Vitkin Winery

Small, Fine, Experimental: The Israeli Family Winery Vitkin

„ABCM – Any thing But Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot“

Leipzig/Tel Aviv, 18. March 2009: The small family winery from the Moshav Kfar Vitkin, an agricultural community in the central coastal region of Israel, developed into one of the most well known boutique wineries in the country within just seven years and looks now to capture also the European market.

It began in the year 2002, when three young Israelis decided to redirect their former lives and professional careers on the land of their forefathers; Doron Belogolovky, successful business man in the stone and marble trade, his wife, architect Sharona Paz-Belogolovsky, and her brother Assaf Paz. Assaf, a microbiologist and food technologist, was the only one who, following his oenology studies and subsequent work as a winemaker in France, California and Australia, had a formal education in the wine business, but both his partners soon caught up through strong dedication and enthusiasm.

Together they founded their own winery in Moshav Kfar Vitkin on the farm of their grandparents that was cultivated until the mid nineties. In contrast to the well known Kibbutz, Moshav is an agricultural community whose members do work cooperatively together yet each member has his own land and soil. The architect Sharona remodelled the old stables of the farm into a winery in which her husband and brother successfully pressed the first wines with a very unique philosophy ‘‘ABCM – Anything But Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot’’.

In the Vitkin vineyards you can find such grape varieties as the Carignan, the “founder” of the modern Israeli viticulture, side by side with the tradition-rich Petite Syrahas well as relative newcomers such as the Viognier.. Well known grape varieties such as Pinot Noir are also cultivated, supplemented by Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer und Johannisberg Riesling. Characteristic of the Vitkin winery is the experimental mixing of these different grape varieties into new blends. Typical to this are the wines of the ‘‘Israel Journey’’ label, for example the white wine is a blend of 60 % Viognier, 30 % French Colombard und 10 % Gewürztraminer. In the upper label ‘‘Vitkin’’ emphasis is placed on pure varietals from Johannisberg Riesling, Pinot Noir, Carignan and Petite Sirah. Another specialty of the winery is the dessert wines that mimic the German late harvest wines or port wines.

With the determination to continue and experiment, and the steadily improved quality of wines, the three founders of Vitkin winery obtained a front-row seat in the Israeli viticulture within a short time. And the distinction as the best boutique winery of Israel in 2007 attests to that. In 2008 the winery produced for the first time 40,000 bottles. After the first wines were successfully exported to Canada, the Vitkin winery now looks to penetrate also the European market.

Meet Sharona Paz-Belogolovsky and taste the Vitkin wines at the international wine fair ProWein 2009 in Düsseldorf at the Israeli joint stand in Hall 6 (StandG60).

German Presse Contakt: Ms. Ulrike Schinagl, Agentur Bestsidestory, Spinnereistr. 7, PF 319, 04179 Leipzig, tel: +49 (0) 341 – 870 90 71, Email: info@bestsidestory.de

Contact Israel: Ms. Michal Neeman, Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, 29 Hamered Str., Tel Aviv, 68125, Israel, tel: +972 (3) 5142859, Email: michal@export.gov.il