Sunday, May 11, 2014

Discover Bat Shlomo

Just outside Zichron Ya’akov on the southern slopes of Mount Carmel, there is a very picturesque little town by the name of Bat Shlomo.

The village, still featuring its original buildings (and in most cases descendants of the original families that lived there) was established in 1889 as a daughter-settlement of Zichron Ya'akov, founded by Baron Rothschild. It was named after Betty Salomon, the daughter of Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (the Baron's grandfather).

It was here in 1889 that Baron Rothschild planted some of the first vineyards in Israel, which were eventually abandoned.
Fast forward to the modern day. Serial Entrepreneur Elie Wurtman makes Aliyah and soon after achieves significant success in high tech. He then decides to follow his dream and become a ‘chalutz’ by opening his own winery. In his search for the right location, Elie stumbled upon Bat Shlomo and decided to rejuvenate the vines planted over a century ago.
Now came the challenge – 
*How do you make wine?  
*How do you staff the vineyards?

In comes Ari Erle, a friend of Elie’s. Ari studied wine-making for six years in Napa Valley.

Together with some of Elie’s other friends and colleagues, they clean up the Vineyards and plant a proper crop.

Elie then went and purchased one of the original houses in Bat Shlomo with the goal of renovating it and converting it into a Visitors center. In the process, however, he uncovered an ancient Roman house. Once he was granted clearance from the archeologists, he converted that house into the barrel cellar.

Elie then found a school nearby that works with troubled religious kids, and after meeting with the head of the school, a program was started whereby the students study agriculture and the religious laws of farming, combined with working in the vineyards.

So what has come of this project?

Bat Shlomo Sauvignon BlancProbably the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted. A clear crisp wine with well-balanced citrus flavors, this is a perfect wine for a fish dinner or as a classy wine for a nice hot day. (95 NIS - Click to purchase)

Bat Shlomo Ros
– This perfectly balanced rosé in deep blush, it’s on my list of the top 5 rosés in Israel. The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc is sure to compliment pasta, tomato based sauces, or fruit. (95 NIS - Click to purchase)

Bat Shlomo Chardonnay – Complex and buttery, this wine has so many great things going on! For those who don’t want a completely oaked chardonnay, you can’t go wrong! Good to go with heavier cheesy meals or Turkey dinners, or just sit and sip with some good friends on a hot day. (120 NIS - Click to purchase)

Bat Shlomo Betty’s Cuvee - The first red wine from Bat Shlomo – This red blend is exactly the same as the rosé in its composition (The rose is simply removed after a short time and fermented without the skins). This in turn means an even deeper color and texture for the red. The wine is young, and needs substantial time to breathe before drinking. In my opinion this is a great wine for the collector as it will continue to improve in the bottle over the next 4-5 years. If you are this collector – it is a great wine at the great price of 160NIS, as this vintage bottle will be worth much more as it matures. (Click to purchase)

Bat Shlomo Wines are available in restaurants or in the winery, but most exclusively through the Jerusalem Wine Club!

If you would like more specific information, or to consult with us on any other wine matters – just drop by the Wine Store in the Te’ena Commercial Center in Efrat, or email us at

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