With half our wine tour over and nine wines tasted, the four of us – Joel, Les, myself and our tour guide Yakov – headed over to the Tulip Winery to taste seven of their wines. We entered the visitor centre, sat down at the bar and settled in for some serious tasting. But before we tasted the wines, Lital (customer relations manager and our guide) explained to us the importance of the winery and the local village.
Kfar Tikva (Hope Village) is where this boutique winery calls home, and it is in this village where adults with special needs can become an active part of a community. A groundbreaking endeavour, this village breathed life and hope into those less fortunate and the winery was created with similar passion – producing a “wine that loves people”. Focusing on the good, Tulip Winery was founded in 2003 to bring together the love of people and the love of wine – providing opportunity for those with special needs to realise their potential.
With this unique factor, the winery takes on a different air – an extra meaning in the increasingly popular wine production. With numerous wine types, producing 220,000 bottles annually, Tulip Winery is the embodiment of hope and success and we were honoured to sample from their vintages. The first wine we tried was the White Tulip, a blend of Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc. Next, the White Franc and then we moved over to the reds.
The first of the reds was the Espero with its very appealing label. Following that was the Mostly Cabernet Franc, with a little bit of Merlot blended in. Despite that we visited after closing, Lital took the time to enjoy the wines with us and it was at this winery that I really voiced my thoughts on bouquet and taste. The strong aroma of blackberries, the hint of peach or pear – and what was that, lychee? I really had a marvelous time discussing the wines with Lital and Yaakov, with Joel and Les chiming in.
We then tasted the reserve wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and the Syrah Reserve. I was quite impressed with the Syrah Reserve and according to the winery’s website it is considered to be one of the three best Syrahs in Israel. After being aged 18 months in French oak barrels, the flavour was rich and clean. I gave my taste note as “focused on the centre of the tongue” and there really was a difference between this and the previous reds which filled the mouth.
We finished off with their flagship wine, the Black Tulip. A blend of four grapes and aged 24 to 30 months in French oak barrels, this was a superb wine. Even the modern art label had a story: an art contest with the name “Don’t Label Me!” where the winner was used for the flagship wine’s label. The actual artwork is framed and hanging on the wall in the visitor centre.
After tasting seven wines, we talked some more, a bottle was purchased and we headed out, thanking our wonderful guide for the wonderful experience over and over. In my words, the tasting wasn’t: “Here, what do you think?” It was: “Here, what do we think?”. All in all, my favourite winery of the wine tour. Next: Sadot Winery