Wineries are everywhere.
For example, last week Dina and I visited the Kantharos winery located in the basement of a private house in a quiet Rosh Ha’ayin neighborhood.
I tasted and enjoyed Kantharos’ wines at the recent Home Wineries fair (see my 29 April posting), but by the time I was ready to make a purchase (I prefer to do that at the end so as to avoid carrying bottles around), they had packed up and gone home. My fault since it was already way past closing time.
Since Kantharos has a Carignan that I particularly liked (not many of those around) I decided that I’d have to visit the winery in order to pick some up. So after having called in advance to coordinate, we stopped by. We were greeted at the door by Danny Lefen, who, with his partner Eytan Lifshitz, founded the winery in 2005 after taking wine making courses at the Soreq winery and the Tel Hai college.
Kantharos is a small operation, producing under 1000 bottles a year. At the moment they’re making two varietals – Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignion. The Carignan grapes are from the Givat Ada area near Binyamina (grown by a relative of Danny’s), and the Cabernet are from Kerem Ben Zimra and the Ella Valley. The wines are all aged in new and used French oak barrels anywhere from 1-1/2 to over two years.
At the Home Wineries fair I had tasted Kantharos’ 2007 Cabernet and 2009 Carignan, both of which I enjoyed very much. During our visit Danny gave us barrel tastings of 2009 and 2010 vintage Cabernets. I think the 2009 will be excellent, but I’m still not able to tell with a wine as young as 2010. I suppose I’ll have to go back next year to try it again.
As you can see in the picture above, the winery isn’t very large, and storage space is limited, so Danny and Eytan are keen to sell current stock to make room for the new bottlings. Prices are very reasonable, so I recommend scheduling a visit. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be offered a taste of Kantharos’ port style wine, which is aged in used oak barrels for a minimum of three years.
Call or email Danny or Eytan to schedule a visit.
And if you’re feeling under the weather, when he’s not making wine, Danny is a practitioner of Chinese medicine and he might just be able to fix you up.