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My 2,200th article! Israel's Adir Winery + Adir Dairy

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This is my 2,200th article for Examiner! One of the reasons I've been writing here for over 5 years, is that I love meeting indie and family food, beverage producers. It's not their pointing at a steel drum and intoning something about "mash" or "must" or "whey," as they were sacred rituals and as if I had never seen them before . . . hundreds of times. No, it's hearing their personal stories, their triumphs and failures, as well as their personal point of view, learning about their individual taste buds. That's what stirs (pardon the pun!) my imagination.

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That's why I was happy to be hosted recently to experience Adir Winery and Adir Dairy in Israel, a family-run farm and tasting destination!

Adir makes Kosher wine, but what I learned more about there is that various Jewish sects have differing standards for what makes a wine Kosher. Some Ultra-Orthodox Jews may not consider their wine to be sufficiently Kosher for their standards. These are some of the things that must occur for a wine to be Kosher:

  • Every 7 years, the farmer is supposed to take a year off of farming the land.
  • The first 3 years, you aren't supposed to harvest the grapes.
  • The 4th year, the wine is supposed to be given to the Levites and the Kohanim.
  • Only the religious can touch the wine when it hits the bucket.

Wine in Israel is the only liquid that is blessed before drinking. The grape stock that the winery uses was brought over from Europe and made in an American style . . . the native varieties of Israeli wine grapes were wiped out during Turkish rule. Here are the awards Adir has won:

PLATO 2005:
TERRAVINO 2008 – Double Gold Medal
TERRAVINO 2009 – Gold Medal
VINUS 2009 – Gold Medal
MUVINA 2009 – Gold Medal
ZARCILLO 2009 – Silver Meda

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2006:
TERRAVINO 2008 – Silver Medal

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007:
VINUS 2009 – Gold Medal
VINALIES 2010 – Silver Medal

MERLOT 2007:
TERRAVINO 2009 – Silver Medal

SHIRAZ 2008:
Bacchus 2010 – Gold Medal

Adir makes several types of wine -- not heavily distributed at this point -- including a lighter port with grape alcohol. Their sister company -- Adir Dairy -- uses goat's milk for cheeses and ice cream.

The winery is located in the Upper Galilee, with a porch -- perfect for wine tastings -- overlooking Adom Mountain.

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