Gabriel Geller, of Royal Wine Corp., has tasted thousands of wines from around the world. But as an expert in Israeli wine, when he learned that Royal Wine would be distributing two unique imports from Vitkin, a small winery located outside Tel Aviv, he knew he needed to spread the news right away.
“Vitkin is a winery with quite some chutzpah,” he said. “They do not only make some delicious Mediterranean-style wines, but also make wines with varietals that are not even remotely Mediterranean, such as Riesling or Pinot Noir, yet with an Israeli kind of twist.”
The industry has had its eye on Moshav-based Vitkin for quite some time. The family-run boutique built its reputation on producing outstanding wines from unusual grape varieties. Their motto: “ABCM – Anything But Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot.”
Since Vitkin’s first release in the early 2000’s, Israelis have sought out the label in distinguished restaurants and wine shops. The winery began exporting very limited quantities to Canada and Europe, and secured kosher certification in 2015.
But until now, American wine lovers have not been able to buy these top-quality wines at home.
Two types of Vitkin wine, both from their “Israeli Journey” series, are currently available in the U.S. market: a rosé and a white blend. “These wines are both delightful,” Geller told his readers, “so check them out, spread the love and be on the lookout for future releases!”
Geller describes the Vitkin Pink Israeli Journey (2016) as “a rather Provence-style blend of 90% Carignan and 10% Grenache…with notes of tart strawberries, red currants, and cherries. Crisp, light-bodied with plenty of mouth-watering acidity, it is very well-balanced and would pair really nicely with sushi, wings or dark chicken cutlets on the grill.”
The Vitkin White Israeli Journey (2016), he writes, “takes you on a journey…in fields of spring flowers and summer fruit orchards in the Galilee.” He says the eclectic blend is light to medium-bodied “with “aromas of rose petals, litchi, and white peaches,” and recommends enjoying it with mild cheeses, fish, and grilled eggplant. “This is a very unique white wine with lots of character,” says Geller, “one that should trigger the curiosity and interest of any wine lover, whether looking for a kosher wine or not!”
Vitkin wines are available at many wine stores in NYC as well as online. MSRP for both wines is $22.99.