Attending the Rosh Pinna Wine Festival on a Friday was akin to walking your dog through a gorgeous park, running into a classy early afternoon wedding party and immediately receiving a personal invitation from the bride and groom to join the festivities.
The fifth annual wine festival of this kind held in Rosh Pinna takes place over two days. From a more romantic after-dinner affair on Thursday, the festival transforms into a lighter and brighter party on a Friday afternoon.
It’s free to enter the festival, but for 50 shekels, visitors receive a glass for wine-tasting.
Rosh Pinna is located on the slopes of Mt. Canaan overlooking the Hula Valley and the Golan. In Hebrew, the festival is called B’Shvil HaYayin, a play on words of ‘For the Wine’ or ‘On the Wine Path.’
Similarly to Ramat HaNadiv Park in Zichron Ya’acov, where the Festival of Wine and Plenty has been held for the past three years, the Baron Park in Rosh Pinna is a natural gem dedicated to the memory of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The Baron was in many ways the father of the Israeli wine industry. By the end of the 19th century, the Baron helped farmers of Rosh Pinna cultivate vineyards and establish the first winery in the Galilee.
Ofir and Itzik enjoyed Rosh Pinna’s breathtaking views while they sipped on wine from local wineries. Ofir Varshava attended the event with her boyfriend Itzik and their dog, Chewbacca. Both Ofir and Itzik work at a local non-profit called HILA, which provides living quarters and daily activities for adults with special needs in the Kiriyat Shmona area. Ofir, Itzik and Chewbacca live on the Kibbutz Misgav Am in the Upper Galilee.
Another visitor, Nava from Bat Yam, who traveled to the magnificent Golan and Galilee with her husband, said the Wine Festival was the final part of their three-day Northern get-away.
Nava, who designs and makes clothes in her own unique style, travelled the world, but saw no place like Israel. She added, “We love to travel here. There’s so much to see and do. I could not imagine living anywhere else.”
Among the many wineries at the festival, Rotenberg is a Romanian winery making mostly Merlot, with vineyards growing in a climate ‘similar to Pomerol and Saint Emillion in the Bordeaux region of France.’ Most of Rotenberg’s wines are sold in Europe, but owner Mihai is happy to be back in Israel, saying he ‘received an offer he just couldn’t refuse,’ in reference to the invitation to participate.
Another winery particpant was the The Kishor Vineyard, which is located at Kibbutz Kishorit, a community for adults with special needs in Western Galilee. The kibbutz provides the members with employment and opportunities for integration into the broader community. Kishorit has a bakery, a communication center, a goat dairy farm, a dog kennel, an organic garden, and of course, a vineyard, the newest addition to their kibbutz. The winery was added in 2007 with a help of a generous donation. The donor insisted that the donation be used to build a boutique winery. Since its inception. the winery has become quite successful, with most of their sales coming from outside the Kibbutz.
Check out some of the other great wineries and vineyards that were represented at the festival.
Or HaGanuz Winery, Or HaGanuz, +972-4-6990836
Lueria Winery, Moshav Safsufa, Merom HaGalil, +972-4-6980105
Ortal Winery, Kibbutz Ortal, +972-52-561-2235
Stern Winery, Kibbutz Toval, +972-54-3034361
Kishor Winery, Kishorit, Bik’at Beth Hakerem, 972-52-8701279
Pitputim Bakery, Derech HaGalil 46, Rosh Pinna, +972-50-7411940