Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.
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Alek W

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Minor wines from major wineries

by Alek W » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:49 am

The two events last week prompted me to write this post.

First, a wine blogger living far from Israel asked me to comment on the bottle of Semillon, Monfort Village, Dan Region, 2007, the only Israeli wine he managed to find around.

Second, a relative of mine invited me to a restaurant for a family event, and the only wine available was Vino by Carmel (there where some other items on the menu getting as far as Private Collection, but none of them was available).

It looks that the wineries are not very proud of these wines. I looked at Barkan's website, but failed to find any mention of Monfort wines. I am also not sure that Carmel's website is going to tell the customers about Vino (at the moment the site is defunct). These (and similar) wines are never reviewed in Rogov's book, and we all understand what is the reason behind this.

My questions are: what is the share of such wines in the total production of major Israeli wineries? How important are these wines for well-being of the wineries? How other wineries, say, GHW, manage to function without producing wines of this kind?
One more question: is such a practice typical for other countries as well?

Alek.
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Lior Yogev

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Re: Minor wines from major wineries

by Lior Yogev » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:59 am

Alek Shalom,

I'll comment shortly since I'm sure there are experts on that around - which I'm not.
I think the cheapest wines are the financial locomotives for the big wineries, and I think most of the consumption in Israel is 30NIS and below wines, purchased at supermarkets.

For reference I recommend a short piece by Eldad Levi on Red Mt. Hermon and a piece at Avi Ben-Ami's Sommelier website on supermarket wines. I can locate both for you if you're interested (both are in Hebrew).

Lior.
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Yoni M

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Re: Minor wines from major wineries

by Yoni M » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:42 am

Hi Alek,

I think that there are two issues at play here:
(1) There is a demand--how substantial, I do not know--for accessible, cheap plonk. The large commercial wineries are aware of this, and, at least in the cases that you mentioned, produce such wines with little or no mention of the winery.
(2) For a massive winery, having labels that range from plonk to premium also ensures quality control. Only the very best grapes make their way into the premium wines, those that are not up to snuff get bumped to lower series, etc. Having a plonk label enables the winery to use all of its grapes, regardless of quality.
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Alek W

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Re: Minor wines from major wineries

by Alek W » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:42 pm

Lior Yogev wrote:For reference I recommend a short piece by Eldad Levi on Red Mt. Hermon and a piece at Avi Ben-Ami's Sommelier website on supermarket wines. I can locate both for you if you're interested (both are in Hebrew).
Lior.


Lior, thanks. I'd like to see the pieces. Note, however, that Red Mt. Hermon is far above the category of wines I'm talking about: it's rather parallel to Barkan Classic and Carmel Selected Series.

Alek.
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Eli R

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Re: Minor wines from major wineries

by Eli R » Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:17 pm

How other wineries, say, GHW, manage to function without producing wines of this kind?


Alex,

I guess you were fortunate enough never to come across GHW Sion Creek "Red" and "White" - under the Golan Label.
List price is 29 NIS - around 10 NIS less than the Mount Hermon.
I would rather not quote Rogov's WTN on this wine.
Its main market is at weddings and other catered events - where people are impressed by the GHW brand and with all the alcohol around and the serving temperature of 28 degrees (during the outdoor events season), could never tell the difference.

As for figures, Carmel produces around 7 million bottles, 90% are the various "supermarket" wines. Only 10% are from the Appelation series up.
The only exception is Galil Mountain.
Eli
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Lior Yogev

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Re: Minor wines from major wineries

by Lior Yogev » Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:22 pm

Hi again Alek,

I agree that the Red Mt. Hermon is much better than the cheapest supermarket wines (and can cost twice), but I think Eldad Levi touches some points of relevancy to our discussion here. Worth a read: (both in Hebrew)

http://www.fat-guy.net/site/detail/deta ... _id=351632

The next article gives a rare glimpse on wine from the supermarket point of view. Written By Natan Liphshitz for Avi Ben-Ami's Sommelier:

http://www.sommelier.co.il/article.asp?id=54

Lior.

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