Last week the 14th TerraVino Israel competition took place at the Cramim Spa Hotel in Kiryat Anavim near Jerusalem. I was honored to be invited to witness the judging process of the competition, which involved the blind tasting of over 600 wines and spirits by 40 wine judges from Israel and abroad. The anonymous scoring and feedback were then reviewed by a panel of lawyers before the final calculations were made and the awards allocated.
Although the majority of the wines submitted for judging were from Israeli wineries (328), this year also included 82 submissions from wineries around the world, including Australia, Argentina, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and USA.
Here is a short video of the judging from TerraVino 2016:
The three-day competition culminated in a reception and award ceremony at Cramim, attended by Israeli winery owners, wine-makers, and other key figures in the wine industry.
Here are the results of some of the awards for TerraVino 2019:
- Grand Champion Israel – Gva’ot Winery, Gofna Reserve, Petit Verdot 2017
- Grand Champion International – Vinné Sklepy Lechovice, Lechovice Ryzlink Rynsky Slamove Vino 2015, Czech Republic
- TerraVino Lifetime Award – Eli Ben-Zaken, Castel Winery
- Best Small Boutique Winery – Kerem Barak Winery
- Best Medium Boutique Winery – Gva’ot Winery
- Best Wine-Making Team – Teperberg Winery (Olivier Fratty & Dani Friedenberg)
- Best Home Winery – Zaza Winery
- Best Spirit – Pisco Bauza Blanco Reservado 40° Doble Destilado
The following Israeli red wines were awarded a Double Gold Medal:
- Alexander Winery, Alexander The Great, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
- Amphorae Winery, Velours 2013
- Afek Winery, Treasure 2016
- Afek Winery, Valirone 2014
- Bazelet Hagolan Winery, Reserve, Merlot 2008
- Barkan Winery, Superieur 2014
- Barkan Winery, Altitude +624, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
- Gva’ot Winery, Gofna Reserve, Petit Verdot 2017
- Gito Winery, Adom 2017
- Gat Shomron Winery, 24K Iced Wine, Viognier 2016
- Dadah Winery, Reserve, Merlot-Cabernet 2015
- Teperberg Winery, Legacy, Petite Sirah 2016
- Kerem Barak Winery, Adom 2013
- Carmel Winery, Vineyards, Shani 2014
- Five Stones Vineyards, Virtuous 2016
No Israeli white wines were awarded a double gold medal, but there were some in the silver and gold categories. The full list of all the award winners can be found on the TerraVino winner’s page.
It is amazing to see how the Israeli wine industry has developed over the last few years, and how it continues to grow. While most of the winning wineries were familiar to me, there were some names that were new and I am excited to discover their wines.