November was another notable month for Wines of Israel, with winemakers, educators, and sommeliers touching down in sunny San Diego for a full schedule of successful events designed to share the country’s wines with serious enthusiasts and professionals alike. November 13th saw the kick-off of SommCon San Diego—one of the top wine educational conferences in the country—at the newly opened, luxurious Intercontinental hotel on the city’s waterfront with a seminar led by Advanced Sommelier Erik Segelbaum. Titled “Global vs. Domestic: Is the World Wine Stage Getting Smaller?” and featuring Segal Unfiltered as a representative of Israeli viticulture, the industry-focused event explored the increasing dynamism and equality in the winemaking world, with new (or previously underappreciated) regions like Israel claiming their place in the conversation among the globe’s best. The next day saw Master of Wine Sandy Block dedicate an entire seminar to Israel, diving deep into the country’s wide range of vinous offerings for an inquisitive audience seeking to expand their knowledge on the increasingly prominent wines of the Eastern Mediterranean. Called “Wines of Israel: Unknown Side of the Mediterranean,” Block’s talk featured pours from many of the country’s boldfaced names: Carmel, Recanati, Jezreel Valley, Jerusalem, Dalton, Tulip, Teperberg, and Covenant Israel.
With sailboats and sandy beaches as the backdrop, the festivities continued on the 15th and into the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, where an even wider range of Israeli wines were poured for a massive audience of culinary-obsessed consumers—most of whom had never tried Israel’s wines before or even knew the country to be one of the oldest winemaking nations on earth. The day’s Grand Decant tasting was followed by another, wider Grand Tasting on the 16th, with wines being poured from a veritable “Who’s Who” of Israeli viticulture: Dalton, Gvaot, Hayotzer, Jerusalem Vineyards, Kishor, Meishar, Somek, Recanati, Ella Valley Vineyards, Lueria, Tura, Alexander, Barkan, Carmel, Yatir, Covenant Israel, Jezreel Valley, Or Haganuz, Segal, Tabor, Teperberg, Tulip, Jacques Capsouto, Bravdo and Yarden.All in all, Wines of Israel was able to build an impressive connection with consumers and wine professionals in San Diego, sharing the crowd’s appreciation for food and wine in a cosmopolitan, sun-soaked climate that nearly felt like home on the Mediterranean coast.