Thursday, August 2, 2012

Be a Zionist--Drink Wine

Wine is not only for the weekends in Israel

One of the founders of the hit annual Jerusalem Wine Festival, which started Monday night, says Israel makes wonderful wine but sabras need to drink a lot more of it
Last year's wine festival in front of the museum's iconic Ahava sculpture
Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90
There may be no Jerusalem summer festival as eagerly awaited as the annual wine festival, with this year’s, the ninth, beginning Monday evening at the Israel Museum’s expanded Sculpture Garden.

Held Monday, July 30, through Thursday, August 2, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. each evening, the festival is Israel’s largest wine gathering, hosting thousands of visitors who will taste wines poured by more than two dozen wineries.

The concept was first put together by two Jerusalem wine purveyors, Avi Ben, the owner of Jerusalem’s Avi Ben wine shops, and Shmulik Cohen, who owns Hamashkaot shel Shachar, also in Jerusalem. The festival was first held on Emek Refaim, the busy main drag of the German Colony, moving in its second year to an area of the museum, and eventually to the larger, more spacious Sculpture Garden.

The idea, said Avi Ben, was just to have fun, to get people out on a cool Jerusalem summer evening and drink wine. That aspect of the festival has been overwhelmingly successful, he said.

What has been more difficult to overcome in Israel’s growing wine industry is the lack of a wine culture, said Ben. -- Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel

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