We chose three wines from the Israel Mony vineyards for our Rosh HaShana table: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer.

The Cabernet was slightly unusual, lighter than expected, with interesting fruity nuances. I loved the Chardonnay, deep and with a honey color fit for the occasion. The Gewurztraminer was a light and pleasant companion for the deserts.



Their Web site is

The review of some of Mony’s wines written by the late wine critic Dabiel Rogov can be read at

Some more impressions ca be read at



On Facebook the vineyard can be befriended at

Here is an excerpt from their Facebook entry page:

Mony is set in the grounds of a Christian monastery, is owned by an Arab-Christian family and makes Kosher wines. For years wine was produced by the resident monks of Dir Rafat, famous for its painted ceiling with the words “Peace” written in hundreds of languages. The Artoul family worked in the winery until Shakib Artoul leased the land and established Mony in 2000. The winery is named for Dr Mony Artoul, Shakib’s first son who tragically died of a heart condition in 1995 – a plaque dedicated to him hangs over the entrance to the tunnels and cellar at the back of the winery. Nur Artoul is the winemaker and with his father and two remaining brothers they oversee the winery operations.

Shana Tova!

I discovered a splendid wine and I would like to share the news with you. After the Litvak Gallery and the Orna Ben Ami art exhibition I wrote about we entered to have lunch at Toto – considered to be one of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv.  The Friday afternoon business menu was up to the expectations, although prices were quite on the upper part of the scale. When we got to selecting the wine the ladies choice was for a Gewurtztraminer. They had the 2007 Yarden brand we had a few weeks ago at another restaurant in Tel Aviv but for 20 shekels more and yet at a ‘reasonable’ (for the location) price of 175 shekels they offered an Alsatian brand. I went for it and I had no reasons of regret.

Zellenberg Gewurtztraminer from Marc Tempe

The place this wonderful Gewurtztraminer comes from is Zellenberg and the name of the winemaker is Marc Tempe. I found some information about him on the Internet at Zellenberg is located on the Route des Vins which traverses the Alsace from North to South, one kilometer afar from the touristic and picturesque small city of Riquewihr which we had visited a few months ago. The place is perfect for wine making, 300 meters altitude, and a wonderful climate. Marc Tempe comes from a family of wine makers and he started his own vineyard in 1995, adopting a method he calls ‘biodynamics’ which is a variant of organic wine making with no pesticides involved.

vineyards near Zellenberg

Alsatian Gewurztraminer is usually very good, but most of the wines of the type light and witty. The Zellenberg brand is much deeper, the color goes to amber and it has a sweetness which reminds the Grasa de Cotnari without becoming heavy. It’s a wonderful experience and I recommend it warmly. Marc Tempe also does other sorts of wine – Pinot Gris, Riesling and more – worth looking for this brand. If they come even closer to the 2006 Gewurtztraminer they are excellent.