Golan Heights Mount Avital (OU Kosher) 2002
The wines attractive red-purple color hints at its full flavor and generous finish. Though delicious young, Mount Hermon Red ages gracefully over two to three years. We like sipping a glass of Mount Hermon Red while preparing dinner, or with cheeses when friends drop by. The wine is also great with a wide variety of pasta and meat courses; anything from rich lasagna to grilled sirloin steak.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Soil. Topography. Climate. These are the three distinct grape growing conditions for producing quality wines on an international level. In Israel, such optimal conditions exist in the Golan Heights. Everything in this magical strip of land begins with the right conditions in the Golan, a combination of volcanic basaltic soil, suitable topography and high altitude resulting in cool climate. This is what gives the Golan Heights its second name: "Wine Country." Over the years, the distinctive wines of the Golan Heights Winery have placed Israel on the world wine map.
Founded in 1983, Golan Heights Winery has played a significant role in developing and nurturing Israel's modern wine culture. Golan Heights Winery encompasses three brands Yarden, Gilgal and Mount
Hermon that are considered Israel's leading premier wines. The winery is a leader in technological innovation and precision viticulture, best practices which have fueled the development of Israel's modern wine era. Since 2007, Golan Heights has also driven replanting initiatives throughout Israel to ensure the health of the vine, and is the official partner for ENTAV, the world leader in vine propagation and nursery. Likewise, as a result of its commitment to sustainability along with Galil Mountain Winery, the winery’s vineyards have been the first to be certified sustainable internationally under the rigorous and renowned LODI RULES program.
With a rich history of wine production dating back to biblical times, Israel is a part of the cradle of wine civilization. Here, wine was commonly used for religious ceremonies as well as for general consumption. During Roman times, it was a popular export, but during Islamic rule around 1300, production was virtually extinguished. The modern era of Israeli winemaking began in the late 19th century with help from Bordeaux’s Rothschild family. Accordingly, most grapes grown in Israel today are made from native French varieties. Indigenous varieties are all but extinct, though oenologists have made recent attempts to rediscover ancient varieties such as Marawi for commercial wine production.
In Israel’s Mediterranean climate, humidity and drought can be problematic, concentrating much of the country’s grape growing in the north near Galilee, Samaria near the coast and at higher elevations in the east. The most successful red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, while the best whites are made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Many, though by no means all, Israeli wines are certified Kosher.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.