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Old Tzfat Winery - Zissil
 

Old Tzfat Winery

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Old Tzfat Winery
Old Tzfat Winery
Hebrew:
יקב עתיקה
Pronunciation:
Ye-kev Ati-ka
Other Names:
Safed Winery, Old City Winery, Ancient Safed Winery
Description:
A winery in Tzfat, Israel.

The Ancient Safed Winery produces and sells wines in the Old City of Tzfat.

Contents

[edit] Background

Moshe Alon, the vintner of Tzfat winery, lived in Thailand for a number of years but in 1995 he returned to Israel to study the Jewish texts and wisdom of the Torah. He studied at the Ohr Yakar yeshiva, and simultaneously began to study the art and “halachic” -- Jewish laws -- regulations which govern kosher wine-making. His mentor was Dr. Arkady Papkayan, a well-known vintner who had started the nearby Dalton winery, a new boutique winery which had begun to produce acclaimed prize-winning wines.

[edit] First Wines

Alon bought grapes and invited other yeshivah students to help him prepare the wine. They crushed the grapes by stomping on them on the yeshivah’s rooftop and the juice was fermented in plastic containers. This entire wine-making process proceeded by hand but Alon could produce enough wine for his own family’s needs as well as for his friends.

When word-of-mouth made the existence of Alon’s wine known, demand began to increase. Alon purchased state-of-the-art equipment to streamline the process.

[edit] Available Wines

Today Alon produces over 20,000 bottles of Carbernet Sauvignon, both sweet and dry Merlot, Gewurziraminer and Carbernet Frank annually.

[edit] Tours

Visitors to the winery, located in the Estham building at the corner of Beit Yosef Street and the Ma’alot HaGardom stairs, can ask Moshe to give them a tour of the wine-making process for a small fee. Wine-tasting is also available. Moshe describes the process of making wine, but he also includes information about how to produce kosher wines, including laws regarding harvesting the grapes. He discusses the connections that he sees between kosher wine-making and the Jews’ yearning for the Messiah as well as the mystical aspects of wine-making.

[edit] Vineyard

Moshe planted a vineyard in the Dalton-Safsufa region, approximately a half an hour from Tzfat, to produce the type of grapes that he wants. He wanted his own vineyard because he wanted to grow grapes in an area located at an altitude of 800 - 850 meters above sea level which experiences a large temperature difference between day and night. In addition, he wanted to plant his vineyard in soil that had a mixture of basalt and clay which he feels will form the basis of the best growth of wine grapes. The first harvest from the vineyard took place in 2010.

[edit] Groups

Moshe harvests his grapes after the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. He invites school groups to come to the winery to help him prepare the grapes for the wine. As the children work, Moshe explains the laws and intricacies of kosher wine-making.

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