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A couple of weeks ago, while much of the world was celebrating Christmas, the Netoafa Winery was throwing a kick-off event for members of the winery’s Netofamily Club.

It was a beautiful Friday morning, and when we arrived Yair (CEO) was already grilling some of his excellent homemade sausages in the winery’s courtyard.

20151225_111557aInside we were greeted with a glass of Netofa’s Latour Chenin Blanc by Shahar, who is responsible for Netofa’s vineyards. I have been a fan of Netofa’s Chenin Blanc since first sampling it a few years ago. Chenin Blanc is one of the few white varieties that improves significantly with time and can be cellared much the same as many reds. The Latour Chenin Blanc is a perfect example, as it had gained in depth and body since I last tried it about half a year ago.

The folks at Netofa are definitely into meat. After the sausages, a bunch of smoked chicken legs came off the grill, followed by some wonderful grilled sinta, these accompanied by a nice variety of salads.

Back inside, Shahar was guiding each guest through the wines, beginning with the aforementioned Latour Chenin Blanc and progressing to the Domaine and Latour Reds (both Syrah-Mourvèdre blends), Tinto (Touriga Nacional-Tempranillo blend), and Dor varietal Syrah (check out the Netofa website for descriptions of all of the wines). My personal favorites are the Latour White and the Latour Red, the latter of which I found to be an excellent match with the sausages and sinta.

By this time, everyone had arrived (I estimate that we were 30 – 40 people altogether), and we were ushered into the winery’s back room where we were officially welcomed to this first get-together of the Netofamily winery club.

After screening a short film about the winery (see it here on youtube) Pierre, Netofa’s winemaker, told us a bit about the wines and treated us to tastings from as yet unreleased vintages, as well as a barrel tasking. It is quite interesting to compare the same wines from different vintages, as the effect of time can be quite remarkable.

As if all of this had not been fun enough, it was now time for a game. We were all asked to take out our phones and download the Kahoots app (loaner phones were provided for iPhone folks). The quiz consisted of some 20 questions about the Netofa winery, their wines, and wine in general. For those not familiar with Kahoots (it was new for me) the quiz questions are projected on a screen along with multiple choice answers, and the quiz participants select answers on their phones. Points are awarded for correctness and speed. That means that those of us who read Hebrew more slowly are at a bit of a disadvantage, but even so I managed to finish a respectable 4th. The winner walked away with a magnum.

Of course, no one was allowed to leave empty handed and we each received a (standard size) bottle of the 2014 Domaine Netofa Red and a branded Netofa umbrella (I’ve already used mine!).

On the way out there were also espresso and dark chocolate, in the best Netofa tradition. I am continually impressed by Netofa’s attention to detail and dedication to quality in their wines, and in the way they organize and run their events.

Those of you who follow my calendar of wine events may have noticed that this event was not listed. Sometimes I find out about events too late to list them, and sometimes I just fall behind with event postings, but neither was the case this time. This was a by invitation only event, and the only way to be invited was to be a member of the Netofamily Club. In addition to getting invited to special events, Netofamily Club members get a 20% discount on all wine purchased at the winery and 15% off orders for home delivery. Considering that membership doesn’t cost anything this is a no-brainer. To become a member just send an email to Orit at office@netofawines.com and ask to be added to the Netofamily Club.

So go ahead and sign up; maybe I’ll see you at the next Netofamily event.

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