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Somek Winery – Zichron Yachov, Israel

by Juliemara
08.27.12

The other day I was talking with a friend about how fast the past year of my life has gone by. In previous years I would think back on the year of all the trips I took, nights out on the town with friends, events I attended and tasks I accomplished, and every year I amaze my self with how much I could pack into a year. This year I think I could count on both hands the things I did other than raise two babies.

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Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change a moment of it. I am super proud of what I accomplished this year, it’s just very different from all the other years.

Despite loving spending every possible moment enjoying the babies, it’s important and necessary that my husband and I take some time for ourselves. To revive our minds and enjoy each others company every once in a while. As the girls have gotten a bit bigger we are somewhat more comfortable with leaving them with a baby sitter, but we do take advantage of family to do the job when ever possible. So while we were in Israel my in laws took the girls for the day so that my husband and I could go and spend a romantic day in the city of Zichron Yaakov. Complete with a boutique winery tour, a romantic lunch at a quaint little cafe and a stroll down the main street.

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Zichron Yaakov is a quiant little hill top town with views to the sea and to the west bank. The town boasts a great variety of restaurants, galleries and shops. The arid climate is ideal for growing grapes so there are dozens of small family wineries.

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We visited Somek, this family winery was founded in 2000 by Hila Ben Gera and Barak Dahan. It produces wines from vines near Zikhron Ya’akov that belong to the family and has been cultivated by it since 1882. The winery is also their family home. An out building serves as the the processing facility and barrel storage. Another temporary building is used as their labeling and packing center.

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Barak and his wife have six children, including a set of twins! And a baby, almost the same age as the girls. They also have several pets!

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20120826-214231.jpgIncluding one cute dog that had joined the family only the day before. When I asked his name Barak said it was still to be decided, currently each of his kids called the dog something different.

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Our tour was very special, it was just us and Barak, with him telling us the story of his family, his love of wine and his desire to grow his business.

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The one press he uses is an antique.

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The barrels are brought from France and only used a handful of times before they are sold to be recycled.

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The grapes are grown off site in the fields on the edge of town, but the family does grow a few vines in their front yard.

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When we were there a small store front was being constructed into the from of the home so that their was can be sold right where it’s made.

If you get the chance to go to Israel and to Zichron Yaakov, I hope you’ll stop in to Somek for a bottle or just a taste. We enjoyed it and brought home a bottle of the Carignan and a bottle of the blend.

After the winery tour we walked down the main street visiting a few shops and galleries then stopped in to the restaurant Barak recomended called The Kiss.

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