretz Israel and work the land. “We took all our wedding money and invested it in a few acres in Har Bracha, in the Shomron,” Vered said. “We inquired and were told that the region was especially suited to grape-growing.”

Painstakingly and through trial and error, the Ben Sa’adons learned the art of winemaking, from the stage of planting the grape vines and up to bottling the final product. With the help of friends, relatives and even the Ben Sa’adon’s own young children, they finally harvested the grapes that would be used to produce the winery’s first four barrels. “Hashem gave us this wonderful place on Har Bracha, and that is what we’ve felt here, incredible bracha. We’re extremely grateful,” Vered shared.

The Ben Sa’adon’s love of the Land of Israel and their passion for producing an outstanding product can be discerned in every glass of fine Tura wine. In fact, their very first wine garnered accolades from the Israel-based Golden Cluster wine-tasting competition. Since then, the Tura Winery has won over 60 awards, including a top score from leading wine publication “Wine Spectator” for Tura’s flagship Mountain Peak dry red wine.

Four Seudot, Four Wines

This coming Yom Tov, we have four festive meals to plan, opening up a world of exciting menu possibilities. The right wine is more than just an enjoyable accompaniment to good food; it takes the whole seudah up a notch.

For the heavy meat meal on Friday night, Vered recommends the Mountain Heights Cabernet Sauvignon — a rich, dark red aged for about 22 months in French oak barrels. “Heartland, also a dry red, but lighter, will go perfectly with the cholent on Shabbat morning,” she said..

Shavuot is the perfect opportunity to discover Tura’s delightful white wines. To accompany the dairy meal, Vered recommends Chardonnay, a dry white that’s fruity with a soft buttery texture and balanced acidity. The semi-sweet Gewurztraminer, served chilled, also goes well with fish, chicken and barbecued meats.

Wine of the Holy Land

Wine is an integral part of the Jew’s life, playing an important role in many mitzvot as well as sanctifying Shabbat and festivals. This Shavuot, you can add to the beauty of the mitzvah by reciting Kiddush over an excellent wine that was produced in the holy soil of Eretz Yisrael. In the words of Erez Ben Sa’adon, “Considering the various mitzvot that go into producing Tura wines, the kedushah of Eretz Yisrael comes encased in every bottle!”