An award-winning wine from the heart of the Negev Desert? Sounds crazy, no? Yet Yatir, one of Israel’s most highly-acclaimed wineries, has the ability to integrate state-of-the-art winemaking and technology within a man-made forest in the heart of the desert. The result; the introduction of two of their celebrated wines, Yatir Creek 2016 and Yatir Mount Amasa White 2017 to the U.S. market – just in time for 5780, the Jewish New Year upon us now.
Yatir has emerged as one of Israel’s premier boutique wineries, despite being founded less than 20 years ago. Named for its location in the Yatir region in the Judean Hills, it has produced some of Israel’s most prized grapes for winemaking since the ancient days of the Judean kingdom. Today, at a time when the 2,500-year-old Israeli wine industry is drawing more critical and commercial acclaim than ever before, winemakers from this area of the Negev are producing outstanding wines that stand up to some of the finest in the world.
“We are proud to be planting in vineyards from an ancient region,” says Yaakov Ben Dor, Yatir’s general manager. The boutique winery works with only select vineyards that showcase the unique terroirs of Israel’s Yatir Forest in the southern tip of the Judean Hills. “It’s where wine presses existed more than 3,000 years ago, and today make the best wines from Yatir’s special region.” Yatir Winery is integrating state-of-the-art winemaking and technology within a man-made forest in the heart of the desert, to produce award-winning wines.
The innovation trend intensifies with the aim of extracting the finest wine from the vineyard, planting new varieties. Moving from small barrels to wood and concrete containers, they create new blends (all mixes) while creating and bringing the winery’s unique terroir into their wines. The special wines are distinguished by vibrant freshness and the masterful fusion of the carefully crafted varietals.
“Albeit unlikely, this area in Israel provides an excellent environment for wine making. Due to Israel’s warm Mediterranean climate, the grapes have no trouble ripening. As the vines age, yields will decrease, and our wines will become more nuanced,” says Eran Goldwasser, one of Israel’s most innovative and respected wine professionals who oversees Yatir’s vineyards and production. Yes, Israel’s winemaking tradition is ancient, yet the current industry is still young.
“Israel has been widely recognized as capable of producing world-class wines, and growth is happening fast,” he notes Etti Edri, Yatir’s export manager, as the use of state-of the-art technology enables the winery releases about 150,000 bottles a year. Yatir’s award-winning wines consistently earn high critical praise on the international stage – including scores of 90 points or higher for the past nine seasons from Wine Advocate. “We are so pleased to unveil to the USA the exciting diversity of the region, as well as its worthiness of inclusion in the lexicon of New World wines.”
ABOUT YATIR WINES
The long-anticipated Yatir Creek 2016 is a sophisticated wine displaying a deep purple color and aromas reminiscent of black cherries, cassis, and toasted almonds. Possessing fruity, succulent flavors, the grainy tannins leave a slightly salty and pleasantly bitter finish – a perfect pairing with meat dishes like casseroles and steaks. Yatir Creek is made from 76% Syra, 12% Tannat, and 12% Malbec grapes harvested at elevations of 650-900 meters above sea level, where the soil is clay and chalky. Aged in large oak barrels for 12 months and matured in the bottle for two years, it will mature and cellar well for five to 10 years.
Also showcased will be Yatir Mt. Amasa White 2017, a complex and balanced wine that expresses the character of the growing region of several Yatir Forest vineyards at an elevation of 680-780 meters above sea level. The limited oak-barrel aging process allows for the fruity character of the grapes to be the leading player in the wine’s flavor profile. A blend of 52% Chenin Blanc, 39% Viognier, and 9% Roussanne, this elegant white displays golden, pale-greenish hues and aromas hinting at melon, papaya, peach, and pear. Ripe, fruity flavors are integrated with acidity and a pleasant, refreshing bitterness on the finish. Its full body pairs well with food and can be enjoyed alone or as an aperitif.
For more information please visit: Yatir Winery