June 20th 2014
One of the ways that the boutique Agur Winery distinguishes itself from the other craft wine brands of Israel is by focusing only on blended wines. During your visit to Agur, you will not only learn about their distinctive line of wines, but also about the particular vineyards in which the grapes were nurtured. The local climate, with seasonal rain and cool evenings through most of the year, supports the cultivating of multiple varieties of delectable grapes from which Agur’s wines are blended.
Oriental rugs and rich brown woods, including the clever use of wine barrels to support the tasting counter and as display units for the winery’s products, enhance the décor of the Visitors’ Center. In temperate weather, guests can be seated in the covered outdoor area to learn more about the art and science of wine making. Private and small group tastings can be arranged in advance. The fee visitors pay for tastings is fully refundable when visitors make purchases. Groups traveling together should keep in mind that the rustic setting of Agur Winery is perfect for small, private functions.
Agur’s master winemaker, the visionary Shuki Yashuv, has some strong feelings about the merits of bottling from multiple grape types. Yashuv’s winemaking philosophy dictates that wine should be blended to become well-rounded mixes under the care of a knowledgeable winemaker rather than being limited by a single variety of grapes. Yashuv asserts that just as parents don’t have favorite children, Agur Winery doesn’t have a flagship wine. As with all boutique wineries, the exact wines that are available for tasting and for sale depend on the timing of your visit.
Some the past and current offerings include Blanca, a white blend, which is made from Johannesburg Riesling and Viognier grapes. A sweet rosé called Rosa is blended from Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes and then aged in old casks. Both Kessem and Special Reserve are the winery’s Bordeaux style blend. And the very dry Layam is a special blend of the dark-skinned Syrah (also known as Shiraz) and Mourvedre grapes.
Moshav Agur is a small cooperative community located in central Israel, not far from where the Biblical David slew Goliath. The moshav, whose total population is under 500, is best known for the Agur Winery that produces blended wines from grapes grown in the Judean foothills.