Wine Personal questionnaire:
• What is the best wine you ever tasted?
Answer: It would have to be Chateaux Lascombe 1966. I have tasted many wines that may be regarded as better wines (Margaux, Lafitte, Petrus,) but the best was this 1966 surprise. It was drunk alongside an outstanding 2000 Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon (GHW). How good can it be with the cork all wet and deteriorating. With what was left of the cork as I gently pulled it out we heard the release of air and smiled. The first aroma was amazing and again we smiled. Upon pouring we saw an ink black colored wine and again we smiled. Then we tasted and screamed for joy. This wine was young and uppity and had everything you might look for in a new wine but was 42 years old. Gal and Avi, my 2 friends who drank the wine with me are 5 years younger than the wine. We tried to call the winery and talk to the winemaker to inform him of this miracle but he had passed away and his wine hadn't.
• What was your best experience related to wine?
Answer: The first tasting of the first red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon 1993 from Tzora Winery with Roni James. We built the winery together and chose the grapes for the wine so we were excited. We opened the first bottle and couldn't stop laughing because it was that good. We actually shocked ourselves into hysteria.
• What was your worst experience related to wine?
Answer: As a viticulturist (grape grower) in the vineyards of Kibbutz Tzora seeing a vineyard the following morning after the WRONG chemical was sprayed on 54 dunam of grapes.
• When did you feel/discover your attraction to wine?
Answer: When I made Aliyah and was offered a job of working in the vineyards. After a few months I decided to learn more about what we were growing and it lead me to drink and taste a lot of wines and it hasn't stopped since then.
• Five autobiography sentences.
Answer: Life experiences teach us more than text books
It's a luxury to make a living out of your hobby
It's a luxury to enjoy what you're doing for living
Sex, Drugs, Wine, and Rock and Roll
• New world or old world?
Answer: Was, new world Australia (when younger and wilder). Aged with finesse, now old world
• Of the many of the wine world taboos or myths, which do you think can be relinquished
Answer: White wines with this type of food, red wines with another type. It's what you enjoy.
• Israel wine industry, where to?
Answer: More young winemakers who have been educated and can show what they learned. I'm afraid that many small wineries will close because of the economic situation but this will leave hopefully the best of the best and will be a good representation of Israel's wine capabilities. I also think big wineries will eventually also buy up some of the smaller boutique wineries and therefore eliminate competition. (Scary thought but it happens worldwide and we are only 5 years behind)
• Where do you want to be five years from now?
Answer: Same place, freed from pressing financial matters with more time to enjoy life .
• What do you think of wine journalism and wine criticism in the media?
Answer: Too many people put too much into it, believing things that others write instead of tasting and deciding for themselves. Myths are born this way. Expert opinions are important but sometimes there is too much power in the hands of the critics and they can make or break wineries. That's not good.
• What's your dream considering the wine world?
Answer: That Israel has 5 of the top 10 wines in 15 different wine journals.
• If you were not in your profession, what would have been your alternative profession?
Answer: Can't think of another profession that I enjoy as much and has become such a big part of me. As I said before my hobby is my profession.
• In your eyes, what is good winemaking?
Answer: Consistency, good quality and good fruit. These three things comprise winemaking. The better the winemaker is in all three categories the better the wines.