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Published: August 18th 2021
We had a late breakfast. Breakfast is open until 11 and the buffet was constantly being replenished. As expected a wide variety of fresh produce, cheeses, baked goods, omelettes (pre-prepared or made-to-order), juices, coffee, etc were available. We sat outside and ordered coffee. Then we browsed the buffet and found lots to choose. The salads and some of the dairy products are produced on the farm here or by other local establishments.
After breakfast we drove half an hour north to the Ramot Naftaly Winery. This is located within the Ramot Naftali moshav and is owned by our friend Shivi and her husband Yitzhak. High quality wine grapes have been grown in the area known as the Kedesh Valley since ancient times. Yitzhak began making wine there in 2003. For nearly two decades the winery has received acclaim and international awards.
Yitzhak gave us a personal tour around the winery. He explained the stages from picking the grapes through to the finished wine. He showed us the various machines used in the process, and the vats in which the wine is aged. His manager was putting labels on bottles of their newest wine, a chardonnay. He then
showed us a room with some private stock of every kind of wine they had made.
He then brought us out behind the winery. There he showed us the house where they live, surrounded by some of their vineyards. He pointed out some luscious looking Barbera grapes which were growing for one of their premier wines. He also showed us the chicken coop, where the hens usually lay up to 20 eggs per day - except today, by disturbing them their collective tally probably dropped!
Shivi arrived from having run some errands. She poured some wines for us to taste. We were particularly interested in the chardonnay as that is what we mostly drink. It had a very nice smooth taste and we bought several bottles. We also liked the rosé as a fun chilled wine for these hot summer months and got some bottles of that too.
Over the years we have visited a number of wineries in Israel. Most of them are run by large corporations. In contrast, Ramot Naftaly Winery is a small family business. Yitzhak and Shivi take their winemaking seriously, as their results demonstrate. But they operate in a much more personal
and friendly way, so that this visit was very different from the others, It was a treat seeing them there and experiencing their feeling of joy as winemakers.
On the road back to the spa we passed the area of Agamon Hula Lake. That was where we had seen birds last year as described in day 2 of our Kfar Blum blog. Things are often close together in this tiny country, yet there is so much to see and do that Israel seems larger. We can’t do everything in a single trip!
For the rest of the day we took advantage of some of the facilities in the hotel. Lesley used the treadmill in the gym. We each had a spa treatment. two different kinds of massages from amongst the many on offer.
Dinner was in the same restaurant with generally similar food choices. There were a few more interesting selections, so we were satisfied. One good problem with a dairy meal is that Don found too many serious desserts! Anyway we are glad that we only arranged for two nights of half-board dinners in this vegetarian hotel restaurant.
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