On a clear and cool winter day we meet up with Chaim Feder – one of the investors in the Tanya Winery. The winery is tucked away in Ofra where the wonderful and eccentric wine maker Yoram Cohen lives. When we first met Yoram he was hard at work building a barrel. Yes, he was hand building a barrel that he had just finished shaving down and toasting, and was now applying the finishing touches to a recycled barrel with equal care that he gives his wines. It was fitting that this is how we met Yoram. In an almost poetic manner, Yoram was doing what he does best – recycling, rebuilding. He is one of those ever restless artists on the hunt for his next challenge. The good news for us oenophiles – is that he chose to ply his new trade in the world of wine. Yoram had a very successful photography business and left it all for the ever finicky world of wine making. In 2002 Yoram started to make wine out of his house. In 2007 one of Chaim’s friends tasted Yoram’s wines and was sure that Yoram was the next big thing in wine. Chaim and his partners met Yoram and the rest is history. They upgraded the winery’s future productivity by purchasing new equipment, plantings new vineyards, and leasing more space for the winery. They hope to be producing 40,000 bottles as soon as the newest vineyards come on line sometime next year.
Upon meeting Yoram and the almost completed barrel, Yoram showed us the newly built wine cellar and tasting room – that is behind his house, and that he built by hand. Anchoring the middle of this beautiful hand crafted structure is a 40+ year old vine! The vine was there before Yoram bought the house.
Yoram showed the way to the slightly smaller cellar and gave us a taste of a 2005 Cabernet from a 5 liter wine cask. Chaim said Yoram was hoping to sell them for the seder table. Yet another example of his eccentric but wonderful artistic talents that Yoram brings to the staid and stogy world of wine making – a truly refreshing attitude and perspective that we are sure will do him and the winery well. Upon tasting the wine and some other white vintages we drove to the newly minted headquarters in Ofra’s industrial area. There we were given to taste a myriad of bottles and barrel tasting that gave us an appreciation of the upcoming wines and the up and coming winery’s main talent – Yoram and his artistic spin on wine and life as a whole.
We want to thank Yoram, Chaim Feder and their respective families for their very kind hospitality and time. Following are the tasting notes which we sampled at the winery.
Tanya Cabernet 2005 (Small Cask) – Score: B+
This garnet colored wine (grapes from Har Bracha) has a nose of date, vanilla, and oak. The mouth of this balanced medium bodied wine is filled with cherry and raspberry. The finish is long with a wooden cloak and cherry clinging on.
Tanya Jerba 2003 (fortified desert wine) – Score: A-
The nose of this honey colored wine is packed with honey, pineapples, and dates. The mouth on this full bodied and fortified wine is still a bit too hot. This will calm down as time progresses. Citrus fruit, honey and apple come in early and stay along for the long finish. This is a wine that one can enjoy with almost any desert – once it calms down a bit. Read the rest of this entry