Established in 1993 by the late Ronnie James, the Tzora winery, situated on the slopes of the Samson Mountain, is one of the only Israeli wineries that truly emphasizes the importance of the terroir as opposed the specific grape variety or the winemaker. According to Roni’s philosophy the quality and characteristics of the wine are derived directly from the terroir of the vineyard.
Today the Tzora winery continues with Roni’s approach, naming their wines according to the specific vineyard or plot, rather than referring to the grape varieties used to produce the wine.
Once a month the winery invites wine lovers to join the vintners and winemaker, and head out for a tour of the vineyards, followed by a tasting session of some of the top wines by Tzora. When I heard about this unique program, I immediately called up the winery to reserve a spot for the next tour. One of my favorite things about the tour was the fact that the winery limits the number of participant to 16, thus ensuring an intimate and educational experience.
After spending an hour and half at the shoresh vineyard, where vintner Dor James elaborated on the unique growing methods and techniques implemented by Tzora, we headed back to the winery for the tasting session.
When we arrived, we were greeted by Tzora’s talented winemaker, Eran Pik, and the wine was poured.
Tzora, Judean Hills, 2006
Dark ruby, this medium-full bodied red is showing appealing aromas and flavors of black and red fruits particularly: plums and black cherries, all leading long and lingering finish.
Tzora, Neve Ilan, 2005
Produced using 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this red turned out to be a little disappointing. After showing plenty of red and black berry fruits and a hint of spices, the wine came off a bit anemic with a slightly alcoholic finish. (To be fair, it may have been the specific bottle which we sampled since the quality does vary from bottle to bottle.)
Tzora, Shoresh Blanc, 2007
Produced using 100% Gewurztraminer grapes, this refreshing white would be perfect for your next picnic or dairy dinner party. Light straw in color, the wine give off lovely aromas of white flowers, tropical fruits and spices, leading to a well balanced fnish.
Overall we had a great time, and I was also very excited to hear that this year Tzora will be producing their celebrated desert wine, “Or”, which definitely gives me something to look forward to.