Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Dalton Winery is set in the beautiful green, mountainous country of the Upper Galilee, five kilometres from the Lebanese border, overlooking the Hermon Mountain.
The Winery was established in 1995 when the Haruni family from England came to settle in Israel. Initially the winery was situated in makeshift premises in Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra and produced some 20,000 bottles, but now it occupies its own home overlooking the Hula Valley and currently makes about 800,000 bottles annually.
The winemaking team at Dalton is lead by winemaker Naama Mualem, Na'ama grew up in the north of Israel and comes from a family with close links to the wine industry. Na'ama joined Dalton in 2002 after completing her studies at the world famous Roseworthy faculty at the University of Adelaide, and with work experience in California and Australia. Naama is aided by Australian wine consultant John Worontschak. John has worked with the winery since its establishment in 1995 and has offered the winery both technical expertise and an international perspective in winemaking.
The winemaking philosophy is essentially new world fruit driven wines as befits a country with an abundance of sunshine, though lately the winery has been looking to develop some of its premium wines into more classical styles reminiscent of the European wineries.
Dalton Winery and its vineyards are located in an exclusive area of the Upper Galilee (Merom Hagalil). The vineyards of Kerem Ben Zimra reach an altitude of between 800 - 900 metres above sea level. This volcanic plateau combining high altitude, optimum soil conditions and a unique climate provide the ideal conditions for growing grapes in Israel. The cold winters provide an essential dormant period for the vines, while hot summer days with cool summer nights enable the grapes to mature at a steady rate, factors which allow us to grow excellent grapes for excellent wines.
Dalton is the only winery situated in this area, and can boast that it is one of the only wineries in Israel located minutes from all its vineyards. The proximity to the vineyards allows the winemaker to constantly monitor the vines throughout the year and, closer to vintage, decide the optimal time for harvest, it also ensures that the grapes arrive in the winery immediately after harvesting and do not have to suffer the indignity of traveling many hours in the midday sun, before they are processed.
Since the establishment of the Dalton, the Upper Galilee area has been transformed into a successful mainstream tourist destination. Surrounded by beauty and history, the Dalton Winery is close to a wide variety of attractions, many of great religious and historical significance. The area is distinctively picturesque, offering views of the surrounding vineyards, the Hula Valley and the snow-capped Hermon Mountain. Visitors are most welcome.
Posted by Hillel at 4:34 AM