A journey from a love affair with processed foods to a love affair with cheese.
On Friday, AB and I rented a car for our previously aborted fun day. The plan was to go to Har HaRuach in the Judean Hills (just past Abu Ghosh), walk around a bit, and visit the goat farm to buy cheese for lunch.
Unfortunately, when we got there a sign informed us that there was no cheese today – sorry! We weren’t totally disappointed since the area was beautiful and new to us, but it was a little sad.
Anyway, we didn’t dwell on it too long. Instead, we got back in the car and drove to Bravdo Winery in Karmei Yosef, which is kinda on the way to Rishon. You have to travel down a dirt road to get there, and the visitor’s center is located on premises, which is to say: in a vineyard. We first discovered Bravdo wines a few years ago at Topolino (an Italian restaurant in the shuk), where they serve it by the glass. The winery is open for visitors on Fridays, where for 40 NIS/person, you get to taste all of their wines, munch on some bread and labene and olive oil (homemade) and olives, and chat with the winemaker. (If you end up buying a bottle of wine, the tasting fee is waived).
Bravdo is a boutique family-run winery started in 2001 by two professors of agriculture. They became kosher in 2007. They make 5 wines – chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, and a blend called coupage (cabernet franc, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon). All the wine was good, but in particular the chardonnay was delightful – not oaky at all, which is a trend I’ve noticed recently in Israeli wines. The shiraz was great too, very rich and a little fruity. We ended up buying a bottle of the coupage, since it was quit different than other wines we’ve tasted. If I say it had a good nose, will it sound more like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to wine? (It did, and I don’t).
It was well worth the excursion for the chance to get out of Jerusalem, to spend the afternoon sipping wine, and to talk with an interesting winemaker and his family. Bottles are for sale around Israel (and are apparently also exported to New York), but they aren’t so cheap, so you know, if you have a special occasion and want something nice, Bravdo’s a good option.