Recanati Upper Galilee Chardonnay (OU Kosher) 2007
The story of the Recanati Winery, a producer of high-quality Mediterranean wines, begins with a profound bond with the Land of Israel coupled with a passion for fine wine. With the creation of the winery in 2000, Lenny Recanati’s life-long dream to produce truly world-class wines was on its way. The dream was to bring quality Israeli wines to wine lovers in Israel and overseas and to make the Recanati Winery synonymous with international excellence in the world of wine. Now a four-time invitee to the prestigious Wine Spectator NY Wine Experience, a showcase of the world’s top 250 wineries, that dream is coming to fruition.
Recanati’s philosophy is to produce wines that will best express the local terroir. The winery has vineyards in the Upper Galilee, the Golan Heights and the Judean Hills, among the best growing areas in the country. There is a focus on unique Mediterranean varieties such as Petite Sirah, Marselan and Carignan and ancient native varieties with Biblical roots like Bittuni & Marawi, while simultaneously nurturing classic international varieties.
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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.