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“Winery not to miss” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Golan Heights Winery

Golan Heights Winery
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Stockton, CA
Level Contributor
51 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Winery not to miss”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2012

When we were here the last time, they only had a small tasting room. Now they have a full guided tour where you get to see the operation. Also there is a free wine tasting and a present for doing it. Knowledgeable staff and the wines are very good. Definitely an adult excursion.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank rabbilarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
65 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Award winning wines, interesting tour, worth the trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

A friend who reviews food and wine for blogs invited a couple more of us to go to the Golan Heights winery on a day trip during Chol Hamoed Pesach. We encountered less traffic than we'd thought and stopped by the Talmudic Village as well as a pottery store before making our entrance to the winery.

Although all of our party of 4 were bilingual, we requested the tour in English. Our guide was enthusiastic about the winery, informative, and patient with our many questions. The delightful odor of fermenting grapes greeted us outside and in the barrel storage room. Then on to the wine tasting room!

Our guide emphasized not to judge a wine by it's label (the winery has three labels: Yarden, Gamla, and Golan), it's name (U.S. style by grape variety), or it's price tag (better wines cost more), rather to purchase what tastes good to you.

Much to his dismay, the three of us tagging along with my food reviewer friend are sweet wine fans. He masterfully chose a lovely Gamla white riesling as our first wine, instructing us newbies on how to skillfully tase the wine. Definitely a wine that almost anyone could appreciate, we newbies learned a lot about what to look for and the subtle undertones of the wine.

I have been reading up on good wines, looking for a bottle to put away for two years in anticipation of when I will finish an MSc degree, heaven willing. I'd read reviews online, and extremely high ratings were awarded to some single vineyard reds from the Golan Heights Winery. I was sure these wines would open up the world of dry red wines to me. Behold, our guide chose a single vineyard Merlot for us to taste next.

A lovely wine, but alas, only my reviewer friend was enthusiastic about it. The three of us could appreciate it, but it didn't make us think about taking out our credit cards.

Then our brilliant guide, having listened to the three sweet wine fans, brought out the a Yarden HeightsWine. "Yarden HeightsWine is made entirely from Gewurztraminer grapes grown in the cool northern Golan Heights", from the GolanWines.co.il website. The three of us were suddenly sitting up and exclaiming about what an amazing wine this is! We took to heart our guide's original statement and owned our love of sweet wines. This 2008 vintage won the grand gold award in Vinitaly 2011. It is an amazing dessert wine, capable of being the dessert alone. Two of us purchased two bottles each of it, I to put one away for two years.

If you know your wines, you will enjoy this tour and wine tasting. If you don't know your wines, you will enjoy this tour and wine tasting and learn a lot. If you thought kosher wines are only for joking about how wine and cough syrup are similar, you must visit the Golan Heghts Winery and taste international award winning kosher wines.

The tour fee was only 20 NIS each. This included the wine tasting, and an hour of our guide's time. Well worth the fee!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank travelmarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Olives & Chocolate in the Golan Heights, Israel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

I love the land of Israel. I only wish that in this land, there could be more straight roads.

It was about the sixth day of our tour of Israel. We had left sacred Jerusalem for a tour of the more secular, serene northern region of Israel, full of fields, mountains and seaside scenery.

After a morning jeep ride, our family got back in our minibus and we began our long and winding climb climb climb to the top of Mount BenTal, one of the highest points of Israel. Here, there is a lookout point where Israelis fought the world's biggest tank battle against invading Syrian armies in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Mount Bental is a key strategic point for Israel due to its advantageous observation point. Israel knew it count not risk losing this mountain, nor any of the Golan Heights . The Syrians attacked the Golan with 1,500 tanks and 1,000 artillery pieces. Israel countered with only 160 tanks and 60 artillery pieces. The long stretch of valley in between Mount Bental and Mount Hermon became known as the Valley of Tears. The 100 Israeli tanks were reduced to seven under extreme enemy fire. However, the Israelis managed to take down 600 Syrian tanks in the process. The Syrians eventually retreated, but not without inflicting heavy casualties on Israel.

In the backdrop of all this very recent history, mount Bental is also a great place to have lunch.

High atop on Mount Bental is Cafe Annan (anan means cloud in Hebrew). A great play on words, Israel's highest restaurant is named after the former UN Secretary General.

There, we were treated - at very reasonable prices - to steaming bowls of sweet potato soup, salads, tuna and grilled mozzarella sandwiches, bagels, and great cups of hot coffee. There are also picnic benches outside where we saw another group who had brought with them their own pizzas.

Afterwards, we walked among the bunkers where Israeli troops fought off invading Syrian army during the Yom Kippur War.





Then, we boarded the bus and went down the winding road to our next stop, the de Karina Chocolate Factory. A small factory created by Argentinian immigrants, de Karina specializes in micro batches of different kinds of confections we all had an opportunity to taste and then make our own chocolates in a workshop. We all had fun getting up to our elbows in melted chocolate.


Then, it was onto another winding road to the Capernaum Vista Olive Mill Olive Oil Factory in the Katzrim village. Israel has no shortage of Olives. Because olive trees are hearty and don't need much water and grow for centuries, groves of olives are everywhere. As it happens, we were in Israel the very week of Chanukkah, when we celebrate the miracle of the olive oil that burned in the newly restored temple for eight days.

This olive oil factory charges no admission and there are free tastings available. Another unique aspect of this factory is that it recycles and processes all the olive waste into skin and facial cleanser and moisturizer products that you can try out. Use the olive oil scrub and your skin feels instantly soft.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank transplantednorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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