Wineries November 26, 2017

The Story of Tulip Wines

By Leiba Estrin

Perched on a mountainside in Kfar Tikvah “Village of Hope” is Tulip Winery, overlooking the lush Jezreel Valley. Tulip’s winemaker Ro’i Itzchaki grew up in a town adjacent to this village, and purchased the winery in 2003. He employs many of the 200 adult locals who struggle with developmental and emotional disabilities. Itzhaki hires them to learn the wine trade, giving them jobs while helping them integrate into mainstream society (and also boosting the Israeli economy). Itzhaki says labels only belong on wine bottles, not people. A huge piece of Tulip winery’s mission is to employ these individuals, giving them a meaningful way to support themselves by helping bring kosher wine to kosher consumers. In this way Kfar Tikvah truly embodies its name, a Village of Hope.

The name for the winery itself came from Roy’s mother who adored tulips. The winery literally blossomed when production numbers started to hit higher levels of production - 100,000 bottles a year - a number that brings most winemakers to consider going kosher (which Tulip did in 2010). The winery is now reaching the 200,000 bottle mark and continues to make beautiful fruity wines with wonderful QPR value. The winery sources its grapes from all over Israel, yielding powerful wines with finishes that are long and spicy.

Here are 3 of our favorite Tulip wines:

1. Black Tulip 2014

The flagship wine of Tulip, Black Tulip is a complex, powerful, oaky, well-balanced Bordeaux style blend. On the nose are potent fruit aromas and a mouthfeel bursting with black fruit flavors: black currants, cassis, black cherries, and tart blackberries, hints of vanilla, dark chocolate, Mediterranean herbs, and spices. Store for 3-5 years before drinking, but if opening now, let it decant for at least two hours.

This wine pairs best with a hearty lamb stew, veal chops, or roasted duck.

2. Tulip Reserve Syrah 2014

The deep and densely-colored Tulip Reserve Syrah prominently displays black fruit, flowers, and eucalyptus aromas. This is a full and heavy wine, designed to be savored with every sip, down to its long, enjoyable finish.

Pairs well with veal, lamb, and heavy steak; alternatively serve this bottle alongside your next barbecue with hot dogs and hamburgers.

3. Tulip White 2016

This wine is a rule breaker, combining two grapes that are normally produced on their own without a blending partner. Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc are both aromatic white grape varietals that produce strong flavors. The gewurz is floral and green while the sauvignon blanc is tart and crisp. The blending of these two grapes produce a light straw-colored wine that is fresh and presents acidity, combining the best of the two grapes.

Enjoy this wine with a wide variety of foods including ceviche, spicy foods, and grilled meats.